IDN .БЕЛ (.BEL) Has Been Opened for General Availability
From the 1st of October, users can register domains in new Cyrillic zone .БЕЛ (.BEL) without any restrictions. During the first hour of general registration, 1,303 domains were registered, whereas the first 24 hours ended up with 6,454 registrations – and this number keeps growing.
.БЕЛ (.BEL) is a new top-level domain of the Republic of Belarus. Before general availability was launched, two stages of priority registration had been successfully passed. The first stage lasted three months from the 1st of March till the 1st of June. During this period, the possibility to register a .БЕЛ (.BEL) domain was opened for governmental authorities and organizations, as well as for owners of trade marks, geographic and company names. The second stage was organized in format of charitable auctions: for four months, from the 2nd of June till the 30th of September, a number of commercially attractive domain names were sold on online platform auction.cctld.by. All collected money, excluding standard price of domain registration, were transferred to support orphans and abandoned children in Belarus – overall amount of help that was sent to children houses across the country reached about 300,000 USD.
On the day of launching the general registration, сcTLD .BY/.БЕЛ (.BEL) Registry Reliable Software Inc. organized a press-conference dedicated to the new domain zone and its influence on the national part of internet. To cover the topic from various perspectives, authoritative speakers were invited. They are ICANN VP Stakeholder Engagement, Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia Mr. Michael Yakushev, Member of the Coordination Council for the Ukrainian Network Information Center (UANIC) Mr. Yuri Kargapolov, as well as Mr. Sergey Povalishev (сcTLD .BY/.БЕЛ (.BEL) Registry) and speakers from governmental and business sectors, who already had the related experience concerning the use of new domains to share: Mr. Sergey Ol’shevskiy (the Ministry of Education) and Mr. Aleksander Vavulo (Electronics and Appliance Retail Chain Technoplus). Speakers represented various positions, but all of them agreed that, despite certain challenges, .БЕЛ (.BEL) is definitely an important step for Belarus, offering new opportunities that are in high demand by users.