On 7 September 2015 the Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) opened applications for the new .swiss domain.
The process of creating the .swiss domain started in June 2011 when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) decided to liberalise the creation of new generic domains such as .hotel. ICANN hadn’t planned new domains designating countries, however the Swiss government decided to apply to ICANN to create the .swiss domain. In October 2014 ICANN gave a green light to the project and the Swiss government assigned OFCOM the job of managing applications and maintaining the registry.
The .swiss domain does not sustitute the .ch domain, which remains active.
Two application phases
Applications are organised in two phases. The first, which runs until 9 November 2015, is for those with trademarks registered in the “Trademark Clearinghouse” (a trademark registration system set up by ICANN). In addition, only public organisations or private entities registered with a Swiss Register of Commerce may apply during the first phase. After verifying the validity of the applications, OFCOM will publish them for 20 days, so that others can submit a rival application or notify OFCOM of any problem. The first approvals will be announced in December 2015.
The second phase begins on 11 January 2016. These applications will be open to any operation with a base in Switzerland. The name must relate sufficiently to the activities of the applicant.
While OFCOM manages the .swiss domain on behalf of the Confederation it does not take applications directly. These must be submitted via a registrar. A list of registrars is published here. Registrars compete and are free to choose their selling price. They must pay an annual fee of CHF 90.00 to OFCOM to cover the costs of assignment and management. According to OFCOM’s website current market prices vary from around CHF 120.00 to CHF 200.00.
Some highly sought after domains such as www.hotel.swiss or www.watch.swiss will be assigned from 11 January 2016 in accordance with specific rules. Priority will be given to uses that deliver most to the entire community involved, for example organisations that represent an industry, trade or profession.
Dot swiss website (in English)