Federal Council adopts strategy for handling internet addresses

Bern, 27.02.2013 - Domain names for the internet are central to our everyday digital life. In order to enable the Confederation to adequately represent the interests of Switzerland on the global market, the Federal Council has adopted a strategy. Attractive domain names should always be sufficiently and reliably available and must be managed transparently.

With its strategy, the Confederation wishes to ensure better protection of its own interests and those of Switzerland in the area of domain names. Among other things, the Federal Council has laid down the kinds of names which are particularly worthy of protection and which should be used only by the Federal government. These also include names for the state apparatus and for federal institutions. The Confederation reserves these for itself in the country domain .ch and in other selected domains (e.g. .org). In the event that third parties have already reserved these names for themselves with the administration authorities for internet addresses, the Confederation strives for a transfer if substantial damage might otherwise be caused to the reputation of the Swiss Confederation. The Confederation's strategy for handling internet domain names is implemented decentrally within the Federal administration is coordinated and supported by the Federal Chancellery, the Federal Office of Communications and the Institute for Intellectual Property.

Application for .swiss by the Confederation

The new strategy has also taken the international opening-up of the domain name market into account. For example, in 2012 the Confederation applied to ICANN, the global administration body for internet addresses, for assignment of the new extension .swiss. In this way the Confederation wishes to ensure that attractive internet domain names are available in sufficient quantities for businesses and society in Switzerland. It also wishes to promote the visibility of Switzerland in the virtual domain. The application submitted to ICANN is still pending. A decision is not expected before mid-2013 at the earliest.

Address for enquiries

François Maurer, Head of Numbering and Addressing, Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), tel. 032 327 55 76


The Federal Council

Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications