New registrations among European ccTLDs slowed during 2021, but so did deletions and registrar transfers, which meant growth was positive, according to the latest CENTRstats Global TLD Report released this week.
DNS Abuse has become an issue the domain name industry is beginning to give the attention it deserves. In February 2021 attention to it was ramped up when the Public Interest Registry, the team behind .org, launched the DNS Abuse Institute. Prior to this the issue was bubbling along being discussed regularly at ICANN meetings and elsewhere.
European ccTLDs dominate domain name registrations in European countries, totalling 69 million across the continent, and making up 3 in 5 (59.5%) of all registrations. There are also 35 million .com domain names (30.2%) and 13 million domain names registered in all other gTLDs (11.2%), according to the latest CENTRstats Global TLD Report Q2/2021.
CENTR have published an informative video explaining the role of the domain name system (DNS) in tackling illegal content online. Explaining the reasoning for the video, CENTR says due to increased legislative interest in this topic, the need for comprehensive educational material outlining the role and technical capabilities of the DNS, ccTLDs and their role in the internet ecosystem is greater than ever.
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.