City Domain Names - The Internet User's view

Local Web addresses could improve relationship between the state and civil society / Survey by German ISP association eco

The majority of private Internet users in Germany favour the increased usage of local domain endings as in .city or .region in the future because the more memorable names will help them to better find the information that they are looking for. That is the core result of a representative survey that was commissioned by eco Verband der deutschen Internetwirtschaft and conducted by the market research company eResult at the beginning of October. eco is the registered association of German Internet enterprises (

The question whether Internet addresses such as www.mayor.munich or www.taxoffice.munich could help with the more efficient use of the Internet offerings of a city or a region was being answered with „yes“ by 63,8 percent of the participants, 28,9 percent said “possibly” and just 7,3 percent answered „no“. To question which Internet address would be ideal to find the Lost & Found office (Fundbüro) in ones own city, 43 percent of the citizens of Munich preferred the address www.fundbuero.munich. Common addresses such as (26 percent) or (21 percent) follow with a marked distance. Almost no support (8 percent) is given to a general address like

Close to 84% of Internet users think that regional Internet addresses will generally help to better find Internet offerings. Only 17% of Internet users feel that their usage could be confusing or that it would not be that important. Tourists in particular might find better orientation in strange towns and regions. Locals would benefit from better search results for products and services and improved access to the Internet services of public administrations.

„We can state that private Internet users want their intuition to be considered when it comes to naming web services“, commented eco-CEO Harald A. Summa. „We recommend cities and regions to take over the perspective of the user who is focussed on finding easy and uncomplicated answers to his questions“. A web address should neither be so general that searching takes longer than necessary nor so complicated that no one can memorize it. The German Bundestag has, after detailed consultations with the appropriate ministries and stakeholders such as the eco and the BITKOM association and the German Cities Council (Deutscher Städtetag) stated its support for the introduction of Top-Level Domains for cities and regions.

There are some 11 million domains registered under the German ccTLD .de. It seems obvious that, as the penetration grades continue to rise, the available name space is not sufficient any more. Cities, public authorities and commerce have a strong demand for information that can be found in an easy and quick way. Local Internet addresses that care for the intuition of users could solve this problem.


The participants were selected on the basis of the AGOF-Internet users profile. AGOF (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Online-Forschung) is the body recognized in Germany as setting the standards for Internet research. A total of 1,814 users from the 15 largest German cities finished the questionnaire; 975 persons have reliably answered all Period. The poll took place from October 4 to October 10, 2007.


* eco association website
* .berlin initiative
* .nyc initiative
* .paris initiative