New York Gets Its Own Domain: Dot NYC


In the context of Christine Quinn’s State of the City address delivered in 2009 at the height of the economic downturn, her promise to get New York City its own Internet domain registration name was a trifle. After all, she was pitching a recovery plan to salvage each of the city’s major agencies.

While a good deal of her promises have been left unkept, the City Council has made good on one. Yesterday the International Consortium for Assigned Names and Numbers, the New World Order-y international body that administers web address allotments, approved the city’s application for the dot-nyc top-level domain name.

“New York won’t just be the greatest city in the world–we’ll also be the greatest city on the Internet,” says Quinn, as she snapped on some goggles and flew off in a DeLorean.

Quinn, not known for her zingers, first introduced the idea four years ago with the line, “A local business won’t have to outbid a guy in Kansas to get Tony’s”

While the joke is a clunker, the idea is certainly not. Domain registration is a revenue generator. Each .nyc domain has to be rented before any business or resident can claim it.

But it’s more than just a means to make city services and businesses more Google-able or a cash-grab for the city. The move to register the domain name was a shrewd calculation of a little discussed reality: New York City as brand. Now small businesses can take advantage of New York City’s cultural cachet in the tourism market (though whether actual New Yorkers will give a damn is a probable no.)

A bunch of the logistics are still in the offing. How much will each address cost? No one knows. How is the city going to let small businesses know about the service? No one knows. When will people get to start registering? Apparently sometime in the fall, but a contact at the City Council wasn’t quite sure.