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New .info Web registry back online

The new domain name registry for .info Web sites reopened for business after being shut down due to performance problems shortly before its launch on 1 October.

Afilias, which operates the registry that keeps track of all Web sites registered under the newly-available .info domain, said that an "unacceptable system slowness" bogged down the open registration process on the day of the launch, which resulted in the system being taken off-line for repairs.

"[The system] was overwhelmed by the amount of business coming in," said Roland LaPlante, a vice-president and chief marketing officer at Afilias

Afilias began accepting registrations for .info domain names in July in a series of orchestrated phases. The open registration period began on 1 October, and meant that any person, company or group could now apply for a .info domain name and pay fees to buy it.

About 70 registrar companies are taking applications for .info names. As the names are approved, they are added to the master registry list kept by Afilias.

The .info domain was approved last November by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organisation that oversees domain name registrations and administration. This is the first time a major top-level domain has been added officially to the Internet since the original seven domains in 1985, according to ICANN.

More than 360,000 .info domain names have been registered since July, with some 6,000 new registrations coming in on 1 October, before the system had to be shut down, LaPlante said.

Since the new .info top-level domain is endorsed by ICANN, the Internet domain name infrastructure that allows visitors to access Web sites has been modified to recognise .info domains.

The .info domain is open to anyone who wants to register a Web site, unlike other domains that are restricted to organisations (.org), education (.edu), government use (.gov) or the military (.mil).
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