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Registrars Are A Registry’s Best Friend, Finds Austria’s Registry

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but the latest .AT Report shows how registrars are a registry’s best friend. And nic.at has 430 official registrars that look after over 95 per cent of the .AT domain names with the remaining 4.6 per cent having their domains managed by the registry directly.Two-thirds (67% or 290) of the 430 registrars that can register a .AT domain name are located in Austria, 22 per cent in Germany although Germans register 37 per cent of .AT domains and 11 per cent in the rest of the world. Interestingly, when looking at domain names registered through registrars, 15 per cent of Austrians use a German registrar. Conversely, German clients account for just 2 per cent of Austrian registrars’ .AT customers.The top ten registrars show an even breakdown between Austrian- and German-based with five based in each country and accounting for two-thirds (65%) of all .AT registrations. However among the top ten, Austrian registrars accounted for 245,571 .AT registrations while German registrars accounted for 195,732 registrations. Overall there were 1,061,729 active .AT domains as of the end of June 1,068,007 active domains as of 24 August.Registrants also have a strong link with their registrars, keeping them busy, with .AT registrants interacting with their registrar around 2,000 times each day. Of these interactions in the first six months of 2011, 187,077 were for data changes, 62,047 were for transfers between registrars and 105,813 were for new registrations.When asked how important .AT domains were for them, a total of close to two-thirds (64%) of all registrars indicated that the .AT TLD had a high or very high priority for them. When asked “How many registries are you accredited with?” the reasons become clear. Almost 80 per cent offer a maximum of ten TLDs, and just ten per cent have secured accreditation with more than 25 registries. For the majority of respondents .AT was one of the main extensions used in their domain registration business.The move into the new world of potentially unlimited generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) moved a step closer in June when ICANN approved its applicant guidebook, with applications being accepted in a three month window from 12 January 2012.Registrars were optimistic about the introduction of new gTLDs in a survey by ECO, the German internet association, and nic.at, with Austrian registrars showing greater optimism than German ones.Overall 42 per cent of registrars saw new gTLDs having a good to very good chance of taking off while just over a third (34% for Austrian registrars, 36% for German registrars) being optimistic about the likely success of geographic gTLDs. There was even greater support for generic gTLDs being successful with 42 per cent of registrars in both countries believing they would succeed. Brand name gTLDs were viewed as being the least successful with around one in five (22% and 18%) thinking they would succeed, however the lack of optimism here might be because registrars would play a very limited, if any, role in their introduction.The latest .at report is available in German and English.