Starting this year there is a whole new domain suffix (the .com part) being added: .tel.
.tel isn’t just another way to switch up your websites address (like .org, .net, and .tv), it’s a permanent place online for all of your personal and business contact information. So now mikedesjardins.tel would be the only place I need to update my contact information and all of my clients, friends, and contacts would have it available to them. Think of it as your virtual business card (yes, I know, finally!).
Trademark holders were able to register their .TEL names since December 3, 2008 and that phase called “Sunrise” is closing soon on February 2, 2009. So if you have a trademarked name, apply for it now before it is too late (take a look at telnic.org and see all the big companies with their .TEL names already). For everyone else, it will be first-come-first-served. It will cost $375 for a 3 year term to pre-register a .TEL during a premium priced phase called “Landrush” and this starts February 3, 2009.
People with common names like John Smith should also apply right away (adding your middle initial will certainly increase your chances since that makes your name less common). Those with more unique names can probably wait until the “General Availability” phase starting March 24th and it costs only $19.99 for a year.
One of the local top 40 under 40 winners, Cybele Negris, owns a company that helps people get their .tel setup and she’s posted a longer explanation than this about how the process works: http://www.webnames.ca/tel