NY Mayor Michael R. BloombergNEW YORK CITY, N.Y. /New York Netwire/ — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot, Media & Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Chief Information and Innovation Officer Rahul N. Merchant, Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh, and City Council Member Gale A. Brewer on Tuesday announced that the City of New York has been approved for its own geographic top-level domain – .nyc – which will allow New Yorkers and visitors to easily find local businesses, services and information online.

“Having our own unique, top-level domain – .nyc – puts New York City at the forefront of the digital landscape and creates new opportunities for our small businesses,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “They’ll now be able to identify themselves as connected to New York City, one of the world’s strongest and most prestigious brands.”

A .nyc address will show that a business or individual is located in New York City and identify products and organizations serving the New York City community. The City of New York is one of the first cities in the world to be granted a geographic top-level domain by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit private organization responsible for overseeing the distribution of IP addresses and domain names. The approval of .nyc comes as ICANN expands the number of generic top-level domains beyond extensions like .com, .org and .edu. In her 2009 State of the City Speech, Quinn called for the creation of a top-level domain name for New York City.

“With a new 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,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “The Council first recognized the great potential in establishing the .nyc domain name and I am thrilled to announce that our collaboration with the Bloomberg administration has achieved real results for New Yorkers. The addition of a .nyc suffix will give small businesses and residents the chance to secure their own city-themed, personal domain name and generate millions of dollars in revenue for the City. I want to thank the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, New York City Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot and former and present chairs of the Council’s Committee on Technology, Council Members Gale Brewer and Fernando Cabrera, for their leadership on this issue.”

“Pursuing the .nyc top-level domain has been a goal of Mayor Bloomberg’s Digital Roadmap from the start, and this caliber of innovation keeps New York City on track to becoming the world’s leading digital city,” said Rachel Haot, Chief Digital Officer. “Our digital strategy is focused on improving the lives of New Yorkers through investments in technology infrastructure, education, data, engagement and industry. The introduction of .nyc will spur unprecedented local civic and economic activity.”

In order to register for a .nyc domain, registrants will have to have a primary place of residence in the City of New York with a physical address or a “bona fide presence” in the City of New York, meaning regularly performing lawful activities within the city and maintaining an office or other facility in the city.

Small businesses would also be able to use a .nyc domain to allow customers to know where they are located in order to better build their online identity. Registration for .nyc addresses will open in late 2013 and fees are to be determined. Additional information is available at www.mydotnyc.com.

“The new .nyc domain will help promote small businesses throughout the five boroughs in ways that wouldn’t have been possible before,” said Commissioner Oliver. “By branding themselves as .nyc, local businesses will send a strong message to their customers that they are part of the community as well as part of a growing economy.”

“The introduction of .nyc once again demonstrates New York City’s leadership in advancing digital engagement for its residents, organizations, and businesses,” said Chief Information and Innovation Officer Merchant. “And the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications is pleased to play a role in helping New Yorkers own a virtual piece of the world’s greatest city.”

“Small businesses benefit from a strong online presence, and the .nyc domain will give New York City’s small businesses an extra boost by making them more accessible and allowing them to build off the NYC brand,” said Commissioner Walsh.

“From the days of ‘The Big Apple’ to the digital age, New York City has long been the best-known brand in the world,” said Council Member Brewer. “That’s why today I am excited to join with the Mayor and Speaker Quinn to announce that the City has succeeded in acquiring the domain name .nyc. Back in 2008 I introduced a City Council Resolution in support of the .nyc acquisition. We held a hearing on its potential benefits, and it is deeply gratifying to see our efforts come to fruition today. The .nyc domain will have immediate and long-term benefits. NYC-based entities can apply for a .nyc brand to affirm their New York cachet, consumers can search for businesses that offer locally-made goods, and city service providers can create unique .nyc domain names that identify their local roots. I applaud Mayor Bloomberg, Rachel Haot, DoITT Commissioner Rahul Merchant, and Speaker Quinn for their efforts, and I look forward to working together to ensure that all New Yorkers discover this tremendous new opportunity to brand their goods, services, and ideas as uniquely New York.”

“Online search is increasingly driven not only by what a business does, but also where it is located,” said Ken Hansen, General Manager for .nyc Registry Services for Neustar, which will operate .nyc on behalf of New York City. “A .nyc address will enable New Yorkers to easily find local businesses, services and information online.”

The top-level domain will provide New York City government entities, small businesses, nonprofit organizations and residents with an online identity that establishes their location and enables community collaboration and communication. Launching a geographic top-level domain is an important part of New York City’s digital strategy as outlined in the Digital Roadmap by helping residents locate government services more easily online, encouraging the discovery and growth of local businesses, promoting tourism throughout the City’s five boroughs and spreading the image of New York City around the world. A .nyc address also makes it easier for users to find a search result located in NYC.

The City of New York is working with a selected registry vendor, Neustar, who is covering all of the City’s costs associated with obtaining the top-level domain, which includes a $185,000 application fee and all technology services and marketing expenses associated with the top-level domain. In March 2012, the City of New York applied to ICANN for control over the administration and management of the .nyc domain, and in May 2013, ICANN announced its decision.