“People will soon be able to visit .gent websites” – Combell and .GENT in the Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad
This fall, visiting www.tax.gent or www.facebook.gent will be possible, because Ghent has its own domain extension on the Internet. Yahoo, Twitter and Chanel already jumped at the chance. And soon, everyone will be able to request a .gent address. “www.there.gent or www.deter.gent? Everything is possible!”
Recently, everyone has been able to visit websites that do not end in .com or .be, since the international organisation that manages domains on the Internet allowed the creation of 1,400 new extensions all over the world, like .sport and .news. The new extensions in our country are: .vlaanderen, .brussels and .gent.
The first “ghentised” websites are now available. “Currently, only large companies and owners of registered trademarks can apply for a .gent. This fall, registration will be open to all”, says Jimmy Cappaert from Combell, the company that manages the .gent extension.
“The expansion was necessary because .com and .be websites are becoming way too numerous. It is now hard for companies to find a decent address that is still available. The .gent extension will give them more options. And it will also be a very interesting way of promoting businesses to tourists.”
At this point, large companies, such as Telenet and Belfius, have already taken the bait. “But in the meantime, international IT giants like Facebook, Instagram, Yahoo, Twitter and also the high fashion house Chanel have also applied for a .gent address”, says Cappaert.
“We also noticed that these same companies did not apply for a domain name ending in .brussels or .vlaanderen. The question as to why they only want a .gent address is still to be answered.” According to Cappaert, the fact that “gent” is sometimes used as an abbreviation of “gentleman” is completely irrelevant.
A Ghentish website will currently cost you quite a bit of money. Is it actually more than just a nice detail? “Absolutely; an Internet address could not be clearer!”, says Cappaert. “The City of Ghent also intends to gradually have all its websites end in .gent. Almost four hundred addresses have just been requested. .Gent will definitely be very recognisable.’
From 17 November, everyone will be able to apply for .gent websites. Everything will be possible, including funny addresses like www.deter.gent or even www.there.gent. “Everyone will be free to register cool names. However, if someone applies for a registered trademark, the company to which the trademark belongs will have the right to cancel the registration.”