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Dot-Biz Is Finally in Business

NeuLevel, the company managing the new dot-biz domain, said it is gearing up for a surge of site registrations on Wednesday, when it takes the new domain live on the Internet.

The launch comes nearly six weeks after NeuLevel put a hold on new registrations, and more than a month after the date originally set for the dot-biz debut.

“Dot-biz addresses haven’t been available for more than a month, and we do believe it’s going to create something of a land rush,” said Douglas Armentrout, NeuLevel‘s CEO.

Dot-biz – the second new top-level domain introduced on the Web this year -– has marketed itself as the first Internet suffix designated for business websites.

Its debut comes just over a month after the launch of the first new domain, dot-info, and one year after regulators first approved dot-biz as one of seven new Web suffixes to be added to the Internet’s central routing system.

As was the case with dot-info, managers of dot-biz don’t expect to see many actual sites ready to go in the early days of the launch. Although businesses are purchasing the domains, few are dedicating resources to building content on them at this stage.

The main service the launch provides, Armentrout said, is the ability to register a dot-biz website instantly, and to check which domains are taken through NeuLevel’s Whois database of sites.

Although an estimated 284,000 dot-biz websites were already snapped up in an early registration period that ended in September, officials at NeuLevel said they expect the pace of applications will pick up now that there is no waiting period for domains.

But while he prepares for an onslaught of new site registrations, Armentrout said NeuLevel is still in the process of determining what to do with an estimated 40,000 domains that remain without owners as the result of a lawsuit filed against the company in July.

The suit charged that NeuLevel used an illegal lottery scheme to dole out dot-biz addresses because it charged customers to register sites without telling them whether the domains will be made available to them.

The lawsuit does not affect domain names for which only one person or company applied. However, many of the domain names perceived as most valuable by registrants, such as those containing generic names, will not go live until issues raised in the lawsuit are resolved, NeuLevel said.

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