The European Registry of Internet Domain Names reported that more than 300,000 people had applied for personal domains in the top-level
.eu domain during its first hour of availability, with applications increasing to over 700,000 during the first four hours the TLD was open to the public. Current stats show the number of applications will shortly top 1 million.
.eu top-level domain has been available to businesses and some organizations since December 2004; more than 300,000 applicants requested domain names in the space, of which over 50,000 have been approved. The Pan-European top-level domain exists alongside top-level domains for individual European nations (like
.fr for France,
.de for Germany,
.es for Spain, etc.); several accredited registrars are handling
.eu domains, and individuals are encouraged to shop around for the most appropriate deals.
Applications will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. During the initial “land rush,” domains will be automatically registered within the hours following their receipt.
The European Union Web site and all their official addresses will be switched over to the
.eu domain on May 9, 2006 (Europe Day), although both the existing and new addresses will be supported for at least a year.
“Today, Europe’s competitive knowledge society becomes very visible to the world on the internet.”” commented Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. “Europe and its citizens can now project their own web identity, protected by EU rules. I expect thousands of applications to be filed in the first few hours’ public ‘land rush’, making .eu a powerful domain name on equal footing with .com.”