IEDR opens up market for personalised .ie domains


25 Jun 2007

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The IE Domain Registry (IEDR) has confirmed that it is hoping to introduce personalised .ie domain names this summer. This will allow people to register domains like www.johnmurphy.ie or www.marysmith.ie.

The registry recently concluded a consultation with responses received from 17 .ie resellers and a pricing structure and framework for the awarding of names has been agreed.

According to a letter seen by siliconrepublic.com, the decision is likely to be ratified by the board of IEDR in July after which the registry is likely to implement the service within 30 working days.

IEDR chief executive David Curtin said that the move has been made in recognition of the onset of blogging and social networking. “It’s in recognition of an increasing awareness of individuals on the internet rather than just brands. The move is driven by the Bebo and MySpace generation.”

Curtin said that the personalised .ie domains will have the same pricing structure as current prices for a .ie domain. However, prices tend to vary amongst resellers.

“Some internet service providers may decide to do a price bundle but that’s up to them,” he said. “Interest among resellers has increased because of the rise in popularity of blogging and social networking.”

One such reseller that is aiming to drive the use of personal .ie domain names is Meath-based technology firm SilkwebDesign.ie, headed by Conor Dalgarno.

Silkweb in recent weeks became the world’s first company in its particular field – domain name reselling – to achieve ISO 9001-2000 accreditation.

According to Dalgarno, the personalised domain service will prove not only popular with bloggers and social networks but also with families. “It will be a good place to go to share family photos privately and securely through your name.”

Dalgarno pointed out that in order to obtain a personal domain name applicants will need to supply identification documents such as driver’s licence or passport, a birth certificate or an Irish utility bill.

According to the letter confirming the end of the consultation period, the IEDR said that in the interest of fairness and clarity only the name that appears on the document provided will be accepted as a domain name.

“For example, if the name on the applicant’s passport is Michael Smith but they have Mick Smith on their NTL bill they will be entitled to register www.micksmith.ie provided we receive a copy of the NTL bill confirming the applicant uses the name Mick Smith.”

Dalgarno commented: “The nice thing about the scheme is that people can register a name with as little as a utility bill. What the IEDR have done is establish a set of rules and regulations that protect people from cyber-squatting.

“The IEDR has put a lot of work into establishing the .ie domain name as a trusted domain. This has stopped a lot of the cyber-squatting that has occurred with the .com and .net domains. Recently three companies based in Cyprus went out and bought loads of .eu domains and are now sitting in court,” Dalgarno said.

Asked about his company’s decision to pursue an ISO 9001-2000 accreditation, Dalgarno said: “We wanted to show ourselves as a responsible company promoting the .ie domain and providing hosting services.”

Silkweb recently introduced a service offering every school in the country a personalised domain name and hosting for €75 per year plus VAT.

“The aim is in keeping with the Government initiative for broadband in schools. We are hoping schools take up the offer and provide their senior students with a POP3 email account to ready themselves for the working world,” Dalgarno said.

By John Kennedy

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