THE BLOG
08/06/2014 02:45 pm ET Updated Oct 06, 2014

The 'Land Rush' Has Begun: Register Your .nyc Domain

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I am a determined local shopper. Years ago, I was looking for furniture online, and could not easily identify whether the furniture makers whose work I liked were New Yorkers. That's why, as a City Councilmember, I fought to create a "top-level domain" (TLD) for web addresses just for New Yorkers -- ".nyc" instead of ".com" or ".org". Paris has one, and so does Berlin. Why not New York?

I began by introducing a resolution on the Council in support of .nyc in 2008
; the process took years of nudging all the parties involved, including convincing then-Mayor Bloomberg and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

We succeeded, and starting August 4, if you have a local New York City address, you can reserve a .nyc TLD. By doing so, local businesses, organizations, service providers and vendors of locally made goods can seize this new opportunity to brand themselves and their local roots -- and perhaps show up higher in organic search engine results.

Here's what everyone needs to know about the rollout of the official domain for all New Yorkers:

From now through October 3 -- during what's called the "Land rush" period -- all businesses, organizations, and residents with a physical address in the five boroughs can register one or more .nyc domain names for their chance to own it at www.OwnIt.nyc.

All registrants are required to have a physical street address in New York City (with no P.O. boxes permitted). Neustar, a longtime communications clearinghouse, will manage .nyc and audit the local addresses.

By October 7, if nobody else has requested the same address, it's yours. If there are multiple requests for the same address, an auction will be held to determine who will own it.

A successful domain name registered during Land rush will cost $30 plus $20 for each year it registers the name. No application fees are charged to those that apply for names but are not successful in obtaining the domain name of their choice.

Beginning October 8, all New Yorkers can register any available .nyc instantly online.

We don't want the .nyc portal to become a corporate playground; it should enable local organizations and businesses to have a presence online. The bodega, the corner pizza place, the 24-hour locksmith, the family-run shoe repair service -- that's what this is about.

Dreaming big has been the story of New York City since it became the continent's largest trading port some 400 years ago. As the first U.S. city to acquire its own top-level domain (TLD) for internet urls, New York has an exciting opportunity to galvanize its reputation as the city of possibility.