ICANN grants UPU ‘.post’ top-level domain

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) have signed the contract that grants the UPU managing authority over the top-level domain name, .post (dot.post). The UPU is the first United Nations agency to obtain a piece of real-estate space on the Internet for the global industry it represents. ICANN President Rod Beckstrom and UPU director general Edouard Dayan signed the contract at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dayan said the .post project is an important initiative for developing and providing secure and trusted postal services over the Internet.

“Postal services will explore new frontiers and basically go where no postal services have gone before,” said

Dayan. “Many Posts already successfully offer a range of electronic products and services that meet customers’ new communication needs, .post will enable the UPU to reach the full potential of its original mission, to build a worldwide space without borders where personal and business communication is facilitated in a secure environment. Postal services have facilitated the exchange of information for centuries; they were at the forefront of globalisation and today continue to extend their reach across physical and digital boundaries.”

“We are extremely pleased by this agreement because it marks an historic first,” said Rod Beckstrom, president and chief executive officer of ICANN. “This contract with the UPU is the first agreement that ICANN has signed with a specialised agency of the United Nations and an intergovernmental institution. It is an important contribution to the Internet, and will help us expand ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model to include as many global voices as possible.”

Unparalleled reach

As a platform for extended postal services, .post will have many possible applications that expand the postal brand and business to the Internet, ensuring that mail received with the .post extension comes from a recognised postal-service provider.

.post will be used for developing e-commerce and facilitating international trade, enabling small entrepreneurs to offer their services more easily. It will also facilitate e-identification, linking electronic addresses to physical postal ones to serve as legal proof of a person’s identity. Furthermore, the domain name could eventually act as a bridge between national governments for the transmission and recognition of official documents.

“With .post, we will be able to extend the universal postal service and make the Post a multi-channel service provider, enabling us to reach customers at any time and anywhere they are,” said Faouzi Belhassen, a director at the Tunisian Post. Tunisia chairs the UPU’s e-Services Group.

As its guardian, the UPU will develop, implement and monitor governance rules for .post and manage the attribution of domain names. These will be available to postal sector stakeholders who meet strict eligibility criteria.

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