Tag Archives: SWITCH

Domain Pulse Conference Heads To Berlin in February

It’s January and that means many things. But for the German-speaking domain name community, it’s not just peak skiing season, it means that the annual Domain Pulse conference, the largest annual domain name conference in Europe, is just around the corner!And this year the German hosts DENIC are setting up camp in Berlin on 26 and 27 February at andel’s Hotel for two days of the latest of happenings in the domain name world with a focus on Europe and in particular the German-speaking countries, and plenty of networking opportunities with your peers plus the usual glamorous gale event. And fear not non-German speakers, all sessions are translated into English, if presented in German, and vice versa.Topics on the agenda relating to domain names over the two days include:

  • an interim report on new gTLDs
  • a panel discussion featuring registry and registrar representatives on their experiences with new gTLDs
  • search engine optimisation with new gTLDs featured
  • real time detection of cyberattacks
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kleinwächter giving an outline of internet governance in 2015, with no doubt the IANA transition featuring as well as a panel session featuring some of the German-speaking specialists
  • some recent legal highlights from SWITCH, nic.at and DENIC
  • registrants and trademark owners discuss their differing views on how they view DENIC’s policies.

So go to www.domainpulse.de and register, book your hotel and flights or rail travel if required, pack your bags and get to Berlin at the end of the February. And stay the weekend to check out one of Europe’s most exciting cities.

SWITCH No Longer Registrar For .CH Domains

SWITCH logo[news release] The SWITCH Foundation stopped selling .ch domain names on 1st January 2015 and is successively handing over client support to its business partners, the registrars. SWITCH will be asking its clients to gradually transfer their .ch domain names. The basis for this change is the new Ordinance on Internet Domains (OID). SWITCH will in future focus on operating the .ch domain name directory and on ensuring that the Swiss Internet remains secure and stable.

Three months before expiry of the subscription period, the clients of .ch domain names are prompted by letter to transfer their domain names to a registrar of their choosing. SWITCH publishes a list of the transfer registrars on the website www.nic.ch.

The first clients will be prompted to transfer by mid-January
By mid-January 2015, SWITCH will be sending out the first letters to clients whose domain name subscription expires at the end of April 2015. Letters addressed to clients with domain names expiring at the end of May 2015 will be sent by mid-February 2015. This procedure is repeated in the subsequent months. The final letters should be sent out to clients in mid-December 2015 for domain names expiring at the end of March 2016. Holders of .ch domain names do not have to take any action until prompted by SWITCH in writing to carry out the transfer.

For a secure and stable Swiss Internet
Operation of the DNS (Domain Name System) infrastructure for .ch, allows SWITCH to provide not only a stable and reliable Swiss Internet, but makes it accessible globally and protects it from attack. Protection of the DNS in the new Ordinance on Internet Domains (OID) is thus anchored. SWITCH’s renowned Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has been fighting successfully since 2010 against malware (malicious software) on Swiss websites. The top-level domain .ch therefore belongs to the most secure in the world. Since .ch registry is a critical infrastructure for Switzerland, it must meet particularly high security standards. Thanks to its long-standing experience and proven contractual performance, SWITCH guarantees robust design and a stable operation of this critical infrastructure.

For additional information please consult https://www.nic.ch

Our FAQs on transferring domain names provide answers to the important questions about transferring .ch domain names.

Links:

This SWITCH news release was sourced from:
www.switch.ch/about/news/2015/vid2015.html

SWITCH Warns .CH Registrants To Beware Aggressive Tactics From Registrars

SWITCH logoSWITCH, the .ch registry, is warning .ch domain registrants to beware of registrars aggressively touting for business now that SWITCH is getting out of the registrar business.

SWITCH say they have received an increasing number of reports from their clients recently that registrars and internet service providers are urging them to transfer their domain names immediately, in some cases using aggressive tactics. Clients are apparently being told that they might lose domain names that are not transferred.

SWITCH is advising registrants that are their clients they do not need to take any action whatsoever until SWITCH contacts them in writing and asks for the transfer to be carried out.

SWITCH will write to clients at the earliest three months before their subscription ends prompting them to transfer their domain names to a registrar of their choosing. It will send the first such letters out from the middle of January 2015 for domain names expiring at the end of April. Letters for domain names expiring at the end of May will be sent out from mid-February, and so on. The final letters will be sent to clients in mid-December 2015 for domain names expiring at the end of March 2016.

Some registrars and internet service providers ask clients to enter their user name and password on their website or a printed form so that they can carry out the transfer immediately. Please be aware that doing so gives them complete control over your domain names. Anyone who has the user name and password can make all kinds of changes to a domain name.

SWITCH is advising their clients to wait until they prompt them and then carry out the transfer within the three-month period before the subscription expires.

For more information, SWITCH advises their customers to contact their customer service staff or consult their FAQ.

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, www.nic.ch, 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.

SWITCH Welcomes Separation Of Functions Regarding Registration Of .CH Internet Addresses

SWITCH logo[news release] The public consultation on the new Ordinance on Internet Domains (OID) runs from 12th February 2014 to 17th April 2014. The Ordinance stipulates, among other things, that end customers will no longer be able to register their .ch Internet addresses directly with SWITCH in future and must instead register them via a registrar. SWITCH welcomes this new regulation.

The SWITCH foundation is currently tasked by the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) with performing a dual role for .ch domain names. In its role as the registry, it is responsible for maintaining the domain name database. At the same time, it also has the role of registrar, which involves selling .ch domain names directly to end customers. This dual role is to come to an end. With effect from 2015, SWITCH will focus on regulated registry activities. It will thus continue to ensure the secure and stable operation of the country-specific top-level domain .ch.

Regulation no longer necessary
«We welcome this separation between the sovereign, regulated function and the business with end customers. Over the years, SWITCH has built up a market for domain names that works well,» says Dr Andreas Dudler, Managing Director of SWITCH. «There are now around 60 registrars offering complete services for end customers to choose from. These include our subsidiary switchplus, which also markets .ch domain names. As a neutral, independent foundation, we will in future concentrate on the secure and stable operation of the registry, together with our services for the Swiss universities.»

Regulated process
SWITCH and OFCOM have set up a working group to regulate and oversee the transfer of end customers from SWITCH to the registrars. SWITCH will inform its clients in good time once OFCOM has set deadlines and determined the transfer processes.

The registry: working to ensure a secure and stable Internet in Switzerland
In operating the DNS (Domain Name System) infrastructure for .ch, SWITCH makes sure that the Swiss Internet is stable and accessible worldwide and protects it against failures and attacks. Protecting the Internet in Switzerland is SWITCH’s top priority. 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. At the international level, meanwhile, SWITCH works together with the authorities and is in contact or involved with key organisations such as ICANN, CENTR and ENISA as well as the IGF, ITU, OECD, DNS-OARC, IETF, FIRST and the Anti-Phishing Working Group.

Explanation of terms

Registry
A registry is an organisation that centrally administers the operation of a country’s Domain Name System (DNS). In particular, it is in charge of registering the country’s domain names. Examples include nic.at in Austria and denic.de in Germany. SWITCH is contracted by OFCOM in Switzerland to register domain names ending in .ch and by the Office for Communications in the Principality of Liechtenstein to register domain names ending in .li.

Registrar
A registrar is a company that offers its customers domain name registration services as well as additional services such as e-mail and web hosting. It thus acts as a resale partner of the registry and an interface between the registry and the end customers (domain name holders).

Links:

This SWITCH news release was sourced from:
www.switch.ch/about/news/2014/separation.html

SWITCH’s statement on Registrar Alliance

SWITCH logo[news release] The cooperative Registrar Alliance announced on 15 January 2014 that it will be applying for registry status for the .ch TLD.

SWITCH has been the registry for the .ch TLD for over 25 years and ensures the security and stability of the Swiss Internet. As an independent non-profit foundation and partner of the Swiss universities, SWITCH puts a great deal of technical expertise as well as unique know-how and experience into accomplishing this task, which is a huge responsibility. The SWITCH foundation is convinced that it is best placed to perform the registry function.

Urs Eppenberger, Head of Commercial Customers at SWITCH, explains: “In operating the DNS (Domain Name System) infrastructure for .ch, SWITCH makes sure that the Swiss Internet is stable and protects it against failures and attacks.” Protecting the Internet in Switzerland is SWITCH’s top priority. In 2010, for example, it became the first national registry to start successfully combating malware (harmful software) on its country’s websites. This makes the .ch TLD one of the most secure in the world.

SWITCH currently performs the functions of both registry and registrar under contract to the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), but its contract expires at the end of March 2015.

While OFCOM was evaluating the separation of these two functions, SWITCH expressed its support for maintaining State control over the registry function while opening up the registrar function to the free market. Registrars are partners of SWITCH. They are official domain name providers and offer their customers additional services needed for their websites.

Critical infrastructure
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. At the national level, SWITCH fosters close contact with authorities and organisations such as the Federal Office for National Economic Supply (FONES), the Cybercrime Coordination Unit Switzerland (CYCO) and the Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance (MELANI).

Internationally connected
At the international level, meanwhile, SWITCH is in contact or involved with a large number of key organisations, including ICANN, CENTR and ENISA as well as the IGF, ITU, OECD, DNS-OARC, IETF, FIRST and the Anti-Phishing Working Group.

Explanation of terms:

Registry

A registry, often called a Network Information Centre (NIC), is an organisation responsible for the central administration of resources needed to operate a country’s Domain Name System (DNS). In particular, it is in charge of registering the country’s domain names. Examples include nic.at in Austria and denic.de in Germany. SWITCH is contracted by OFCOM in Switzerland to register domain names ending in .ch and by the Office for Communications in the Principality of Liechtenstein to register domain names ending in .li.

Registrar

A registrar is a company that offers its customers domain name registration services as well as additional services such as e-mail and website hosting. It thus acts as a partner of the registry and an interface between the registry and the end customers (domain name holders).

Top-level domain (TLD)

TLDs include all the world’s country domains, such as .ch (Switzerland), .de (Germany) and .at (Austria), as well as the “generic” TLDs such as .com, .net, .org etc.

This SWITCH announcement was sourced from:
www.switch.ch/about/news/2014/stellungnahme-registrar-alliance.html

 

SWITCH Cuts Price Of .CH Domains

SWITCH logoThe price of .CH domains for direct customers is being cut to CHF15.50 as of 1 February 2014 while the wholesale price has also been cut.

The reduction is a result of continued steady growth in the number of domain names registered, which grew by 81,878 domains under management in the 12 months to 30 September 2013 to 1,816,048.

As a partner of the universities, SWITCH brought the Internet to Switzerland more than 25 years ago. Today, the non-profit organisation with 100 employees at its headquarters in Zurich develops internet services for lecturers, researchers and students, as well as for commercial customers. It acts as the registry for all .ch and .li domain names, ensuring the security and stability of the Swiss Internet.

Protecting the Internet in Switzerland is SWITCH’s top priority. In 2010, for example, it became the first national registry to start successfully combating malware (harmful software) on its country’s websites. Thanks to these measures, domain names ending in .ch and .li are among the most secure in the world.

SWITCH awarded this year’s Honorary Award by the ‘Best of Swiss Web’ Association

SWITCH logo[news release] Europe’s oldest Web Award is presenting its Honorary Award 2013 to the SWITCH Foundation – and hence to an organisation for the first time rather than to an individual.

At the ‘Best of Swiss Web‘ Award Night being held in the Kongresshaus Zurich next Thursday, 21 March 2013, not only will the best Internet and mobile projects receive awards in front of an audience of 700, but the traditional Honorary Award will also be presented. This prize is generally awarded to persons who have rendered exceptional service to the development of the Internet and the ICT sector, such as through fundamental developments in the technical field or exceptional achievements as an entrepreneur, politician or researcher.

For the 2013 Honorary Award, the jury has selected an organisation for the first time, rather than individuals. This year’s Honorary Award is going to the SWITCH Foundation.

Since it was founded on 22 October 1987, SWITCH has been a Swiss Internet pioneer and, for more than 25 years now, a reliable competence centre providing services both to the Swiss universities and to the entire Swiss Internet industry. In the jury’s opinion, SWITCH has created excellent conditions for Swiss students, researchers and teachers to be able to work together efficiently and securely. This involves providing the technical basis for internet access and extends right through to taking all the necessary IT security precautions.

SWITCH has also provided valuable services for all companies, organisations and individuals as the registry for all the Internet domain names for Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Added to this come a large number of other services and activities, including the promotion of young Internet talent with the SWITCH Junior Web Award website competition for school classes.

In many areas, SWITCH holds a leading position worldwide, including in identity management and in the fields of high-performance networks and network security. It is thanks to SWITCH that Switzerland’s Internet is one of the most secure in the world. In a globally unique anti-malware process, SWITCH informs the operators of infected .ch and .li websites and asks them to remove the malicious code within a period of 24 hours. According to the 2012 annual report of security firm, Panda Security, Switzerland is one of the countries with the fewest infected computers anywhere in the world.

SWITCH has been a dependable and innovative partner throughout the eventful development of the Internet – and one that has stood out through its high quality and sustainability.

The managing directors of SWITCH to date will be taking receipt of the prize on behalf of the Foundation:

  • Prof. Dr. Bernhard Plattner (first managing director)
  • Peter Gilli (managing director from 1988 to 1995)
  • Thomas Brunner (managing director from 2001 to 2012)
  • Dr. Andreas Dudler (managing director since May 2012)

Previous ‘Best of Swiss Web’ Commendation Prizes have been awarded to:

  • 2007: Dr. Fulvio Caccia (former director of ComCom )
  • 2008: David Nüscheler (CTO Day AG)
  • 2009: Christian Wanner (CEO LeShop)
  • 2010: Robert Cailliau (co-inventor WWW, CERN)
  • 2011: Marc Bürki and Paolo Buzzi (founders of Swissquote)
  • 2012: Prof. em, Dr. Beat Schmid (founder of IWI, St. Gallen University)

This SWITCH news release was sourced from:
www.switch.ch/about/news/2013/bosw.html

Domain Pulse 2013: New TLDs Face Problems Getting Registrar “Shelf Space” Finds European Registrar Survey

Domain Pulse conference logoThe annual and growing Registrar Atlas, a survey of registrars across a growing number of Europe countries, has found that registrars are still reluctant to devote shelf space to new Top Level Domains when they are introduced. The theme is one that has been picked up by the survey for the last three years.

In a presentation on day one of Domain Pulse 2013 in Davos, German lawyer Thomas Rickert presented the preliminary findings of the survey, conducted by eco, the German association that promotes the internet economy.

The Registrar Atlas 2013 has grown from covering registrars in Germany, Austria and Switzerland to this year the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Bulgaria and Russia as well and covers registrar attitudes towards a number of topical issues.

The survey also found that a number of registrars are not interested in acting as a registrar for new TLDs and would rather act as a reseller, possibly reflecting they do not want to go to the effort of adding them to their TLDs offered.

Many registrars appear to be reluctant to devote resources to the unknown quantity of new TLDs. So the ability of many of the new TLDs that will be relying on public domain registrations to attract attention will be difficult.

But registrars are also not particularly concerned that the new TLDs will have much of an impact on ccTLDS.

Rickert also noted that interest in Domain Name Security Extensions (DNSSEC) is sadly lacking and interest among registrars has changed very little in recent years, with the only country in which there was an interest was the Netherlands with around a quarter of all .nl domains registered signed with DNSSEC. This was possibly due to the promotional efforts of the registry, SIDN.

But one area in which Rickert was particularly critical of registrars was the lack of effort made by them to promote domain name registration. The registrars that are highly active in marketing domains, Rickert said, were few and far between.

Rickert said based on the findings, registrars are missing out on many opportunities on growing their business through promoting services such as monetisation, making it easier for registrants to get their domain up and running and through promoting DNSSEC.

One registry that was doing better than the others was nic.at, who Rickert noted was promoting DNSSEC and monetisation.

The final Registrar Atlas 2013 will be released later this year and will be available online at eco.de.

Most Domain Pulse presentations are available from the “programme” section of the conference website in the language of presentation (either German or English).

And to check out photos of the conference, see www.domainpulse.ch/en/photo-gallery

Regional TLDs To Appeal To Sense Of Identity Say 2013 Domain Pulse Speakers

Domain Pulse 2013 got underway today (Monday) in the Swiss city of Davos, bathed in sunshine and snow, to greet the more than 200 attendees who are attending the annual event for the German speaking domain name community.The focus of this year’s conference is the looming introduction, finally, of the first new generic Top Level Domains later in 2013 and internet governance. Domain Pulse is co-hosted by SWITCH, nic.at and DENIC, the registries for .CH (Switzerland), .AT (Austria) and .DE (Germany) and this year it is SWITCH’s turn to host the event.Today speakers that got the conference off and running were representatives of the Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), Canton Zurich’s Office of Economic Affairs and Employment, punktwien GmbH and Afilias.Thomas Schneider from OFCOM stressed that “Swissness” is of key importance for business and tourism in Switzerland.One way of appealing to potential registrants will be to appeal to a sense of identity for people and businesses living in the city, region or country.”.swiss is to be made available to the Swiss community, and especially to Swiss institutions and companies,” said Schneider.Ronald Schwaerzler of .wien meanwhile believes identity is something that should be important in building the TLD in capturing people’s imagination.Naturally the speakers spoke of their TLDs being successful, but this success may not necessarily come at the detriment of existing TLDs. Rather, as Schneider said of .swiss, the TLD would complement the country’s existing ccTLD .ch.All of the applicants said they were still in the process of determining the registration policies, what to do with premium domains and how they would promote their TLDs. Part of the reason for this, as is the case of .swiss, is that the applicant, Switzerland’s OFCOM, has not been involved in running a TLD previously and it is a totally new experience.The Canton of Zurich is also considering reserving some second level domains for third level registrations for .zuerich to allow for future flexibility.