Introduced 2005
TLD type Sponsored top-level domain
Status Approved
Registry Telnic Limited
Sponsor Telnic Limited
Intended use Contact Details
Actual use +300,000 [January 2011 - Source: Telnic]
Registration restrictions three-character .tel domains which can be used to publish contact information, not host websites[1][2]
Structure Direct second-level registrations are permitted; single digits and single-numeric domains are restricted
Documents ICANN New sTLD RFP Application
Dispute policies UDRP, Sunrise dispute resolution procedure[3]
Website Telnic

The domain name .tel is a top-level domain (TLD) in the Domain Name System (DNS) of the Internet. It was approved by ICANN as a sponsored top-level domain, and is operated by Telnic.[4] Telnic announced in January 2011 that over 300,000 domains had been registered since the start of general availability on March 24, 2009.

The domain's purpose is to provide a single name space for Internet communications services. Subdomain registrations serve as a single point of contact for individuals and businesses, providing a global contact directory service by hosting all types of contact information directly in the Domain Name System, without the need to build, host or manage a traditional web service. Additionally, as of July 2010, every tel domain acts as an OpenID and an increasing number of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) clients can address a tel domain name directly.[5] The TLD implementation also supports the hCard micro-format.[6]


Administration of domains

Telnic started publicly accepting applications for name registrations on February 3, 2009 after a closed Sunrise period for trademark holders. At present, information in .tel can be controlled by the owner through a website control panel that Telnic has created for registrars to provide to their customers, or through free clients for BlackBerry, Microsoft Outlook, iPhone, Android and some third party VoIP softphone clients. With the introduction of support for OAuth in July 2010, however, new third-party clients and services are available to tel registrants for publishing records to their domains securely, including the possibility of editing information offline via SMS gateways.[7] The control panel is an open source application, and can be changed or completely replaced by registrars, as the application programming interfaces required to manage tel information in the DNS were released by Telnic in October 2008.

When viewed over the Web, all tel domains point directly to a Telnic proxy webpage that is populated on the fly presenting the respective domain name owner's contact data stored within the DNS system. tel domains can also be accessed without opening a browser on many devices through open source applications[8] or through direct DNS lookups.

Technical overview

In contrast to other top-level domains, tel information is stored directly within the Domain Name System (DNS), within the actual domain name record, as opposed to the DNS simply returning details (such as IP addresses) of the machines on which information can be found.

As Telnic has enabled the DNS records to be encrypted using 1024-bit encryption[9] and stored in sub-folders which are hidden until paired with a public private key handshake with individuals, there is protection from spammers. As tel also supports any type of contact information, concierge services like temporary email addresses, temporary telephone numbers and so on can all be utilized for additional protection of public information.

Reliability of data

The tel TLD was released to trademark holders only until February 3, 2009, perhaps suggest that the resulting database of contact information can somehow be trusted as the official contact information of the rightful owner of those trademarks. However, after the short period of registrations restricted to trademark holders only (the Sunrise period[10]), anyone willing to pay a premium price was allowed to buy any domain name (the Landrush period[11]) regardless of who owned the trademark.

Furthermore, during General Availability,[12] anyone is able to register any name (assuming that it is available for registration) without paying a premium price.

The information held under the .tel domain will be no more accurate or trustworthy than any other user defined data held in the DNS system. It will be down to individual .tel owners to choose what they wish to store there.

As with all other gTLDs, trademark owners can utilize the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) to claim trademarked domains back.

Differences from domain mobi

Since some of the services that are expected to use tel domains can be achieved on mobile telephones, there may be overlap with the intended use of the mobi domain, which was also approved by ICANN in the same round.

However, tel is about publishing contact data: phone numbers, SIP addresses and so on directly in the DNS, not on html-based websites.,[13] whereas the focus of the .mobi domain is providing web sites and other content formatted specifically for the user interface available on mobile phones and other mobile devices.

Alternative usage proposal

Pulver.com (operated by Jeff Pulver) also submitted an application[14] for the tel TLD, but had a different intent. This proposal involved telephone number style numeric identifiers. Alternative viewpoints claimed that this either complemented or conflicted with Telephone Number Mapping (ENUM). Purely numeric identifiers have now been approved for release by Telnic[15] and will be released later in 2011, with the restriction that single-digit tel domains be withheld in order to avoid confusion with ENUM.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • tel — tel, telle [ tɛl ] adj., pron. et nominal • Xe; lat. talis I ♦ (Marquant la ressemblance, la similitude) 1 ♦ Semblable, du même genre. ⇒ pareil. Je suis étonné qu il tienne de tels propos. « Il n y a rien de tel dans le manuscrit conservé à Rome… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • tel — tel, elle (tèl, tè l ) adj. 1°   Qui est de même, de la même qualité. •   L ordre que j ai tenu en ceci a été tel : premièrement j ai tâché de trouver..., DESC. Méth. VI, 2. •   Cieux ! a t on vu jamais, a t on rien vu de tel !, CORN. Pol. III, 2 …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • tel — tel·e·gram; tel·e·graph; tel·eo·sau·ri·an; tel·e·ost; tel·e·path; tel·e·phone; tel·e·scope; tel·ex; tel·ford; tel·lu·ri·an; ar·is·to·tel·ic; broc·a·tel; car·tel·is·tic; car·tel·li·za·tion; cas·tel·let; den·tel·lat·ed; dot·tel; in·tel·lec·tive·ly; …   English syllables

  • .tel — Введение 2005 Тип домена общий домен верхнего уровня Статус одобрен Регистратор список регистраторов Организатор …   Википедия

  • tel — TEL, [t]elle. adj. Pareil, semblable, de mesme, de la mesme qualité. Il n y a pas en ce pays. cy de telles coustumes. il n y a pas de tels animaux. je ne vis jamais rien de tel. il tint à peu prés un tel discours. il est tel que son pere. tel qu… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • tel — TEL, teluri, s.n. 1. Instrument de sârmă cu mâner folosit în bucătărie pentru a bate albuşul de ou, frişca, crema etc. 2. Resort, arc de sârmă (de oţel) folosit la canapele, somiere, fotolii etc.; drot. ♦ (Rar) Sârmă care susţine şi întăreşte… …   Dicționar Român

  • tel — Tel, Talis, Huiusmodi, Eiusmodi, Istiusmodi. Je suis tel, Sic sum. Que ferois tu avec un tel homme? Quid huic homini facias? Tel quel, etc. Tale scilicet quale, etc. Je suis tel que cestuy la, Sum quod ille. Tu es tout tel que tu estois paravant …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • .tel — est un domaine de premier niveau commandité d Internet. Ce domaine est destiné aux compagnies et individus qui veulent offrir un accès centralisé à leur numéro de téléphone ou à leurs autres coordonnées (par exemple, adresse, numéro de fax,… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tel — steht für: Technische Einsatzleitung Telekommunikation, so zum Beispiel bei: EWE TEL OneTel das Klopffestigkeitsadditiv Tetraethylblei (von engl. Tetra ethyl lead) The European Library (Web Portal für Nationalbibliotheken in Europa)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tel. — steht für: Technische Einsatzleitung Telekommunikation, so zum Beispiel bei: EWE TEL OneTel das Klopffestigkeitsadditiv Tetraethylblei (von engl. Tetra ethyl lead) The European Library (Web Portal für Nationalbibliotheken in Europa)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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