NEW YORK (AP) -- Businesses and organizations that want to show that New York City is their domain can start applying for a ".nyc" web address, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.
It's the first phase in launching the new ".nyc" domain, which has been in the works since last year.
The top-level domain designation means web addresses can end in ".nyc" instead of more familiar suffixes such as ".com" or ".org."
City officials have said the ".nyc" domain will help New York businesses set themselves apart from competitors elsewhere, will make it easy for residents and visitors to pinpoint local services and will spread the city's image as a growing tech hub. Indeed, the city's website explaining the domain calls it "the ultimate New York City address."
"There is no shortage of New Yorkers ready to claim their exclusive .nyc identities online, and this is their chance to reserve their piece of this city's valuable digital real estate," de Blasio said in a statement Monday.
As a start, registered trademark holders with a physical address in the city will be able to apply for a ".nyc" address through June 20. They can apply through one of over 30 authorized registrars.
Fees will be determined by the registrars. A portion will benefit the city.
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration got initial approval for a ".nyc" domain in July. It came after the agency in charge of the online address system, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers, undertook the largest expansion in the system's history. Nearly 2,000 bids for new domain names — from ".app" to ".pizza" to words in Chinese and Arabic — were submitted.
After ".nyc" sign-up periods for trademark holders and other groups, such as city-affiliated names, the process will open to the general public on Oct. 8.