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Thousands of short .co domains available

The .co registry may have sold over a million domains since it launched a year ago, but there may be quite a bit of potentially valuable real estate still available.

.CO Internet said in its registrar newsletter this week that, as of May 31, 51.2% of three-letter domains and 71.1% of three-character combinations were still available.

On the back of the envelope I’m looking at, that works out to about 9,000 three-letter names and about 33,000 three-letter/number domains.

No three-letter domains are available for the basic registration fee in .com.

Three-letter domains are often considered fairly safe investments by domainers, from a cybersquatting risk perspective, but UDRP panelists don’t always agree.

UPDATE: In response to a few skeptical reader comments, I pinged .CO for clarification. It turns out that the quoted percentages include the seven Spanish IDN characters that .CO allows — á, é, í, ó, ú, ñ, ü.

Domains including these strings would presumably be far less appealing to registrants, and not all .co registrars offer IDN characters.

The number of pure ASCII three-letter domains available in .co is presumably much, much lower than my envelope math suggested.

Short .tel domains available tomorrow

Telnic has announced that two-letter and numeric-only .tel domain names will becomes available from tomorrow at 2pm UTC.

You’ll be able to register any two-letter .tel domain that has not already been claimed in a two-week landrush period, which ends today, with the exception of combinations that match ccTLDs.

Numeric-only and numeric/hyphen domains are restricted to seven characters and under, in order to avoid clashes with telephone numbers.

The release of numeric .tel domains was the subject of a minor controversy when Telnic first made the request to ICANN last year.

Telnic said pricing is expected to be the same as regular .tel registrations – usually about the same price as a .com domain name.

A list of participating registrars can be found here.

Six short .uk domains sold for $40,000

Kevin Murphy, April 15, 2011, Domain Sales

Nominet has auctioned off six one and two-letter .uk domain names for a total of almost £24,000 ($40,000).

The domains were all sold to trademark holders, for an average of £4,000 ($6,500) each, according to the auction house, NFPAS Auctions.

The domain e.co.uk went to E! Entertainment Television, while u.co.uk was sold to Ubrands.

Of the contested two-letter domains, aa.co.uk was won by American Airlines, presumably beating out other qualified bidders such as the Automobile Association.

Oddly, aa.org.uk went to Andrews & Arnold, an ISP, which already owns aa.net.uk.

Finally, lv.co.uk went to the insurance company Liverpool Victoria, which already owns lv.com, and cc.co.uk went to Country Casuals, a women’s clothing retailer.

A second auction among brand owners, expected to be similarly small, will be held a month from now. The proceeds of both go to the Nominet Trust.

With only a couple hundred single and double character .uk names currently accounted for, hundreds remain for the next stage of the release: landrush.

Nominet plans to announce the details of that phase on Monday.