Monash takes the lead with its own top-level domainhttp://monash.edu.
The university is Australia’s biggest, with five campuses in Melbourne and others in Malaysia and South Africa. At least two .monash websites are expected to go live shortly and eventually the university will phase .monash into all its digital communications.
The global governing body for domain names, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – ICANN – has been evaluating new top-level domains or TLDs following the widespread use of .com, .net, .uk and others on the internet.
New TLDs that have already been approved to go ‘live’ on the internet include domains in non-Roman script, such as Arabic and Chinese, and generic domains such as .menu.
An Australian company, ARI Registry Services, is the technology provider for some of the new TLDs.
Its chief executive, Adrian Kinderis, said .monash had beaten major web and communication companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple and 600 other major brands around the world to have its custom domain suffix added to the internet.
''Monash University is the very first '.brand name' that's been released in the new top-level domain programme,'' Kinderis said.
He said the .brand name TLDs would be a marketing tool to support a company's digital strategy: ''Largely, what it's about is creating a source of truth on the internet, saying to the world if you want to find anything about Monash University, for example, it must end in .monash.''
ICANN has developed the new TLD scheme to provide more competition and choice among current top-level domains such as .com, .info, .net and .org.
More than 1,900 organisations have submitted applications to have their own domains issued and ICANN is planning a staged release this year of the first 1,000 top-level domains in what will be one of the largest changes to the world wide web since its inception.
Monash’s chief information officer Dr Ian Tebbett said ICANN’s delegation reflected the “university’s commitment to embracing new technology and expansion in overseas education and research activities”.
“The .monash global top-level domain name will allow the university to manage all of its domain names under the global identity of Monash,” Tebbett said.
“Monash recognises how the internet has dramatically changed the world, including the education and research activities of the university.”
He said greater control over its content and domains would strengthen the university’s online presence and better represent Monash as a global institution.