The European Broadcasting Union has been appointed the official distributor of one of the newest Internet top-level domains – .radio. (A top-level domain is the last part of a domain name. You’re probably most familiar with TLDs like .com, .org, .edu and the like.)
One of the provisions in the EBU’s pitch to hold the keys to .radio is that they plan to require some sort of radio affiliation by the party registering a domain under that TLD. One of the affiliations they specifically list is “Radio Amateurs”, which means that soon you will be able to get YOURCALL.radio as a domain.
It’s actually pretty simple to get YOURCALL.something (like nf8m.com or nf8m.us) as a domain – hardly anyone would want to register a typical amateur callsign other than the ham who holds the call. But having .radio at the end would add a bit of distinction to your domain.
The rollout begins this year, with radio broadcast stations getting first crack in a pre-launch period that runs through July 5. Other radio users, including hams, can start registering on August 20.
Just how much they’ll cost is another matter. For companies, the EBU anticipates charging as much as $267 per year for commercial users, but they may offer a lower rate for amateurs and individuals during the second phase. And you’ll probably have to use the EBU as the registrar; consumer registrars like Dreamhost, GoDaddy and NSI may not be able to help you out.
There’s more in this blog post from the Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth communications law firm.