During 2011, ICANN – which holds the overall responsibility for the IP-protocols and the generic top-level domains such as .COM and .NET – made it possible for organisations to apply for their own top-level domain. This was a landmark in the development of online addressing. Suddenly, organizations were able to control and use its very own top-level domain instead of using a .COM, SE, .NO or the like. The applicants were everything from multinational corporations that for various reasons wanted to control their own top-level domain, to those that wanted to create a commercial top-level domain for a specific business or interested, to finally the cities or other geographic zones that wanted to create a unique top-level domain. Among the latter were applicants such as among many others Berlin, London, Paris and Sydney.
In November of 2011, City of Stockholm together with Ports Group took the initiative to start looking at the possibility to apply for their own top-level domain name, what would later become .STOCKHOLM. Initially, the mission was about investigating what really applied for the applications for a top-level domain made by cities. At this point there were little to no information regarding this, and no significant exchange of information between the applying cities. Ports Group immediately realised the need for a backend registry to handle the technical platform for the top-level domain. Ports Group recommended the organisation Afilias, which Ports Group was involved in founding back in the year 2000. Afilias is currently the backend registry for several generic top-level domains, such as .INFO and .MOBI, but is also handling several country code top-level domains such as India’s .IN. City of Stockholm and Ports Group formulated an action plan for the entire application process, which Ports Group took overall responsibility for. The application process went on during the spring of 2012, a hectic period due to the deadline on the 31st of March that year. The application process was immensely extensive and included many steps, such formulating a long term plan as well as a detailed account of how the administration of the applied top-level domain was to be secured. The final application was published on the 1st of May 2012 and the top-level domain was finally approved during 2015. The top-level domain .STOCKHOLM has not as of yet, such as .BERLIN and .LONDON, been launched. The reason for this is that unlike .BERLIN and .LONDON, this top-level domain will, at least initially, only be used by City of Stockholm. Starting in 2018, a number of own domain names/sites will start to appear under .STOCKHOLM. This is something that we at Ports Group are very much looking forward to and we will continuously update this customer case as the development of .STOCKHOLM moves forward.
In April of 2018, Marcelle Abou Haidar, project manager at the city of Stockholm, appeared in an interview in Swedish magazine Computer Sweden and talked about the upcoming launch of .STOCKHOLM. Read it here (in Swedish) or here (in a rough translation to English).