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Italian suffix open to rest of Europe

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The easy availability of .it domains in Britain could lead to a stampede for expletive-style Web addresses when the service is launched next week. From 15 January, Virtual Internet.net will make available the Italian .it domain name following changes at the Italian Registry. This means that all VAT registered organisations in the European Union can acquire a .it domain and it's hoped that the service could be extended to private individuals in the future. Unfortunately, those interested in owning vernacular addresses such as fuck.it, damn.it and shag.it will be disappointed since these appear to have been nabbed already. It's believed getdownon.it, bigt.it, and canyoudig.it, on the other hand, are still available. Sh.it is not available since all .it domain names must have at least three characters. Ash.it, though, has been taken. According to the information on the site, Advanced Software and Hardware (ASH) is an IBM Business Partner. The site is currently under construction. Of course, one of Virtual Internet's selling points is that .it domains may be of particular interest to IT companies. Steve Miller, head of marketing at Virtual Internet, said: "This move is set to prove popular -- we have already been approached by a large number of IT companies who see .it as an ideal alternative to .com. "We are confident that consumers will be quick to follow suit." All the .it domain names -- which must be made up of between 3-64 characters -- will be registered on a first come first served basis. Prices start at £100 until the end of February, after which the fee increases to £200. ®

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