[UPDATED] As it approaches 14 million domain name registrations, the world’s largest country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) by active registrations has allowed domain names to be registered by all on a first-come, first-served basis with the small Latin letter “ß”, also known as a “sharp s” or “eszett”, as of 16 November.
DENIC commenced a sunrise period on 26 October to allow registrants with a domain name that included the “ss” instead of the ß to register the equivalent with the ß. The sunrise period saw 5,172 domain names registered and these were able to go live on 16 November when rule changes allowing their use came into effect.
The small boost to registrations saw a total of around 13,000 domain names including an “ß” registered after two days of registrations and will most likely see .DE pass the 14 million registration mark by the end of November. There are currently 13,975,610 active .DE domain names.
“When the new standard was approved, it was clear to us that we did not want to withhold the option to register .de domains with names containing the letter “ß” from the Internet community. Now the entire german alphabet can be used in .de domain names. Thus we are bridging a previously existing gap”, Sabine Dolderer, member of DENIC’s Executive Board, explained DENIC’s action.
For more information on the introduction of domain names with the “ß”, see:
www.denic.de/de/domains/internationalized-domain-names/einfuehrung-eszett.html [in German]
To register your .DE domain name, check out Europe Registry here.