In a surprise at The Munich Conference on New Top Level Domains, contracts were signed for the .berlin and .wien (Vienna) new gTLDs with ICANN – the first two cities to have their contracts signed.
The signing follows the passing of technical tests of the backbone operator, TLD Box, a subsidiary of nic.at, the registry for the .at (Austria) country code.
“We are glad that our work over the last eight years we have achieved our goal,” Krischenowski, founder and general manager of DotBerlin told Golem.de, who also said the signing was unexpected.
Krischenowski hopes that .berlin domain names will be available in the first quarter of 2014 for somewhere between €29 and €49 while Ronald Schwärzler, Operations Manager for punkt.wien. expects .wien domains to be available in March 2014.
Note: a previous version of this article noted .berlin domains would launch in the final quarter of 2013.