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The constraints have been taken off the .name domain and anyone is now able to buy their own joebloggs.name domain.

UK company Global Name Registry has opened up the global top-level domain to second-level addresses, so you no longer need be restricted to john.smith.name, you can get johnsmith.name or just smith.name.

At the moment there are only a few registrars set up to grab the single-dot domains, which can be reviewed at GNR’s site here. Haugnes realises this and puts it down to big companies not wanting to restructure their systems for what is currently a minor domain.

He says however: "I am confident that you will see the larger registrars popping onto the radar in the next months as the business case establishes itself and resources become available and prioritized."

The .name domain is purely for people and not companies, so GNR president Hakon Haugnes hopes the less complex system would see a huge upsurge in people buying his domains after a disappointing first two years.

The restrictive two-dot approach was not only unpopular with consumers used to dotcoms and the like but also troubled many global ISPs which weren’t set up to deal with third-level addresses.

While GNR is the only non-US company to have ownership of a global domain, it seems the UK culture - where third-level domains such as .co.uk or .me.uk are considered the norm - may have hindered it.

It has sold 100,000 domain since it first went live two years ago today, but compared to the two open domains created at the same time, it has underperformed. There are around one million .info domains and 600,000 .biz domains.

Mr Haugnes is cautiously optimistic though. "Now, the second level has opened, this makes the most attractive names in the world available," he told us. "The second level is essentially almost ‘empty’, meaning names that are gone for the last 15 years, taken by companies, now become available for individuals for the first time."

He’s right, and possessing your own name on a .name domain looks appealing. Whether the rest of the world becomes excited about the prospect though, only time with tell. ®

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