UPU picks Afilias to manage .post top-level Internet domain

The Universal Postal Union has selected Irish-based company Afilias as the registry operator for its forthcoming .post project. The UN-affiliated global postal group said the agreement with Dublin-based Afilias brings its top-level domain for postal e-services one step closer to implementation.

Under the deal, the infrastructure should be put in place by Afilias so the .post project can go live this year.

The UPU has been developing the .post project since securing the rights to the top-level domain in 2009. The idea is for national postal services to be able to offer digital mail services in which customers would have email addresses ending in “.post” rather than “.com” or equivalents.

The top level domain would also allow websites with addresses ending in “.post”.

As registry operator, Afilias is responsible for ensuring the top level domain runs safely and securely, and that .post domain names match up to required Internet Protocol (IP) numbers.

A period of technical testing is now to be carried out before the .post top-level domain can become operational. Once complete, the overseer of global Internet domains, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will officially hand over the .post domain to the UPU.

The UPU said once this happens, posts will be able to register and use .post domain names, subject to UPU terms and conditions.

“Strong technical partner”

UPU director general Edouard Dayan said choosing a strong technical partner was “crucial” to the .post project.

“If we are able to adapt postal services to the new technical and commercial environment, we are creating value for our members and we will also be in line with the times in which we are living,” he said.

Afilias, which was founded in 2001 and currently manages 17 top-level domains, said it was dedicating itself to the .post “vision” of preparing the postal services of the world for the future.

“We are excited to be part of what is likely to be the next generation of the evolution of the Posts,” said Ram Mohan, the chief technology officer at Afilias, “and about the innovation that is likely to be unleashed as a result of .post going live.”

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