The South Australian government and its capital, the city of Adelaide, have declined to apply for the .ADELAIDE top level domain citing they cannot justify the costs involved, saying they are too high.
South Australian Information Economy Minister Tom Kenyon says the figures don’t stack up. “The benefits promoted by ARI do not amount to a compelling business case,” he told Adelaide’s Advertiser newspaper.
“It’s difficult to justify the additional cost of the TLD registration and the required ongoing management when there does not appear to be a problem in locating information.”
A spokesperson for the Adelaide City Council, meanwhile, said that in addition to the application fee to ICANN, a further $50,000 to $100,000 has to be paid out for consulting fees, the Advertiser also reported.
And on top of that figure, the spokesperson says, there are annual operating costs of around $125,000-to-$175,000 to be taken into consideration.
“The process is very expensive and does not provide council with significant value for money,” she added.
“Council currently owns a number of regular domain names which align with businesses as well as specific marketing of council strategies, initiatives and programs.”
Offering a different point of view though was Ben Murray, the director of branding consultancy BMD Brands, who told The Advertiser that destination domains are a branding “dream come true” and thinks local governments are being short-sighted.
“For South Australia or Adelaide to be able to attach itself to the businesses and activities that people come to our state for, is an outstanding branding opportunity,” he says.
“The State Government needs to remove its tinfoil hat, show confidence in our state and make this small investment – ‘.ADELAIDE’ or ‘.SOUTHAUSTRALIA’ would assist our businesses in competing nationally and internationally.”
ARI Registry Services CEO Adrian Kinderis also spoke to The Advertiser and said his organisation has been trying to convince the State Government and the council of the benefits of TLDs since 2009.
“It’s disappointing – especially for a city like Adelaide, which puts great effort into putting itself on the global map through its various branding exercises,” chief executive Adrian Kinderis told The Advertiser.
“It could be three years before this opportunity is offered again and what Adelaide risks is that there could be another Adelaide somewhere in the globe that could take that name.”
Mr Kinderis also said that owning a domain allows governments to create an official one-stop shop to promote their cities, link local businesses and boost their online identity.
And while it is costing interstate governments $US185,000 to apply for each new suffix, Mr Kinderis believes the operating costs would be recouped by NSW and Victorian businesses wishing to align their own websites with the official government domains.