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Tue 26th Sep 09:34 2006: .mobi

I hadn't head of the new .mobi Top-Level Domain (TLD), but registration opens today. More info at and, but the key thing is that sites under the .mobi TLD have to comply with .mobi's standards. From the FAQ:

Q: Do I have to have a web site associated with my .mobi registration to be compliant?

A: No, but once you have a site, it must be compliant. If you wish to put up content at once, dotMobi has a "parked page" template as well as a template for a simple web site that you can use. You can access these tools in our Development Forum.

And from the standards doc (Section 2.2):

mTLD will audit all dotmobi domains for compliance to the mandatory rules. mTLD will audit these domains in whatever way or frequency decided by mTLD to be practical and reasonable. When a web site using a dotmobi name is not compliant with the mandatory rules, an exception report for the dotmobi name will be created by mTLD.

Dotmobi names not in compliance with mandatory rules will have 60 days to become compliant. mTLD shall send two notices to the registrant's registrar asking the registrar to contact the offending registrant with the exception report. The registrar will be required to provide a 60 day, then a 30 day notice of this non-compliance. If a name is not in compliance with 15 days left to go, then mTLD may chose to contact the registrant directly after making best efforts to make contact through their registrar.

Dotmobi names that are not brought back into compliance shall be removed from the zone file for resolution on the internet. The dotmobi names shall not be deleted from the registration system, but their name will be placed on hold until they are in compliance with the mandatory rules.

So .... I can have a .mobi domain ("m" and "o" are on the same key, so .mobi has the same problem as .com on a phone keypad) but only if what I put there complies with the phone manufacturers' standards (.mobi is run by 3, Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, etc - see for the list). That's like saying that you can have a .com domain, but only if your website works on a Microsoft PC. Okay, it might not be much use if it doesn't, and while the vast majority of websites don't validate (this site included), it would be nice if they did. Enforced compliance in exchange for the right to own a .mobi domain, when I can have a .com domain for a couple of dollars? I don't see the incentive, for anyone other than the mobile phone manufacturers and networks, who seem to think that people will produce crippled content to work with their phones, simply because there's a .mobi domain in it (for around $30, at that!). To the manufacturers and networks, there are around 2bn mobile phones around the world; if only there was content for them all...

I wouldn't normally wish ill for a TLD of all things, but this seems to be a big backwards step - there is no opportunity for the kind of innovations we are used to on the web, which have brought good and bad things (from ActiveX to AJAX), but most of all, has brought progress, and the successful ideas survive.

Comments for '.mobi'

Tue 26 Sep 2006 @ 13:03 GMT : Steve Parker
Yay, I scooped the Register
Tue 26 Sep 2006 @ 14:10 GMT : Steve Parker
And slashdot

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