The group responsible for regulating Internet domain names last week finally agreed to roll out Europe's own top level name.
First proposed in 1999, the .eu -- for European Union -- domain will be managed by EURid, a Belgium-based organization, said the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
By the fourth quarter, EURid hopes to begin the "sunrise period," four months when only public bodies and holders of trademarks may apply for the corresponding domain name. The sunrise period, which will be run by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, is designed to stymie "cybersquatters," people who register scores of addresses in the hopes of cashing in later by re-selling them.
Once the sunrise period is over, addresses will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
A tentative timetable for the launch of .eu is available on EURid's Web site.