EURid, the Registry appointed by the European Commission to manage the new .eu domain name, has appointed IE Internet as its first registrar in Ireland.
The Dublin-based internet service provider (ISP) is one of 27 registrars in 15 countries across Europe that will be responsible for issuing the new domain name to public and private organisations.
Commenting on the appointment, Phelim O’Connell, managing director of IE Internet, predicted that the arrival of the .eu name would give a boost to the Irish internet industry. “There are only 47,000 registered .ie domain name holders in this country. We expect that the availability of .eu will stimulate more activity in the Irish industry and encourage more businesses to take advantage of the internet.”
Under EU regulations, public bodies and ‘holders of prior rights’ (eg trademark holders etc) can apply to register their .eu domain name during a ‘sunrise period’, which will start later this year. This will run for four months, after which .eu domains will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. PriceWaterhouseCoopers has been given the task of verifying applications and supporting documentation from these early applicatants.
In an interview with siliconrepublic.com, Orlaith Finnegan, communications officer at IE Internet, said that pricing details had yet to be worked out but that it was seen as important in terms of appealing to broadest possible market that the cost of the domain would be roughly in line with that of acquiring a .com or a .co.uk domain rather than the more expensive .ie domain. She also felt the arrival of .eu could give a boost to the number of domain-name holders in Ireland, which is low by international standards. OECD figures from last July showed that Ireland had just one domain name per 100 inhabitants compared with, for example, seven per 100 in the UK.
Finnegan added that Irish business could benefit in a number of ways from acquiring a .eu name. It was especially beneficial for Irish firms that were exporting to a number of European countries; instead of having to individually register domain names for each, they could now have a single pan-European internet entity. Applying for a .eu name during the sunrise period would also allow an Irish firm to protect its trade name and prevent a US-based firm, say, from using that same trade name in Europe. For this reason, it was important that Irish firms acted sooner rather than later and got their application in early, she said. “For protection reasons, you’d want to register your company name and brand before somebody else does.”
Commenting on the availability of .eu domain names, e-Minister Tom Kitt, said: “This is an important development for Irish businesses and organisations seeking to establish an internet identity for Europe. Irish companies who are trading with Europe will be able to reach a wider audience across the web.”
By Brian Skelly