The introduction process for the Somali domain extension .SO will continue until March 2010. It starts with the Sunrise for legitimate brand owners who wish to have their trademarks registered as domain names (11/01/2010 to 11/30/2010). Domains with more than one valid application will go through a Sunrise auction at Pool.com (12/01/2010 to 12/15/2010). Sunrise domain names may be registered for a minimum of three years and a maximum of ten years.
Technical operator of .SO is the Japanese company GMO Registry, for the operative tasks the Somali SO registry is responsible. The “sponsoring organization” of the TLD is the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications of Somalia. In an interview with the domain investor Rick Latona the Director of GMO registry, Hiro Tsukahara, announced to donate a portion of the operating profit to provide necessary aide for Somalia, especially for children. He said Somalia is a country, which needs support in many areas and that the GMO registry’s relief project should increase global awareness of Somalia. “It is important that the country and its people benefit from the delegation of their national domain”, welcomes Key-Systems CEO Alexander Siffrin the project. “The .SO domain extension provides the ability to associate a variety of generic terms such as ‘social' , sophisticated' or ‘solid', using an appropriate domain name and the respective marketing.”
The .SO Sunrise is followed by the so-called Landrush phase (12/16/2010 to 02/09/2011). This phase aims at all interested parties, applications will be accepted for domains that were not registered or applied for during Sunrise and not reserved by the registry. Domains with more than one valid Landruh application will be auctioned at Pool.com (02/10/2011 to 02/28/2011). During the final Open Registration starting March 1, 2011, all available domain names can be registered following the "first-come, first served" principle. The registration period for Landrush domains and domains of the Open Registration has to be at least one year and maximum ten years.
.SO domain names must be made up of a minimum of 3 characters and a maximum of 63 characters (excluding the extension). Only the Latin alphabet letters a-z, digits, and hyphens will be accepted. Domain names beginning or ending with hyphens, as well as domain names with hyphens on the third and fourth position are prohibited. The policy for the TLD .SO is liberal, there are no restrictions concerning the registrants, no local presence service is needed.
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