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CO.NL Opens a New Horizon for the Dutch Internet

Launched at ICANN Paris, a new extension for Internet domain names that will open a brand new horizon for Dutch and international enterprises. From September 2008, companies and other interested parties will be able to give a Dutch "flavor" to their Internet presence by using the "co.nl" ending.

Directly operated from Amsterdam with the technical back-end of EuroDNS SA, a global Registrar of Internet Domain names, the service is aimed at international users willing their Internet Addresses to end in ".nl" but with additional flexibility.

"The co.nl extension will be open to anyone, with no requirement of local presence or tie with the Netherlands", confirms Sander Scholten, General Manager of the CO.NL Operator. "Because openness should not mean free for all, we have taken several steps to ensure protection of third parties' rights".

Accordingly, a so called "Sunrise Period" will be specifically dedicated to Trademark Holders to give them the opportunity to Register their brands as CO.NL names before the system is open to the general public. Beforehand, a "Grandfather Period" will allow holders of a ".NL" domain name to register the same with a ".Co.nl" ending. Both periods beginning in September will benefit from the expertise of Deloitte Laga. The firm will validate customers' requests based on trademark registries.

"We are delighted that Deloitte Laga accepted to join the project", stressed Xavier Buck, EuroDNS' CEO. "Their experience with key Registries like .Asia .Nl, .Me and .Tel should be extremely beneficial to our own customers".

Several International Registrars have already asked to be accredited by the Operator and the next ICANN meeting shall be an opportunity for many more to come on board. "Our partners do like the concept", added Scholten. "Some of their customers have been looking for a better way to express their Dutch identity on the Internet for some time now, and they see CO.NL as a perfect opportunity".



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