Swiss Registry To End Domain Registration Service For .CH Domains

SWITCH logoThe SWITCH foundation will stop selling .ch domain names from January 2015. Registrants will be advised that their domain names, as they come up for renewal, will need to be transferred to an approved registrar.

The basis for this change is the new Ordinance on Internet Domains (ODI), which was passed by the Federal Council on 5 November. SWITCH will in future focus on operating the .ch registry and on ensuring that the Swiss internet remains secure and stable.

SWITCH and the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) have defined the process for transferring .ch domain names together, and it has been coordinated with the registrars. Some 400,000 clients with a total of one million domain names are affected.

SWITCH have said they welcome this new Ordinance and its separation of the sovereign, regulated function from the business with clients.

From the middle of January 2015, SWITCH will begin writing to its clients to request that they transfer their domain names to the registrars. Clients will receive a letter three months before their registration ends containing instructions for the transfer.

All .ch websites will remain online without any interruption throughout the transfer process. SWITCH will inform clients on a staggered basis, the aim being to have all clients transfer their domain names to a registrar of their choosing by autumn 2016. The existing SWITCH website for registering domain names,, will be amended at the start of 2015.

SWITCH will now continue to focus on operating the Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure for .ch and ensuring that the Swiss internet is stable and accessible worldwide and protects it against failures and attacks. Safeguarding the DNS has thus been written into the new Ordinance on Internet Domains (ODI).

SWITCH’s renowned Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has been successfully combating malware (harmful software) on Swiss websites since 2010, making .ch one of the most secure top-level domains in the world. The registry for .ch is a critical infrastructure for Switzerland and must therefore meet particularly high security standards. SWITCH’s many years of experience and proven track record guarantee the robust design and stable operation of this critical infrastructure.

For more information see SWITCH’s FAQs on transferring domain names here.

There is also a Q&A with SWITCH’s CEO Andreas Dudler here.