The domain name registry operator for all domains underneath the .ruhr top-level domain is regiodot GmbH & Co. KG. The company is thus also responsible for operations and technical availability. For domain registration, the company provides domain registrars with an automated electronic registration system. The underlying system as provided by regiodot is what enables individuals, companies, clubs and institutions to register their own personal domains with the .ruhr extension. regiodot
ICANN opened the application window for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) in January 2012. Following a five-month application phase, ICANN revealed details of all applications received, also publishing a list of all TLDs that had been applied for. Things looked good: regiodot GmbH & Co. KG was the sole applicant requesting the .ruhr TLD.
In December 2012, a lottery system was used at ICANN to decide the order in which it would evaluate and process the applications received. From just under 2,000 positions on the global starting grid, regiodot GmbH & Co. KG was assigned 120 – an exceptionally good starting number. As a result, the .ruhr extension is the first regional extension to go live – before metropolises such as London, Paris or New York.
In April 2013, .ruhr successfully completed the complex ICANN evaluation process. As a result, regiodot GmbH & Co. KG was granted registry operator status for .ruhr domains.
In October, regiodot signed a contract with ICANN licensing it as the .ruhr operator, followed in November by ICANN's final acceptance of the technical infrastructure, a process known as pre-delegation testing. In December, .ruhr was entered as a record in the root server at ICANN and at its operating unit IANA, which also holds records of the other extensions such as .de, .com, etc. In so doing, the Ruhr region has made the Internet history books: .ruhr is the first new top-level domain from Germany withsuch a record.
In January 2014 the .ruhr-sun has finally risen. Since the beginning of the Sunrise-Phase on the 21. January 2014, the new .ruhr-domains could be registered officially. Owners of a trademark were allowed to register their trademark-domains first for the period of one month. On the 12. February 2014 the first .ruhr-domains went online. As one of the first institutions in the Ruhr area www.zeltfestival.ruhr (one of the biggest festivals in the region) launched their homepage with the new ending.
Just a few days later the Ruhr-Phase begun. Since the 25. February all companies, organisations and individuals based in the Ruhr area have the opportunity to register their personal .ruhr-domains. From the 27. March 2014 - the start of the "General Availability", the domains will be available for all people in Germany.