London bids for .london web addresses

London officials have today announced their intention to bid on a ‘.london’ top level internet domain name that could be used by businesses, monuments and event venues throughout the capital.

The city will join the ranks of other international capitals, New York, Paris, Sydney, Rome and Berlin by doing so.

These locations are also expected to submit an application to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the right to use their respective cities within an internet address.

While ICANN licenses can last for up to ten years, argues that the cost of such a unique domain name like ‘.apple’ for the iPhone manufacturer or ‘.sports’ for example, could be prohibitively expensive for some. It predicts that some names may cost in excess of $500,000 (£323,478).

However, Gordon Innes, CEO of the capital’s promotion agency London & Partners, believes that London’s ambition to become a leading digital innovator makes the price worth it.

“We believe that owning the dot London gTLD (Top Level Domain) will not only generate increased opportunities for the promotion of the capital, but will achieve benefits for businesses and organisations across the capital,” he said, reports

Kulveer Ranger, the London Mayor’s digital advisor, agreed; stating: “Ownership of the dot London domain could offer a tremendous opportunity to reinforce London’s position as a global centre for digital innovation, generate revenue and bring about new employment opportunities.”

ICANN registration opens between January 12th and April 12th 2012. The review process is set to last around 20 months, which makes it highly unlikely the domain names will be implemented before the London Olympics.