Will companies defensively register their phone numbers? Telnic is to start selling long numeric .tel domain names for the first time, so we’re about to find out.
The company plans to lift the longstanding restriction on numeric domains of eight characters or longer on October 15, according to a press release (pdf) this morning:
Registrants wishing to register strings such as 00442074676450.tel or 0207-467-6450.tel will be able to do so through ICANN-accredited Registrars from 15:00 GMT on Tuesday 15th October.
“Registrants now have an increased choice of registering a .tel name or a .tel number under which they can publish all types of contact information online,” said Khashayar Mahdavi, CEO of Telnic. “This means that if the customer knows either the business name or telephone number for a business, it can be reached online quickly in a mobile-friendly way.”
Telnic expects numeric .tel domains to cost the same as regular .tel domains, which varies by registrar but can be as low as about $15. There’s not going to be any special sunrise period.
Telnic has had the ability to do this since early 2011, when ICANN approved its Registry Services Evaluation Process request to lift its original ban on numeric-only second-level domains.
The RSEP was not without controversy. Telnic, remember, was one of two applicants for .tel back in 2003, and it won partly because its application committed the company to avoiding numerals.
There had been concern expressed by the International Telecommunications Union and others that phone number .tel domains might interfere with ENUM-based numbering schemes.
Those concerns had largely dried up by the time Telnic submitted its RSEP in 2010, when the only complaint came, weirdly, from Go Daddy.