IANA delegates ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes as country code top-level domains, and on December 24, 1991, the .co top-level domain was assigned to Colombia and delegated to the Universidad de los Andes.
In 2001, the university began to consider the possibility of marketing the domain as an alternative to the generic top-level domains. The government of Colombia objected on the basis that the university, a private entity, did not have regulatory oversight of the TLD and the Minister of Communications, Angela Montoya Holguín, wrote to them requesting that they not continue.
Second-level domain names
When they took over administration of the .CO domain, .CO Internet S.A.S. implemented new domain policies that were more flexible than the historic ones that had been administered by the University of the Andes. The new policies were adjusted to international best practices and defined in consultation with local and international communities. With the new policies, Colombia would be able to sell second-level domain names to the world, such as widgets.co, where previously only third-level domain names were available, such as widgets.com.co.ayback Machine.
Summary of policies since 2010
- Any person or entity in the world can register .co domain names
- There are no domicile or burdensome documentation requirements
- Registration period is between 1 and 5 years, subject to renewal
- Registrants can easily transfer domain names
.CO domains became available via the following timeline:
- April 1, 2010 – April 20, 2010: Sunrise A allowed registered local trademarks to apply for exact match domains.
- April 26, 2010 – June 10, 2010: Sunrise B allowed trademarks of national effect to apply for exact match domains.
- June 21, 2010 – July 13, 2010: Landrush allowed anyone to apply for domain names of high commercial value.
- July 20, 2010: .co domains became generally available.