Obtaining a locality domain

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2024-06-09 02:00:07

In the late ’90s, a Cincinnatian’s main on-ramp to the Information Superhighway was through Cincinnati Bell’s Fuse service. (We got countless AOL diskettes, too, but their hotlines were always tied up.) A Fuse subscription came with both local and toll-free dial-in numbers, Netscape Navigator 3.01 Gold, as well as a textbook covering the rules of the road: netiquette on mailing lists and IRC, the basic USENET structure, setting the appropriate cache size in Navigator.

Like every country, the U.S. has its own top-level domain: .us. For the most part, it hasn’t changed at all since the days of screeching modem tones. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, part of the Commerce Department, contracts with GoDaddy to manage the overall .us top-level domain. They make it easy to get a domain directly under .us – for a fee. But if you really want, you can still get a domain with as many periods as an IPv4 address, free of charge. A locality domain, which includes a city and state, has a quaint charm to it. I got one to represent my hometown, Cincinnati:

Wikipedia has a good rundown of the complex structure of .us’s locality namespace, but the gist is that you can own a piece of it. The process is a bit more involved than filling out an online form, but for most localities, it’s completely free of charge:

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