The number of .ie domains registered by Irish organisations has reached more than 50,000 domains and provides the .ie domain with 45pc of the market for domains in Ireland, .IE Domain Registry (IEDR) chief executive David Curtin told siliconrepublic.com. This compares with the .com market share of 47,100 registered domains or 42pc of the 111,000 market.
The IEDR claimed Ireland’s online development is now ranked ahead of other European countries. The number of .ie addresses at 12.5 per 1,000 the IEDR says has surpassed the registration of the national top-level domain names of Spain (.es), France (.fr), Italy (.it), Greece (.gr), Portugal (.pt), Finland (.pt) and Belgium (.be) on a per capita basis.
Commenting on the 50,000th .ie registration milestone, Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Noel Dempsey TD, said: “With more than 50,000 registrations to date .ie is an important national resource. The Irish domain has proved popular amongst consumers and the business community and I am sure they will continue to do so into the future.”
The 50,000th .ie-registered domain was www.findatradesman.ie. The website was established by Anthony Burke from Athenry, Co Galway, who developed an online resource to help people find a tradesman from different disciplines in their local area. Burke will be awarded free .ie domain registration for 10 years.
The IEDR reported this afternoon that this year alone, .ie registrations have increased by 30pc, largely driven by demand from the business community that represents 84pc of .ie domain registrations. Increased penetration of broadband has lead to rapid growth in Ireland’s online presence. In the past year, the number of Irish SMEs adopting broadband has increased by 21pc, leading to Irish SMEs establishing websites in greater numbers, incorporating the internet as a marketing and distribution channel.
In an interview with siliconrepublic.com, Curtin said there has been a steady increase in .ie registrations over the past 18 months. “We’ve seen some 1,000 registrations every month, whereas last year we saw 1,000 registrations only every three months. Numbers have been consistently up and continue to increase,” he said.
Curtin said a vital aspect in the growth in numbers has been the advent of broadband. He quoted research by VeriSign that indicates three vital factors in the growth of domain names – broadband access, high family incomes and internet access at work.
Curtin added that as well as a large flux of SME registrants, growth is coming from sole traders as well as clubs and societies. “What is particularly interesting is the number of schools and other educational institutions registering for the .ie domain. We have some 1,000 currently registered and this will increase as more schools get broadband.”
Curtin said the streamlining of internal processes at the IEDR was also a crucial factor in driving growth. “There’s more automation and web-based self-service for resellers, a faster turnaround in processing new domains – almost real-time – and there is less documentation because we’ve removed the need for paper and faxes. The streamlining of administration in terms of invoicing and payment has also reduced costs at the IEDR and for hosting companies.”
He continued: “Price is not the most important factor. Prices for .ie in the market range from €10 to €99. Our growth is coming from resellers that charge €99, €89 and €69 in the market. So factors other than price are more important to many registrants.”
Curtin went on to say that because registering for a .ie domain is done so through a managed national registry businesses and individuals that buy online through .ie based websites are more confident about carrying out transactions. “They are more reassured insofar is there is less likelihood of identity theft or credit card fraud and are less likely to be spammed from a .ie address.” He said there was also the reassurance of fewer intellectual property battles.
By John Kennedy
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