Registrars group campaigns to transform ‘.ie’ namespace

15 Mar 2012

A new group consisting Irish domain name providers and web hosting providers plan to campaign against what they believe to be restrictive policies of the .ie Domain Registry (IEDR), has learned.

The group – which will meet next Friday morning 30 March in a Dublin hotel – is calling for an overhaul of the current .ie domain space.

A spokesman for the group – which is being led by two .ie domain registrars and – explained that the group believes the current policies are “excessive and draconian”.

Instead they want to make it easier for Irish people to register Irish domain names and at a lower cost.

An email sent to all .ie domain registrars about the meeting describes it as an open forum to discuss whether the current .ie registration policy is too strict, how secure .ie transfers are, whether .ie domains are too expensive and the present working relationship between registrars and the IEDR.

The spokesman said that the process of registering for a domain name in Ireland today is seen by businesses as “an unnecessary inconvenience” and a “barrier to growth.” He also said the current system is not secure enough.

“The providers are unhappy with a number of things, namely the protection of transfers of domain names. There have been issues where a number of registrars have seen domains transferred without their permission. Anyone can create a letter and fax it.”

The registrar also pointed out that registrars are unhappy that a price reduction last year that proved to be enormously successful wasn’t continued.

.ie domain among top five safest in the world

The action by the registrars is puzzling when you consider the reliance the IEDR has on the registrar community to sell domain names and new engines for registering domain names introduced by the IEDR in the last few years.

The IEDR under the leadership of CEO David Curtin is quite a successful organisation and under his leadership went from being in a loss-making position a decade ago to profitable today.

The organisation pursues a policy whereby the .ie domain is a trusted domain, requiring certain criteria to be met before a domain is awarded. This policy has been successful to the point where a year ago a McAfee security survey reported namespace remained in the top 5 safest in the world.

According to the IEDR’s most recent results in January, the total number of .ie domains reached 173,145 by the end of 2011, growing by 12.9pc since 2010.

There were 20,995 registrations recorded between January and June and 18,403 registrations for the second half of the year. According to the IEDR, these greater registration levels for the first half of the year are in line with trends from previous years.

Its current non-renewal rate is 12.8pc, an improvement on 2010’s level of 14pc. Once these non-renewals were taken into account, there were 19,726 net additional .ie domains for 2011, which is a 12.6pc increase on the previous year.

“We are pleased to report continued strong .ie registration rates which have been achieved against the backdrop of very challenging times for Irish business,” said Curtin at the time.

“Much credit is due to our registrar community for their collective efforts in supporting the growth of Ireland’s top-level domain, which remains the domain of choice for those registering websites in the Irish market,” he said in January.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years