Do .Tel? A Look at the Newest Top Level Domain

Samara Lynn

Every registered .tel address comes with a hosted Web page where registrants can post any contact information, Web link and keyword. The Web page is customizable and domain owners can control who sees what information. Listings can be included in a Telpage global directory -- a massive, online contact database.

The .tel domain differs from other top-level domains in that information is in the DNS record. DNS usually only provides a mapping between host/domain names and IP addresses. And any changes made to a Web page under the .tel domain happen automatically because the data is stored in the DNS record.

To register .tel doesn't come cheap. Network Solutions are offering a 3-year registration for $375.00.

Considering the possibility of entrepreneurial cybersquatters snatching up registrations in bulk, only to sell them at inflated prices later, $375.00 for three years may be somewhat reasonable. After March, .tel name prices will drop down to $20.00 per year.

That is a significant decrease. Big businesses will want to secure their .tel domain right away. Smaller outfits and individuals will most likely wait for the price drop.

There are also those questioning the necessity of .tel. Some may ask, if you can have a hosted Web page for $5.00 a month, you can include all of the same information as you can with a .tel domain. So why do you need a .tel domain?

It is rather easy to set up a small Web site these days, especially with the plethora of hosted services that will hand-hold even the most newbie of Web users through creating a site. But small businesses and organizations who may not have the resources to monitor a hosted page may find some benefit in a .tel listing. There is also the argument that .tel will allow for better search engine indexing, making a business or person easier to find online.

So VARs that have a hand in establishing a Web presence for clients can weigh the plusses and minuses themselves of setting up .tel accounts for them.

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