Launch of the new .swiss internet domain

Biel/Bienne, 08.09.2015 - Public or private businesses and organisations can now apply to acquire a .swiss internet address. During the initial phase launched on 7 September 2015, applications can relate only to trademarks registered in accordance with an ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) process, names associated with public bodies and distinctive signs protected in Switzerland. At a press conference this morning, federal councillor Doris Leuthard, the head of DETEC, stressed the importance to the Swiss economy of the availability of this new "shop window" abroad.

Since yesterday, businesses and organisations have been able to submit an application for a .swiss internet address. In this way the Confederation, which has acquired the operation of this new domain, is enabling them to have at their disposal, for their internet presence, a platform of trust which unambiguously establishes their link with Switzerland, stated federal councillor Doris Leuthard.

The Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) is charged with managing the assignment of the new domain names. Its Director Philipp Metzger outlined the assignment procedure. For his part, Pascal Jenny, director of Tourismus Arosa, explained ".swiss will stimulate positive feelings among potential Swiss Tourism guests. Insert .swiss represents the quality, beauty and security of our country. In Arosa we therefore hope that the future domain www.arosa.swiss will create an even better impression among guests from all over the world".

Opening of .swiss in two stages

In a first stage, i.e. until 9 November 2015, applications to acquire a .swiss address can relate only to marks registered in the "Trademark Clearinghouse" (a trademark registration system set up by ICANN, the corporation which is responsible for the management of internet addresses at the global level), names associated with public bodies and other distinctive marks and signs protected in Switzerland, such as, for example, company names. Only private entities registered in the Swiss Register of Commerce and public organisations may submit an application. After verifying the validity of the dossiers, OFCOM will publish all applications for 20 days, in order to enable third parties either to submit a rival application or to notify any problem. The first assignment decisions will be made in December 2015.

The second phase will begin on 11 January 2016. Applications may relate to any type of name, in so far as it originates from a public or private entity which has a base and an actual administrative site in Switzerland. The name which is applied for must have a sufficient objective link with the applicant.

Assignment of addresses

OFCOM manages the .swiss domain on behalf of the Confederation. It checks, publishes and validates every application in accordance with the principles laid down in the Ordinance on Internet Domains (OID). However, it does not register applications directly; these must be submitted via a registrar. A list of registrars is published on the www.nic.swiss site. Registrars act in competition and can fix their selling price at will. They must pay an annual fee of CHF 90.00 to OFCOM to cover the costs of assignment and management of a standard domain name, in accordance with the DETEC Ordinance on Fees in the Telecommunications Sector. Current market prices vary between approximately CHF 120.00 and CHF 200.00.

If several applications relate to the same name, the domain name is assigned to the applicant who provides the greatest added value to all or part of the Swiss community. Consequently, public bodies take precedence over the owners of trademark rights or of a company name. Multiple applications may, moreover, be dealt with, depending on the individual case, by an auction sale or by a decision not to assign the address.

Since they are of particular interest to all or part of the Swiss community, generic denominations such as www.hotel.swiss or www.watch.swiss will be assigned from 11 January 2016 onwards in accordance with specific rules following a call for projects or a spontaneous application. This procedure, termed a naming mandate, makes it possible to guarantee that these addresses will be put at the service of the entirety of the community concerned, for example a federation representing a trade or profession.

List of registrars: www.nic.swiss

The origin of .swiss

.swiss was born following the decision in June 2011 by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to liberalise the creation of new generic domains, such as .movie, .hotel or .job. Names designating countries were not on the list, unlike the adjective swiss. The Confederation applied to ICANN to acquire its operation, with the aim of protecting and promoting the interests of the country. The agreement with ICANN was signed on 16 October 2014. Management of the .swiss domain was entrusted to OFCOM, which then became the .swiss registry.
The .swiss domain does not compete with the .ch domain, which remains active. These two domains are differentiated by their objectives and their use, and by the public for which they are intended.

 


Address for enquiries

Federal Office of Communication OFCOM
Press service, +41 58 460 55 50, media@bakom.admin.ch



Publisher

Federal Office of Communications
http://www.ofcom.admin.ch

Last modification 03.10.2018

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