As part of the European Digital Strategy, the European Commission announced in June a Digital Services Act package to strengthen the Single Market for digital services and foster innovation and competitiveness of the European online environment. The revised package will “impact network operators, cloud and hosting providers, top-level domain registries and registrars”, among others.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased new domain registrations as well as median growth rates, the latter something which has been seldom seen over the last decade, a CENTR report out this week has found. As businesses of all sizes get online for the first time, develop new ideas and even cybercriminals, new domain names have been registered, particularly in ccTLDs.
CENTR has taken a look at how COVID-19 has impacted on the DNS, or rather how domain names using terms relating to COVID-19 have fared. While the end result is not much, what they have missed is the impact of domain names being registered because of the global pandemic but don’t refer COVID-19 or related terms.
CENTR is to hold its annual pan-European Registrar Day in at The Hotel in Brussels, Belgium, on 8 October. It will be followed by the fourth CENTR Awards, which aim at highlighting country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registry projects, teams and people that make a difference in the domain name industry, and which this year will also mark CENTR’s 20th Anniversary.
CENTR encourages registries and registrars from all over Europe to come together and mix and mingle, exchange on best practices, improve on or create new business relationships and get updates from industry experts. They say to expect a re-run of last yearâs successful speed-networking session, as well as a tailored agenda based on feedback and key topics of interest.
To register, CENTR say to reach out to your local ccTLD registry. The draft agenda as published by CENTR is:
9:00 Welcome and introductions
9:10 Registry-registrar speed-networking
10:40 Coffee break
11:10 The role of eIDs in an age of data accuracy
11:30 Domain name market trends
- Presentation of most recent market trends
- Panel discussion: zoom-in on SMEs
12:30 Lunch break
14:00 Break-out sessions
- Registry Lock – what’s new?
- How are we dealing with online fraud?
- Incentives (types of incentives, what works, what doesn’t)
- How can registries and registrars work together to face the changing domain landscape?
15:00 Plenary: outcome of break-out session discussions
15:30 Coffee break
16:00 EU Policy Update
16:30 The future of the domain name industry – open mic session
Globally domain name registrations have grown 5.7% in the year to the end of October to 344 million, with growth highest among new gTLDs (7.1%) and African ccTLDs (6.2%), while growth is lowest in the Americas (1.4%), Europe (2.6%) and Asia (2.9%), according to the latest CENTRstats Global TLD Report.
While growth is highest among new gTLDs, with many still launching, as well as African ccTLDs, both have the lowest average number of domain names registered per top level domain.
According to the report, ccTLDs made up 44% of the global domain market, most of which comes from the European market. And while ccTLD growth was highest in Africa in the 12 months to the end of October, it has been from a relatively small base. Growth among ccTLDs in Asia and the Americas have slowed down, particularly among Latin American and Caribbean ccTLDs where median growth was 1.4% YOY at October 2018.
For many European ccTLDs, the report notes 2018 has been focused around GDPR. This has no doubt left some with less marketing resources, but despite this, registrations have continued with relative stability. Although the long term growth average continues to decline, it is doing so at a much reduced rate. At the end of the third quarter however, the median growth hit a new low of 2.7% (1.5% for the top 10 largest ccTLDs). Driving this decline was a sharp slow down in rates of new adds between March and August 2018, particularly among some of the larger ccTLDs. This was aggravated by deletes which did not reduce at the same level. Despite this, the average renewal rate remained strong at a median of 84% (slightly lower at 81% among the top 10 largest ccTLDs).
Across Europe, the average local market share to ccTLDs is estimated at 58% for registrations and 37% for local web traffic. In both cases, the figures are higher when filtered to central and eastern European countries.
Among the new generic top level domains, registrations totalled some 22.5 million – up 11% from 1 year prior. While many new gTLDs are growing well, roughly one third of the top 300 have contracted over the year. Larger legacy gTLDs such as .net, .org and .info have also seen declines, while .com has been increasing its growth rates. The new .app exploded into the market in the middle of year and has around 320K domains so far.
Of the new gTLDs, 539 are for .brands according to the Dot Brand Observatory, 170 of which are active, for a total of 12,115 domain names, which makes for an average of just over 22 domain names per .brand gTLD. Which leaves 694 new gTLDs open to public registrations with an average of 276,495 registrations per gTLD. A note of caution, the numbers from different sources may not align in terms of dates, but they will be close.
For country code top level domains, the average number of domain names among the African ccTLDs is around 58,600, in the Americas 262,300, Asia 645,900 and in Europe 1,257,900.
Of the top 15 TLDs, at the end of October, there were 3 that recorded growth rates of more than 5.0% for the year – .com (5.1%), .uk (9.8%) and .ca (5.2%) while .fr had growth of 4.7%. There were also 3 that declined by more than 5.0% – .net (6.1%), .info (17.6%) and .ru (7.4%).
The full CENTRstats Global TLD Report is available to download with interactive charts and tables from:
EURALO and CENTR announced Tuesday they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) alongside the 2018 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Paris to formalise their existing relationship promoting internet coordination activities in Europe.
In their announcement, the European Regional At-Large Organization (EURALO) and the Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries (CENTR) note that both parties have pledged to collaborate for the promotion of Internet coordination activities in the European region.
More specifically, they will continue to encourage awareness of each otherâs activities and mission, as well as jointly organising capacity-building events and other meetings, trainings, projects of workshops related to Internet policy and governance. They will also continue to promote Internet development in the European region and an open, bottom-up, multistakeholder Internet governance model.
“I am very pleased to sign this Memorandum with CENTR on behalf of EURALO,â said Olivier CrÃ©pin-Leblond, chair of EURALO. âThe aim of EURALO, as defined by our community, is to have at least one At-Large Structure in every country of our region. Collaborating with CENTR will reinforce the multistakeholder model that has already generated great opportunities, starting with National and Regional IGFs. Thanks to CENTR for considering this collaboration and to AFNIC for proposing that we sign this document at the IGF in Paris.”
âThe IGF provides us with an excellent opportunity to strengthen and formalise the collaboration between EURALO and CENTR,â JÃ¶rg Schweiger, CENTR Chair said. âCENTR Members have a long tradition of closely working together with their local Internet Communities. EURALO is well represented in those communities, and we look forward to our increased collaboration and information exchange on a regional level and for our work in the international environment.â
There are 5 RALOs, of which EURALO is one, that unite ICANNâs At-Large Structures (ALSes) and individual members based on their geographic regions. As the information conduit and facilitators, RALOs disseminate information from ICANN, promote the participation of their members, and channel the regional user point of view to ICANN. Each RALO is governed by its own organising documents, including a Memorandum of Understanding with ICANN. Playing a key role in ICANNâs regional strategies, several RALOs partner with ICANN to facilitate the development of critical infrastructure for the Domain Name System.
EURALO unites European Internet end-user voices within the At-Large community. EURALO consists of Internet-related civil society and consumer interests, representing their views in the bottom-up, consensus-based, multi-stakeholder ICANN policy development process.
CENTR is the European association of country-code top level domain (ccTLD) registries.
Globally domain name registrations have grown 2.0% in the 12 months to the end of June, the latest CENTRstats Global TLD Report Q2/2018 reports, but growth rates vary markedly among top level domains. For example, in the 12 months .com grew 5.2% while their Verisign stablemate .net declined 6.0%. Continue reading Over Half European Domain Names Are ccTLDs, But .COM Has Higher Visibility
Globally ccTLDs make up 44% of all domain names under management, a figure that has changed little in recent years, but within Europe the figure is 59% according to the CENTRstats Global TLD Report Q1/2018 published Friday. The difference would largely be explained by .com’s dominance in the United States.
Globally, registrations grew by 1.4% in the year to the end of March bringing the total registrations to 333 million. In Europe, CENTR estimates around 30% (around 100 million) of the world’s domain names are registered. Among the country code top level domains (ccTLDs) registered in Europe, growth was 3.6% in the 12 months “and continue a period of stable growth, in part due to a decline in average deletion rates along with flat rates of new domains.” In Europe, 2.5 million ccTLD domain names were added in the 12-month period with some ccTLDs reversing the slowing growth seen in previous years. The stabilisation in growth is in part due to a decline in average deletion rates along with flat rates of new domains and renews.
Among the gTLDs, they grew by a combined 0.2% over the past year, while within Europe there was a 1% increase despite declines in .top, .org, .net. .biz. The largest gTLD, .com, grew at just over 4% globally and maintains 46% of the global TLD market.
At country level, the national ccTLD is most commonly the TLD of choice and is generally followed by .com while .eu is often within the top 5. Over the past year .eu has grown by the highest percentage in Austria, Portugal and Croatia.
ccTLDs in Europe, Asia and the Americas are all averaging similar annual percentage growth of 2 to 4%. However the African region has shown signs of increasing growth over the past 2 years. High growth ccTLDs in the African region were .zw (Zimbabwe), .tn (Tunisia) and .cm (Cameroon).
CENTR has also added the median retail price for new registrations of European ccTLDs to their research. They found the median price was €10 (excluding tax) with a range of €1 to €60. At registry level, the median wholesale price is €6 excluding tax. The report notes that research has shown that there is a reasonably strong positive correlation between wholesale and retail prices, suggesting registrars adjust their prices to support the underlying wholesale price.
Among generic top level domains (gTLDs), growth totalled 0.1% for the 12 months to the end of March. Among the legacy gTLDs, .com and .info were the ones to have maintained consistent positive growth. Of the gTLDs, .com accounted for around 71% of the global market, with the rest attributed to other legacy gTLDs (18%) and new gTLDs (11%). The CENTR report also found that median growth among geographic gTLDs was 1.9% year-on-year. This group has some of the lowest rates of domain parking among all new gTLDs
The global domain name market grew 1.2% in the year to the end of 2017 to a total of 331 million according to the latest CENTR DomainWire TLD Market Report. Continue reading 1 in 3 gTLDs Shrink in 2017: CENTR Report
At the 59th General Assembly of the CENTR association held on 6 February in Zurich, Switzerland, DENIC CEO Dr. JÃ¶rg Schweiger was re-elected Chair of the Board of Directors.
Also re-elected were Pierre Bonis of the French registry, Afnic, and Irina Daniela of the Russian Coordination Center for the TLD RU/Ð Ð¤ as members of the Board. Further Board members are Elisabeth Ekstrand (IIS, .se) and Danko JevtoviÄ (RNIDS, .rs/.Ð¡Ð Ð).
“I look forward to continuing in this role to promote the close cooperation and the exchange of best practices among the CENTR members and to jointly work for common solutions,” says JÃ¶rg Schweiger. “Holding this position at CENTR provides a good opportunity for DENIC to stay actively involved in shaping the future evolution of the Internet as an open and free medium and to exert an influence with regard to focal European issues.”
CENTR (Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries) is a not-for-profit association of mainly European ccTLD registries (that is domain registries of country codes such as .de). CENTR sees itself as a forum for developing the highest standards for ccTLD management to the benefit of the entire Internet community.