Frequently Asked Questions

The .tel is a service that allows individuals and businesses alike to store and manage all their contact information and keywords directly in the DNS without the need to build, host or manage a website. A typical top-level domain (TLD) stores IP addresses in the DNS and returns them when queried. The .tel DNS prohibits storage of A-records (address records) and operates with other record types: NAPTR, TXT and LOC to enable direct storage of contact data; see Record Types.

Companies can store different types of information under their .tel domain:
1. Contact Info: Telephone, Mobile, Email, VOIP, Fax, and so on
2. Content Links: Websites, portals, blogs, links to partners or affiliates, links to photo and video materials, social profiles, etc.
3. Geolocation: a map to your location and a text address
4. Indexable Text: An intro or status message at the top and keywords at the bottom, both of which are indexed by leading search engines.

The value of a .tel domain lies with the ability to host personal (or corporate) contact information directly in the DNS, which can then be universally accessible. This stands in contrast to the typical use of the DNS for other TLDs, in which the DNS only provides a mapping between domain names and IP addresses.

The .tel enables:
1. Click to communicate contact information
2. Quick real-time updates from browsers or mobile phones
3. Dynamic profiles that you can switch on the go
4. Effective mobile presence.

Effective use of .tel domains as an SEO tool can improve your search engine rankings.

Your customers can enter Your Company's .tel domain into any web browser on any internet enabled device including mobile. Wherever possible, .tel enables all your contact information, maps and weblinks to become clickable so your customers can communicate with you instantly.

ICANN has delegated to Telnic Limited, the .tel Sponsoring Organization, the responsibility for developing, implementing and policing certain policies related to the .tel Top Level Domain and its community.

You can submit your views on and objections to the established or revision of standards, policies, procedures, and practices or the manner in which standards, policies, procedures and practices are enforced by contacting Telnic through a number of different channels:

Email us at community@telnic.org

Register on our forum and provide your views on there.

You can only purchase your .tel domain online through an ICANN accredited registrar or their reseller. Get Started to buy your name online.

Prices for a .tel domain name vary from registrar to registrar, but are comparable with the prices for other popular domain names.

Typically, registrars will allow you to register domain names for up to 10 years.

The minimum number of characters in a .tel domain is 2 and the maximum number is 63 not including the .tel suffix. Every domain must contain at least two letters or numbers from a-z or "A to Z" and 0-9 in standard US ASCII script or one IDN character in non ASCII script. No domain can begin or end with a hyphen nor can a domain have a hyphen in the 3rd and 4th position (e.g. aa--g.tel). The .tel naming conventions are described in detail in the Acceptable Use Policy. The reserved list is also available for review.

The WHOIS service enables you retrieve information on.tel domain name holders, although individuals may opt out of WHOIS and hide some of their contact details.

Please consult the Acceptable Use Policy for details on how .tel domains should be used.

You can sell or transfer a .tel domain just as you would with other domain names. Please be notified that according to ICANN regulations, domains can only be transferred to a different registrar after 60 days from the date of registration. After 60 days since the registration date you may contact your registrar to transfer your .tel domain as required. You can only transfer a domain name before it expires.

You can transfer an active .tel domain to a .tel accredited registrar of your choice. Because services may differ, check that your prospective registrar provides the services you may require.

To get started, obtain a unique authinfo code from your current registrar and initiate the transfer through the new registrar of your choice. Please be informed that it is the obligation of your current registrar to provide you the authinfo code; Telnic is not in a position to issue this code for you.

Please note that it is your responsibility to transfer content of your .tel domain to the new registrar. For that, go to the old registrar control panel before the transfer and create a Backup copy of your data via Settings. Then, once you have been given access to your new control panel by your new provider, use the backup to restore your .tel domain. Once your new registrar completes the setup, your new .tel will use the restored content.

Telnic does not provide refunds for .tel domains to domain holders. Please check whether your registrar has a refund policy.

The .tel domain names are subject to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), which establishes a procedure for resolving certain trademark disputes relating to domain names. You can also seek redress in the court. Please get a qualified legal advice to determine the appropriate venue for resolution of your dispute.

You can renew your domain through your provider where you initially made the purchase. They may also have an option that you can set the domain to "auto renew" every year.

You can transfer to a different provider before the expiry date of your domain. Performing a transfer will automatically add a year to your registration term.

Your domain may have been auto-renewed by your provider. Check the "Expiry Date" in the WHOIS. If this is in the future, then your domain has been renewed and it is likely that your provider has already taken payment for this. If the expiry date is in the past, please contact your provider as soon as possible to renew before the name is deleted.

Your domain may still be in the redemption period, during which you as the domain owner may be able to redeem it depending on your provider's policies and procedures. Domains in redemption will have a "Pending Delete" status in the WHOIS. If this is the case, you should contact your provider to discuss the possibility of redemption. This is likely to incur a premium fee, but your provider will be able to advise fully on this.

If the domain is no longer listed in the WHOIS it is available for general registration and you can purchase it as a new registration.

It's possible that your provider has not completed the renewal, or they are waiting for the auto-renewal which will occur 45 days after the expiry date. Please contact your domain name provider to confirm what the situation is.

Even though a domain has passed its expiry date it may still be renewed by the domain owner at any time during the 45-day auto-renewal period, or during the 30-day redemption period following a deletion. Unless a domain is expressly deleted by a registrar, it renews automatically for another year at the end of the 45-day period following its expiration.

If the current owner does not wish to renew the domain, the registrar issues a deletion and changes the WHOIS status to "Pending Delete". If the owner doesn't request restoration of the domain within 30 days of this redemption period, the domain is kept in a 5-day deletion period, and then released for re-registration. In summation, a domain name may be released for anyone to register in a period between 35 and 80 days after its expiration.

The link, username and password for accessing your .tel control panel have been sent to you by your .tel provider when you purchased your .tel. If you cannot find the link, go to Manage your .tel and type in your domain name in the form.

Many providers have a "Forgotten your password" link on the .tel control panel login page. Enter the registrant email address you specified when purchasing your name to receive your username and reset your password. If your login page does not show this link, you will need to contact your .tel provider to reset your password. If you don't know where to login to your .tel, check online or contact your .tel provider.

After buying your company's .tel, you will configure it using a simple online interface on the website of the registrar from whom you bought your .tel. You will not need to build a website or hire a new webmaster. Configuring a .tel is very easy and allows you to input your data and create navigation (for multiple locations or departments). Your company can update its contact information anytime an as often as needed.

Some providers group all .tel domains that you own into one .tel user account, so that when you login to your control panel, you see only one of them. You can switch between your .tel domains by selecting them in the drop-down menu in the top-right corner of the control panel. Depending on the provider, you may be able to split .tel domains into separate accounts, while other providers only support one .tel domain per one user account.

If you do not see a domain you own in the dropdown list in your control panel, please contact your .tel provider.

Please be aware that .tel control panels offered by various providers may differ in design and included functionality. For example, some registrars exclude AdSense and MX setup management, password resetting and restoration, or do not support merging or splitting .tel domains across user accounts. If any of these or other features are crucial for you, contact the provider before the purchase to make sure the feature is supported. If your existing registrar does not support a feature you wish to use, you can transfer your .tel domain to a different provider at any time before the expiration date.

Simply edit the text header to erase everything and click .

The text header you entered may belong to an inactive profile. Make sure that the text you are editing is in the profile with (active) in the name.

If you need to specify your extension number in addition to the main number, type in the extension in the Label field. Your contact value should follow the international format and contain no letters or spaces. This way, your phone number will always be in the 'click-to-call' format.

Once you save your contact, it gets published to the DNS and is instantly available in your .tel. Type in your .tel name in a new browser window to see how others see your page.

To remove a contact item, tick it and choose Delete from the Actions drop-down box. You can delete any contact item, except for the last item of public contact information in your .tel. You must always have at least one public contact item, such as a website link or phone number.

When you create a folder, a link to that folder is automatically added to your .tel. Similarly, when you delete the folder, the link is deleted as well.

If you added a contact item on your Dashboard, but it does not show up on your .tel page when viewed in a browser, the contact item may be private (viewed only by friends who have logged in your .tel), disabled (added to the Dashboard but not published) or inactive (added to a profile that is not currently active). Edit the contact in the Dashboard to ensure that it's public and in the active profile.

You can re-order contact items by clicking the arrows icon in the list of contacts and moving the contact up or down. You may wish to change the order for a more user-friendly experience for your visitors.

The Location record is a combination of longitude and latitude displayed as a map entry. If you want to publish a postal address, use the keywords or the text header.

Normally, you cannot be in more than one place at a time. If you need to enter multiple locations, such as temporary and permanent, consider adding them to the text header in different profiles, and switching between profiles depending on your current location. If you wish to have several locations displayed simultaneously, enter them as keywords and use the Label field to describe each location. Remember that keywords are always public, so don't put your home address in there if you do not want it to be publicly available.

Your free text and hobbies keyword categories are limited to 255 bytes; any text beyond this limit is not published. Please consider using other categories and reducing the message. Keywords are not intended for storing long paragraphs.

Please be advised that only keywords entered in the current category are saved. Please make sure you click Save before entering keywords on another tab of the Add Keywords window.

If you wish to change the way your keywords are displayed, simply drag-and-drop the fields as needed by using the buttons on the side.

All contacts in sub-folders are public and visible to all. If you wish to add private information, please use your main domain folder.

Yes, folders are sub-domains of your domain, so you can enter their names in a browser - the folder name comes before your domain name. For example, if yourname.tel has a folder social, you can go to that folder directly by entering http://social.yourname.tel in a browser.

Hover your mouse beside the folder name in the Folders pane on the left; when you see the Delete button, click it.

Contacts are not included into the current profile are greyed out on the Dashboard. To add these contacts to the profile, tick the contact and select Add to profile in the Actions box.

Profiles are optional and are included into .tel for your convenience. When you start, you have a "default" profile, where all your contacts get added. If you do not wish to set up any other profiles, you do not need to.

TelFriends is a free service for managing all your Friends in one place. By default, this feature is not active. To share your private data with friends, you will need to activate this feature by signing up to TelFriends .

You need to have an active TelFriends account to add friends that can see your private data. By default this feature is inactive, and you only see the default Friend groups and yourself on the Privacy tab. For more details on Friending, see http://telfriends.org.

To allow friends in the current group see a contact, click Add inside the table Items in Group and select the contact you wish to add from the list of existing public and private contact items.

If you can see the AdSense link in your control panel, but you see an error stating that you are not allowed to create an Adsense record, this means that your domain name provider has not yet activated AdSense for you. Please contact your domain name provider directly and they should be able to assist.

In order to allow AdSense to be used, Google must firstly categorise a domain to know what type of ads are suitable. If it's unable to do this it sends a response stating that the domain is "under construction". If you receive this response to a .tel submission you have made there are a number of ways to still include AdSense for your .tel:

  • If you already have an AdSense account, use that. You do not need to apply for an AdSense account for every domain you will be using.
  • If you have a well populated domain other than .tel, try to apply for AdSense on this domain. You can use the same AdSense account for your .tel.
  • AdSense will accept a .tel domain as long as it has sufficient content. Add more descriptive text to the Header and Keywords sections of your .tel. Improving the overall content and value to the reader increases the likelihood of Adsense acceptance.

Yes, .tel domains support mailboxes. An email package may be offered by your .tel service provider or configured via the Settings tab in your .tel control panel. You cannot host email services on a .tel domain, but you can use a mail hosting provider and add relevant domain settings to the provider's servers. For useful information on email, see Improve your .tel.

To request access the .tel zone file, complete and sign the .tel Zone File Access Agreement form. You need to return the form to Telnic Limited via post, fax or email.

Yes. You are allowed to run a commercial directory-style service under your .tel domain under the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP); the restrictions are that you are not allowed to sub-delegate the management of that contact information to a third party.

It depends. Please email resellers@telnic.org to find out what resources are available for resellers.

Integrating the .tel into your existing website can be achieved either by providing a link to your .tel from your 'Contact Us' page, or by using the .tel Website Integration Tool to customize your 'Contact Us' page with .tel technology, making your data much more dynamic while maintaining your company's look and feel.

IDN stands for Internationalized Domain Name. An internationalized domain name (IDN) is an internet domain name that contains at least one character that is displayed in software applications such as web browsers, in whole or in part, in a language-specific script or alphabet, such as Chinese, Russian or the Latin-based languages with diacritics, such as German.

An example would be Jörn.tel or 李.tel. These names will be seen in software applications such as web browsers. IDN-aware applications translate these names into traditional ASCII-only strings such as, for example, xn--1lq90i.tel. As a result, IDNs are displayed in their internationalized form in the user interface, while internally applications and servers communicate using ASCII-only forms of the same domains.

Every registered IDN must be associated with a specific language. For more information on IDNs, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internationalized_domain_name

Seventeen languages are currently supported. Those languages are Chinese, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.

IDN policies are a product of a collaborative work of technical, legal and linguistic experts. Telnic believes that the best avenue for developing IDN policies for a given language is through the countries and communities that use that language. The reasoning for Telnic's choice of languages is therefore based on how close a given country or community is to a consensus in regards to what rules must govern their local language IDNs.

IDN policy development is an ongoing process. Telnic will be considering the introduction of new IDN languages based on the results of the discussions within the respective communities.

Generally, all characters that are used in the language an IDN is associated with are allowed. For more details, please refer to the policy document for the corresponding IDN language. IDN policies are published on Telnic's web site at http://www.telnic.org/policies. Each of the policies contains a character table that lists all the characters allowed for an IDN in a given language.

Any characters that are not included in the character table for a given language, are not allowed. For example, one cannot register münchén.tel as a German language IDN, because letter "é" is not part of the German language character table.

IDN.tel domain names can be registered through a sub-set of our ICANN-accredited Registrar partners. A list of those selling .tel domains and IDNs will be found at http://www.telnic.org/buy-now. Those that support IDN.tel domain name registrations will be marked with an asterisk.

Apart from the restrictions on the types of characters that can be registered and the languages supported, there are no further restrictions on the registration of IDN.tel domain names and 1 and 2 character IDNs are available. Apart from the restrictions on the types of characters that can be registered and the languages supported, there are no further restrictions on the registration of IDN.tel domain names and 1 and 2 character IDNs are available.

Most modern browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari support IDNs. More details of IDN support in other applications are available at http://idn.icann.org/IDN-aware_software.

Yes, if it is available and conforms to the character sets and language tables available.

Exact retail pricing is decided by our participating registrars, and so varies from company to company. Generally, however, Internationalised .tel domains do not cost any more than regular .tel domain names.

Yes, for IDNs associated with Chinese, Japanese and Russian languages .tel employs a variant blocking mechanism so domain names in different scripts that look confusingly similar cannot be registered. For example, if the domain name pear.tel is registered, реаг.tel (all these characters are Cyrillic) will not be available for registration. Please see the IDN Policies for more details.

A "decorated" character domain is one which has one or more characters that has linguistic "ornaments". An example of a "decorated" domain is björn.tel, as opposed to bjorn.tel, which has no "decorated" characters.

All IDN.tel domains will be first-come, first served. There is no automatic right to gain a "decorated" character domain.

With one specific exception, every .tel domain name (in its ASCII-Compatible Encoded form) is treated independently. Each domain name is handled on a "first-come, first-served" basis. This is a continuation of the current .tel policy. That exception deals with Chinese Internationalised Domain Names, where Traditional and Simplified Chinese characters are considered to be "the same". In that specific case, Telnic ensures that when a Chinese IDN is registered, the domain name that consists entirely of Simplified Chinese characters and the domain name that consists entirely of Traditional Chinese characters is managed together with the requested domain; these are treated as one unit. The ownership of a domain name does not give any automatic rights to register any other domain name. Thus ownership of shop.tel does not give any rights to ashop.tel or theshop.tel. This is also true for names that have different spellings, so that Smith is different from Smithe. In order not to act arbitrarily, Telnic processes names on a purely deterministic basis. This is done with commonly defined rules, not ones that have been invented in an "ad hoc" manner. Telnic will not make arbitrary and subjective decisions on what names people can use, so it simply treats each name as being different.

Possible Rules for Assignment of International Domain Names (IDNs) is not a simple subject.

Since general availability of .tel domains, Telnic has not made decisions on the comparability or otherwise of domain names. With the introduction of Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs), the situation becomes more complex. Within a language, some words have forms with and without "ornamented" characters, and there are a number of different rules to map from one name form to another. Unfortunately, these rules conflict. That means that there is no single deterministic scheme that will work for any word.

Many words have crept into usage in other languages, and those words differ in the way they apply diacriticals, or even whether there are diacriticals in the different language versions. Some languages drop the "ornamentation" for some capital letters. Other languages do use these ornamented capital letters. Thus is may not be clear whether or not two domain requests that have been converted to lower case are the same. Thus transliteration between the "ornamented" and plain versions of a character might need to be considered.

Here are just a few of the rules that might apply:

  • should ä be associated with a or ae?
  • should ö be associated with o or oe?
  • should ü be associated with u or ue?

But then...

  • should ae or A or a be associated with ä?
  • should oe or O or o be associated with ö?
  • should ue or U or u be associated with ü?

As an example, should Noel (a first name, a town in Missouri, a hurricane, a company in Columbia, and a poetical English word for Christmas) be associated with the string Nöl (using German rules), or with Nöel (Christmas in French and other languages)? Conversely, is Nöl associated with Noel, or with Nol? Also, should Nöel be associated with Noeel (again applying German language rules)?

Thus, if noel.tel is registered, should Telnic block an attempt to register nöl.tel? Conversely, if someone registers nöl.tel, will Telnic then have to block a subsequent attempt to register the domain noel.tel? Also, what of the domain name nol.tel – should this also be blocked? Finally, if nol.tel has already been registered, does this mean that nöl and nöel are not available?

Trying to apply these conflicting rules to block registration attempts for "associated" words would raise many questions and the confusion that would bring would not help anyone. Without checking every name in advance against dictionaries for each language, it is not possible to come to single, unambiguous, clear and fair answer. As the result would still be subjective, Telnic continues to treat each domain name as a separate item, and allocates names on a first-come, first-served basis. After much research, Telnic has concluded that this is the most equitable solution for all community members.

Telnic does not make any judgemental on whether or not there is any prior right to a name. That remains a task for WIPO or other approved arbitrators. If an organisation believes that it has right to a domain for which it has not applied or secured, it can use the UDRP, the decisions of which Telnic of course respects.