DotCoop has announced ICANN extended the contract for the .coop top level domain on 16 November to allow them to continue managing the TLD for the cooperative movement for the next 10 years.
.COOP launched in 2001 and is managed by DotCooperation LLC (DotCoop), which is jointly owned by the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) and the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA).
It’s the second time the contract has been extended and negotiations began in 2016 for the current contract renewal. DotCoops’s communications officer Tom Ivey told Coop News the process took over two years due to the changing environment and regulations within domain name industry.
“Since 2012, ICANN has opened up the market and there are over 1,000 namespaces (TLDs) so the standards for operating them have changed,” Ivey said.
“We are in the age of the new internet. In this crowded space online where everyone has the space they want, we needed to safeguard this domain we have. We were one of the first to be added to the internet after .com. It’s important that we managed to secure this space for the co-operative movement.”
ICANN also agreed for the domain to continue to be available only to bona fide co-operatives and co-operative organisations.
“Most domain names out there have no such restrictions, they can be used by everybody. This is fundamental, it means that if a co-op uses this domain it’s like a badge, they are verified, they joined this co-op movement,” added Ivey.