The Friday Interview: David Curtin, IEDR


6 Jun 2008

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In recent weeks, the IE Domain Registry (IEDR) passed the 100,000 mark in the number of .ie domains registered. David Curtin (pictured) is chief executive of the IEDR.

You describe the IEDR as a ‘managed’ registry. What does this mean versus the general ‘.com’ domain addresses?
We have controls in place to ensure the person or company applying for a specific .ie domain versus a .com domain is entitled to that address. This level of authentication means there is less likelihood of cybercrime and fraud emerging from Ireland.

The ease by which you can attain a .com domain address means you can’t always be certain of who is behind that address, they are more anonymous and impossible to identify.

A recent study by McAfee found that when it comes to domains, people are more likely to submit their email to addresses they trust and on this factor Ireland comes out favourably.

The result is that a .ie address is considered a safer place to be for kids and consumers than a .com one.

You recently introduced personalised domain addresses where people can get a .ie address using their family name. Has there been a satisfactory uptake?
Many people today who have broadband are likely to set up a web address for activities such as blogs. The whole project has gone pretty smoothly.

So far, 2,000 personal domains have been registered. As a percentage of our 100,000 domains – 2pc – that seems quite small. Internationally however, it stacks up superbly. In the UK for example, the ‘.me.uk’ was launched and the take-up was only a fraction of 1pc.

How do you envisage personalised domains progressing in the years ahead?
We are quite optimistic. People are using the internet more and thanks to broadband they are becoming more and more innovative. We would love to see internet service providers (ISPs) market this more to the general public.

We are approaching a tipping point for internet in Ireland. We will hit one million broadband subscribers by the end of this year. If operators like Eircom or BT marketed personalised domains and if 10pc of their base registered family websites, then that’s 100,000 domains. The .ie domain space could grow exponentially.

New domains such as the .mobi domain, which is run out of Dublin, are now on the scene. With more mobile users, do you see this as a threat?
Not so much. .Mobi was great at concept stage, but as mobile devices have become smarter more people are able to visit normal websites and can shrink the screen on their mobile device, such as with the iPhone.

.Mobi has a role to play, but it’s a niche player rather than mainstream in terms of the mobile internet.

The internet world is preparing for the next evolution of the internet, IPv6. What will this mean for internet users?
The current version of the internet – IPv4 – is running out of space for domain names. It provides some 4.3 billion domain addresses, of which only 700 million – or just 16pc – currently remain free.

IPv6 will solve this by making it possible to have a couple of thousand addresses for every person on the planet

By John Kennedy