It's taken long enough – eight years to be precise – but the .eu domain is now scheduled to be available from this year. At last, the evil empire will no longer have to offer as its web site www.europa.eu.int but can join the ranks of nations that have their own top-level domain.
So says the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body that oversees technical matters related to the Net. It has finally approved the application from the European Registry of Internet Domain names (EURid). Companies will be able to start registering their trademarked names with the .eu suffix in a four-month "sunrise period" which will begin in late 2005.
During this period, only public bodies and holders of rights, such as trademarks and company names, will be allowed to register the names using the .eu top-level domain. After that, general registrations will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis.
The only question is then, who will be the first brave soul to attempt to register www.f**k.eu.