This morning has seen the launch of the dot-science top-level domain – and one registrar at least is offering them for free.
That's right, AlpNames is offering one year's registration for zero dollars.
The typical price for a dot-science domain will be $40 per year, but in order to give the launch a boost the registry owners, Famous Four Media is discounting to the companies that sell domains. At the moment GoDaddy for example is offering dot-sciences for $9.99.
AlpNames is based in Gibraltar, the same location as Famous Four Media. AlpNames also heavily features Famous Four's other domains on its front page, despite selling a large number of other top-level domains, suggesting a close tie between the two.
Under a relaxation of the rules last year, registry operators are for the first time allowed to own and run registrars – a situation referred to as "vertical integration." Some in the domain name industry are concerned about the impact that change may have on the market, with some companies given preferential rates, as would appear to be the case today with dot-science.
When Minds+Machines did the same with the dot-london top-level domain – selling the same domains cheaper through its own registrars, the registrar market was less than happy and complained the company was stealing business away from it.
For the consumer however, it's a dot-science domain for free for one year.
One downside though is that the domains are quick to go. So our searches for 'weird.science', 'rocket.science', and even 'itsnotrocket.science' have all gone. ®