The first collection of second-level domains using the new .melboune top-level domain will be live on the Internet from tomorrow.
The first .melbourne names include the new online home for the TLD, www.live.melbourne, and the home pages of a number of businesses that have been appointed 'ambassadors' for the domain, including the Bank of Melbourne, the Melbourne Festival and the Flower Drum restaurant.
Until now, the site detailing the .melbourne process, nic.melbourne, has been the only live .melbourne second-level domain.
Tomorrow also marks the start of the 'landrush' process for the domain. The landrush phase runs until 9 November and will give individuals, businesses and other organisations a chance to apply for .melbourne domains.
The landrush phase is "an important mechanism for the launch of a name because otherwise you're effectively giving those who happen to be in the right place at the night time a chance to effectively slam the registry in order to get the name," said ARI Registry Services CEO Adrian Kinderis.
ARI Registry Services managed the application for .melbourne to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and is administering the new TLD.
If multiple parties apply for the same second-level domain during the landrush process they will enter an auction process.
The landrush phase follows a sunrise period for IP mark holders, an expression of interest phase for government agencies and a .au priority period for organisations that wanted identical second-level domains in the .com.au and .melbourne namespaces.
So far around 1000 domains have been allocated through those processes, Kinderis said. "So it's still very much an open namespace and a greenfields opportunity for folks to come in, which is why this landrush phase is important," the CEO said.
"We're excited by the numbers we've seen — it's exceeded expectations up until now," Kinderis said.
"We have had a number of enquiries from the public leading up to this point, so we're expecting thousands of registrations during the landrush phase."
Following landrush, on 12 November .melbourne will enter general availability, with people able to apply for domains in the same way they apply for .com.au domains, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Sydney is also getting its own domain. Kinderis said that .sydney is anticipated to be available for public registration by the end of March next year.