Tag Archives: .at

DNSSEC Coming to .AT, But Resistance Among Some German Companies

Domain Pulse conference logoThe Austrian registry, nic.at, announced at the annual Domain Pulse meeting on Friday that they will introduce DNSSEC late in 2011 following its introduction 12 months ago by the Swiss registry at the 2010 Domain Pulse and its planned introduction on 31 May 2011 by the German registry. But in a survey among members of the German internet industry association eco, there was resistance among a small but significant group of companies to take it up.

Speaking on happenings among the registries, Richard Wein, General Manager of nic.at said they were currently in the planning stages for enabling DNSSEC for .AT and will make it available at the end of the year. In preparation, nic.at will be holding a training day on 19 May.

Eco, the association of the German internet industry has over 500 members, and has conducted a survey, soon to be released, that looked at whether German business was likely to support DNSSEC. The initial findings of the survey found that there is a core group that has no plans, while the largest group of respondents to the survey seem in no hurry to introduce DNSSEC saying they will do so in the next 12 months.

Presenting a summary of the findings at the Domain Pulse conference, Thomas Rickert noted that among different types of members, around 20 to 30 per cent of members had introduced DNSSEC, from ten to 33 per cent had no plans to introduce DNSSEC while 43 to 62 per cent of members planned to introduce it in the next 12 months.

Announcing its planned introduction of DNSSEC in May, DENIC described it as:
The Domain Name System (DNS) converts the domain entered by the user into an IP address that can be processed by the computer. So the DNS can be called the telephone directory of the Internet. At present, the transfer of the DNS information – i.e. the resolution of the domain into the corresponding IP address – is not encrypted. This situation provides possibilities for altering the resolving name servers en route or by cache poisoning and to redirecting the user to manipulated sites. DNSSEC applies a digital signature to the name server records and thus ensures that the information will reach the user without any alterations. In addition to that, the sender of the information can be reliably authenticated. The procedure cannot prevent, however, that false information is signed or that the user is misled on a higher level.

The eco survey of members on a range of internet issues will be released in coming weeks and be available on their website at eco.de.

Europe Registry logoTo register your .AT or .DE domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

Future Bright For Austrian Registry In Changing Times

It has been a busy 12 months for the Austrian registry nic.at and its CEO Richard Wein. In mid-2010 Wein passed his ten year anniversary with the organisation, in January the one million .AT domain name registration milestone was passed and this week nic.at hosts the annual Domain Pulse conference in Vienna – the largest and most important annual domain name conference in Europe hosted on a rotating basis by the Austrian, Swiss and German registries.Growth of the .AT ccTLD has been impressive with Wein believing this growth can easily continue as there is a lot of potential in the name space.”More and more German and European domain holders have begun start registering .AT domains,” Wein told the GoldsteinReport. Looking to the future, Wein believes “New gTLDs might be a challenge, but we believe that people will register in a new gTLD in addition to but not instead of a ccTLD like .AT. It will be an ‘Internet Revolution’, and with so many people talking about domains this will be also good for the .AT business, not only for the new gTLD.”The new gTLD landscape also offers some great opportunities and nic.at is looking to capitalise on this having developed its own “Registry In A Box” and consulting services. Registry In A Box will enable new gTLD operators, or even existing TLD operators, to have a cost effective means of running a registry without all the development costs.Registry In A Box is a modular box, where registry operators can choose three different “Registry-sizes” depending on their knowledge of and skills in registry operation – these being basic, advanced and complete.Nic.at will also be utilising their 12 years registry experience by providing consulting services to assist with start-up and ongoing operations.”New gTLDs will be a very interesting development, and with synergies between our own business and the new gTLDs, it will mean nic.at can offer cost-effective services. It is likely to also mean domain name awareness in the community will rise, and if so, existing ccTLDs and TLDs as well as the new gTLDs will all profit from it.”The Austrian registry is also looking at the broader community, recognising that security and safety online are areas that more and more require a lot of attention. It is especially important with the growing threat of cybercrime and hacking meaning a lot of attention must be given to make the registry as secure as possible. Should a ccTLD registry be brought down it could have a devastating impact for business. Any business using a TLD that is brought down may find their services unreachable and much of their communications disabled.To further develop this, nic.at has become a competence centre for domain names in Austria to support the local internet community with initiatives such as netidee and Stopline – a reporting hotline for illegal content such as child pornography. The registry also runs the Austrian CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team).To share their knowledge and learn from others, nic.at is an active participant in and supporter of organisations such as ICANN, CENTR, INHOPE and FIRST. INHOPE is largely a European organisation that brings together reporting hotlines for illegal content, while FIRST is a new body dealing with internet security with Wein’s fellow nic.at CEO Robert Schischka on the inaugural board.Wein feels confident in the future of the Austrian registry. The registry has broad support from the local internet community, including government and customers. And there is a lot of potential in a registry where registrations are open to all with no local presence requirements. .AT has achieved a very high recognition within Austria with 93 per cent of Austrians being aware of .AT. And when compared to the more than 14 million registrations in .DE (Germany) and around 90 million in .COM, there are still plenty of domain names available in many languages, a point Wein is keen to emphasise. But it is a competitive market and the registry runs marketing campaigns, including price reductions, among registries to encourage demand among registrants.But for this week Wein’s attention will be the annual Domain Pulse conference, to be held in Vienna at the Palais Ferstel. Held on 17 and 18 February, the conference will give an overview on the latest developments in the domain name industry, from internet law to security issues with top speakers, with an emphasis on Austria, Germany and Switzerland, but also from around the world.As Wein says, “it is a great occasion for the industry to meet. This is ‘THE’ event of the domain name industry in Europe.” Not only that, there are simultaneous translations from German to English, or where presentations are in English, into German, there is no registration fee, there is always a great event on the first evening and it is a great networking opportunity.More information on the Austrian registry is available from nic.at.More information on and registration for Domain Pulse is available at domainpulse.at.The writer is attending the Domain Pulse conference with limited travel support from the Austrian registry.

One Million .AT Domains Registered

nic.at logo[UPDATED] The Austrian ccTLD passed the one million active registrations milestone on 10 January.

“We are excited about the one millionth .AT domain – it is the best proof for the success and constant growth of the .at-zone,” said Richard Wein, CEO of nic.at.

The domain name that pushed .AT to the magical seven-figure mark was welpenparadies.at, registered by Georg Bauchinger who comes from Neuhofen im Innkreis, where he runs a golden retriever dog breeding business.

With more than two-thirds of .AT registrants living in Austria, .AT has a special place in the hearts of Austrians.

“The .AT domain is still the virtual home of the Austrians, as almost 70 per cent of the domain holders live here. It remains the most popular calling card on the web – for both companies and private persons.”

Of the registered domains, 96.28 per cent of domains (currently 962,987) are registered at the second level, while there are 30,093 (3.01%) .CO.AT domains and 7,146 (0.71%) OR.AT domains, making a total of 1,000,226 active domains at the close of business on 10 January.

Registrations for .AT commenced in 1988 when the country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) .AT was delegated to the University of Vienna. Over the next ten years, the university also served as the .AT registry.

Initially there were restrictive registration policies that were liberalised in 1997 leading to a sharp rise in registration numbers. One year later, nic.at took over the registration and administration of .AT domains.

Registration growth has been around 90,000 per year for the last three years after the introduction of free internationalised .AT domains in October and November 2006 that saw registrations grow by an incredible 234,686. In 2007 once this free issue of domains ended many of the domains were deleted leading to growth of only 13,161, but since then growth has stabilised.

Growth continues strongly too. “More than 7,000 domains have already been registered in the first week of January,” said Wein. Looking forward to the future he says “We are eager to follow the development and look forward to the next .AT million!”
Europe Registry logoTo register your .AT domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

This article was updated to reflect additional information provided on the passing of the one millionth registration mark.

Third .at report Looks At Domain Lifespans, Control Domains

With the one million active domain name registrations approaching for .AT, the Austrian registry nic.at has released its third .at report. There are currently 998,478 .AT domains registered and with over 7,000 already registered this month the one million mark is only days away.In 2010 there were 165,145 new .AT registrations, 432,599 data changes and 95,057 deletions – a total of almost 700,000 transactions for the year to the date of the report.While some 80% of registered domains live to see their first birthday, the majority are in fact cancelled in the first three years. If a domain crosses the magic three-year threshold, the chances of its long-term survival are extremely high.The report explains the reason for the high domain mortality rates. In many cases domains are only required for a single campaign, and some are simply cast off by domain traders if they fail to generate sufficient returns. At present the average age of all 980,000 .AT domains at the time of the report is three and a half years.However the third edition of the report focuses on what happens when you type a domain name, and in particular a .AT domain name, into your web browser, or click on a link to a .AT domain name.There are seven name servers around the world, which front 50 server systems also around the world, 15 of which are operated by nic.at directly, while there are two independent Anycast operators that look after the remainder, making Austria one of the international leaders. Nic.at has plans to make the .AT zone even more accessible in future: in 2011 the RcodeZero Anycast cloud operated by nic.at subsidiary IPCom will start testing in a move designed to make queries for the .AT zone even faster and more secure.Of the name servers that nic.at monitors, it is the German servers that handle the most queries with over 50 million queries in a single week, from 1 to 7 November 2010. The name server located in Austria received the second-most number of queries (43,717,593) followed by the Netherlands (just under 35 million) and the US (almost 30 million). Brazil, Sweden, Czech Republic and Hong Kong made up the rest of the nine.The report also shows that an analysis of queries by country of origin confirms that the nic.at name servers have been set up in the right locations, with the report noting this guarantees low response times without generating unnecessary international traffic – the majority of the queries during the period originated in Germany (280 million), Austria (247 million) and the USA (583 million).The report also looks at some .AT trivia. One piece of trivia is about the domain name zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.at – the last possible .AT domain name that can be registered. The domain fulfils a very important role though.The .AT zone is updated several times daily on all name servers in a process termed “zone transfer”. However, it is essential that updates pass off without a hitch otherwise some or all of the .AT sites would be unavailable. The zone transfer will not be concluded until this domain has been added to the zone. This is just one of the many control mechanisms employed by nic.at.To download the third edition of the .at report in full, see www.nic.at/en/uebernic/current_issues/at_report/To register your .AT domain name, check out EuroDNS here.To register your .AT domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

As .AT Approaches One Million Domains, Second .AT Report Finds Germans Love Austria

nic.at logoWith the .AT domain name space approaching its one millionth registration sometime in the next twelve months, the Austrian registry nic.at has released the second of its twice-yearly reports. This edition of the .AT Report finds that Germans love .AT domain names with 190,000 of the 939,951 domain names registered on 1 July. However the Swiss and the British are also interested in .AT domain names.

The report is full of interesting statistics and titbits for the domain name connoisseur.

The distribution of domain names between business and individuals is close to even with 53 per cent of all domains registered to legal entities such as businesses and organisations while the remaining 47 per cent to private individuals.

And of the 939,951 .AT domains, 496,781 are owned by businesses and private individuals. Almost 80 per cent of registrants own just one .AT domain while 61,000 have registered two. The other end of the spectrum is more likely to be an exception to the general rule: a total of 6,386 .AT domains are registered with a single owner.

As could be expected, domain names are spread throughout the country with Austria’s capital and most populous city, Vienna, having the most registrations (197,556). However there is one town of almost 800 people that holds the record of domain names registered per person. Austria’s domain name “capital” is Holzhausen near Linz where there is an average of 1.58 domain names registered per person. Leibnitz in southern Styria is one other town in Austria with more domain names than people.

On the length of domain names, the report finds that the majority contain nine to eleven characters however there are three domain names containing the maximum 63 characters. One of the three references a mathematical phenomenon discovered in 1882 by Ferdinand von Lindemann – the transcendental nature of pi:
141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592.at

The other two 63-character domains are:

  • falcons-mohr-falcons-sale-pure-white-black-gyr-peregrines-saker.at
  • oesterreich-urlaub-wandern-vorarlberg-bregenzerwald-warth-lech.at.

Popular strings within domain names include those that deal with the capital, such as “Vienna” and “Wien”, while others such as “Tirol” or “Tyrol” and “Salzburg” or “Sbg” are also popular.

The report also looks at the likely introduction of new generic Top Level Domains in addition to the current 21 gTLDs. ICANN has been debating the introduction of new gTLDs for several years and it is expected that late this year or early next ICANN will approve their introduction and begin accepting applications for new gTLDs.

Nic.at is looking to capitalise on the introduction of new gTLDs, using their experience as a registry operator to assist applicants with consultation, their application to ICANN, and if successful, the registry operation with their Registry-in-a-box. Depending on the requirements, Registry-in-a-box offers several different levels of assistance and support.

To download the second .AT Report in German or English, go to the nic.at website here.

Europe Registry logoTo register your .AT domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

Nic.at Introduces Whois Privacy Changes

nic.at logoNic.at, the registry for .AT domain names, has introduced changes to its Whois privacy rules. As of 7 January 2010, phone numbers, fax numbers and email addresses are all hidden by default.

For registrants, when registering a domain name, the default setting will be “hidden” and if registrants want this information public they will have to change the default setting.

For more information, see www.nic.at.

Europe Registry logoTo register your .AT domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

Initial '.AT Report' Shows Local Market is Still Growing Strong

nic.at logoThe number of .AT (Austria) domain names continues to grow with the one millionth registration expected in early 2010 according to the first .AT Report, a new publication on the state of the .AT ccTLD from nic.at. Continue reading Initial '.AT Report' Shows Local Market is Still Growing Strong

Initial ‘.AT Report’ Shows Local Market is Still Growing Strong

nic.at logoThe number of .AT (Austria) domain names continues to grow with the one millionth registration expected in early 2010 according to the first .AT Report, a new publication on the state of the .AT ccTLD from nic.at.

The report, to be published three times per year, notes that as of April 1 there were 932,132 .AT domain names registered. This was an increase of 7.8 per cent in the preceding five months and almost six times the number from when your correspondent was working for nic.at at the end of 2000.

“The main goal of the report is to provide statistics and information for the media and the domain name community,” said Richard Wein, commercial manager at nic.at

“The report is split into two sections,” said Wein. “There are statistics and general information on .AT in one section, while the second section will include a hot issue that impacts on .AT.”

Austrians love their .AT with two-thirds (68%) of the domains being registered by Austrians, despite no restrictions on who may register a .AT domain name. Statistically speaking this means that every 13th Austrian citizen owns a .AT domain while 51 per cent of domains were registered by private individuals and the remainder by companies and organisations.

Divided up on a state-by-state basis, almost one-third (30%) of domains are registered in Vienna, while Upper and Lower Austria account for another 30 per cent (13% and 17% respectively). On a per capita basis, popular skiing areas such as Salzburg and Tyrol are well represented.

Outside of Austria, predictably, German-based registrants account for the most registrations with 12,806 registrations. This is followed by registrants in the UK (3,020) and Switzerland (1,219).

The hot issue of the initial .AT Report is the secondary market, the buying and selling of domain names. The report notes .AT domain names recorded the largest year-on-year increase of any TLD according to sales statistics provided by Sedo with prices increasing 42 per cent. The most expensive .AT domain sold by Sedo in 2009 was pizzeria.at, sold for €17,000. However the most expensive .AT domain name sold, according to publicly available information, was jobs.at, sold privately back in 2007.

The .AT Report is available for download in English and German in PDF format (3.7MB).

Europe Registry logoTo register your .AT domain name, check out Europe Registry here.

Swiss Among World Leaders in Enabling DNSSEC

SWITCH, the registry for .CH and .LI domain names, enabled DNSSEC on day two of the annual Domain Pulse conference in Luzern yesterday. SWITCH became the third ccTLD registry to enable DNSSEC giving registrants of .CH domain names added security following .SE (Sweden) and .CZ (Czech Republic).The added security for internet users allows for a more secure internet, especially important for banks and other financial services providers, for example.At the Domain Pulse conference, Urs Eppenberger of SWITCH and Marc Furrer of the Swiss Federal Communications Commission (ComCom) enabled DNSSEC.Furrer said he was very pleased with the efforts of SWITCH to be playing a leading role in the implementation of more secure internet communications and commerce.”I am particularly proud of the fact that Switzerland is one of the first countries in Europe to introduce DNSSEC. This now guarantees security in the internet” said a delighted Marc Furrer, President of ComCom, in a statement.Meanwhile DENIC is on schedule to prepare a test bed for registrars and this phase will run until 2011, said Sabine Dolderer, the company’s CEO.However nic.at will not be introducing DNSSEC in 2010, said Richard Wein, CEO of nic.at. Wein believes there is not yet the demand or the market for it in Austria (.AT) at the moment, but like DENIC, nic.at will be watching developments closely in the .CH ccTLD closely. Nic.at will be preparing for DNSSEC internally to have it ready for deployment when there is a demand.Nic.at is also preparing an innovative business model to allow internet companies from registries, and in particular those planning to apply for new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), registrars, banks and others demanding a high level of security, to use their infrastructure. It is planned to have this finalised in the summer of 2010.Among other presentations included Steve Gobin from ICANN who spoke of the new Registrar Accreditation Agreement while Simon Kopp of Kantonspolizei Luzern spoke about Fit4Chat , an initiative of the Luzern canton’s police department to help parents and children deal with unwanted contact from strangers, and in particular older adults, online.There was also a presentation on internationalised domain names (IDNs) from Leonid Todorov from the Coordination Centre for TLD RU who explained the difficulties for Russian users in having to use only Latin characters for domain names. With a very small number of English speakers, especially in the more remote regions, and n o adequate Latin/Cyrllic script translation, particularly relating to international trademarks, the introduction of IDNs will be of huge benefit to internet users in the country.The 2011 Domain Pulse conference will be held in Vienna, Austria, from 17 to 18 February which will more or less coincide with the predicted one millionth .AT domain registration milestone.Videos and slides of all presentations, mostly in German, are available on the Domain Pulse website at domainpulse.ch although without simultaneous translations as occurred during the meeting.

Domain Name Security Gains Prominence in German-Speaking World

The 2010 Domain Pulse, hosted by SWITCH (the .CH registry) was held in the snowy Swiss city of Luzern. Domain Name Security (DNS) was of particular importance in this year’s meeting with DNSSEC being implemented in the root zone in 2010 by ICANN, and by many registries in the next few years.ICANN plan to have all root servers signed with DNSSEC by mid-2010 Kim Davies, Manager, Root Zone Services at ICANN told the meeting on Monday, starting with the L root server, then A root server with the last being the J root server as all are gradually signed.ICANN has taken a conservative approach to deploying DNSSEC to ensure there are no mistakes in its implementation, said Davies.Meanwhile a discussion on the registration of domain names that are responsible for illegal content, such as phishing or child pornography, was hotly discussed.A discussion with lawyers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland said in varying degrees that when it is difficult to contact the domain registrant, that using the registrar as a means of deleting the domain name was justified.All three lawyers, Clara-Ann Gordon (Switzerland), Dr. Boris Uphoff (Germany) and Michael Pilz (Austria) said that when it is difficult to contact the domain registrant, that using the registrar as a means of deleting the domain name.Difficulties can often occur in the event of such a domain name registration when the registrant includes false registration information.The registries, represented by their legal counsel Stephan Welzel (DENIC), Barbara Schlossbauer (nic.at) and Nicole Beranek Zanon (SWITCH) took this discussion further and explained what happens when there are difficulties in contacting registrants such as when there is illegal use of the domain name, such as illegal content.In the case of phishing, in Austria if the registry is certain the content is legal the domain name is deleted, in Germany the domain name is not deleted as they believe the domain name is not the problem but the content is while in Switzerland they temporarily block the domain until the legal situation is sorted out.Videos of all presentations, mostly in German, are available on the Domain Pulse website at domainpulse.ch although without simultaneous translations as occurred during the meeting.