Digital giants Google, Microsoft and Twitter have had their domain names removed from the niche .physio top level domain (TLD). Google had its new parent company domain alphabet.physio removed, Microsoft had is business name microsoft.physio removed, whilst Twitter had four domains – twitter.physio, tweet.physio, periscope.physio and vine.physio – removed.
Managing Director of Phys Biz Pty Ltd, the Registry Operator for the .physio TLD, Glenn Ruscoe, explained, “.physio is a semi-closed TLD intended specifically for the world physiotherapy and physical therapy community. The integrity of the TLD, and indeed the profession, relies on ensuring an exclusivity of access to appropriately qualified individuals and organisations”.
Physiotherapy (also known as Physical Therapy) is a well-respected health profession that relies on public trust. Physiotherapists (physical therapists) undergo many years of rigorous tertiary level training to achieve their qualifications.
Ruscoe, a physiotherapist himself, went on to say, “Whilst it is a great vote of confidence to have had Google, Microsoft and Twitter seek to register their business and product names within the .physio TLD, they were unable to meet the eligibility criteria. Subsequently the domains have been deleted from the registry”.
The eligibility criteria for registration of a .physio domain name were developed in consultation with the physiotherapy and physical therapy community and its’ leadership, in particular the World Confederation for Physical Therapy and its 106 member organisations.
Ruscoe summarised the .physio TLD eligibility criteria, “Essentially if a person is entitled to be member of their nation’s physiotherapy or physical therapy professional association then they are eligible to register a .physio domain name. And for organisations, if one of their primary purposes is to support, promote, service or supply physiotherapists and physical therapists then they too are eligible to register a .physio domain name that matches their business name or product/service”.
Applicants for .physio domain names must warrant that they meet the eligibility criteria at the time of registration. Regular random audits of registrants are used by the Registry Operator to validate compliance and all notifications to the Registry are investigated. Registrants in question are provided fourteen days in which to demonstrate their compliance with the eligibility criteria.
Ruscoe said, “With the existence and enforcement of strong eligibility criteria is onerous, the greater benefit is that the public can be confident that any domain that ends in .physio is registered by a bona fide member of the world physiotherapy and physical therapy community”.