Tag Archives: Switzerland

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.

ccTLDs Growth Outstrips Legacy gTLDs: CENTR Report

CENTR small logoThe growth rate for the 248 ccTLDs around the world has been higher than that for the 21 legacy gTLDs in the three months to the end of August according to the latest CENTR DomainWire report.

The number of domains registered across all ccTLDs was 129,388,192, an increase of 1.7 percent over the three months, not including internationalised domain ccTLDs, which themselves grew by the even higher rate of 2.9 percent to 1,244,863.

Meanwhile the 21 legacy gTLDs saw growth of 0.3 percent to 148,807,739. Meanwhile, as would be expected, registrations across all the new gTLDs grew significantly across the three months – growing a total of 139.8 percent to 2,070,244.

In total, according to the ZookNIC statistics used by CENTR, there was a total of 282,526,140 domains registered across all TLDs, an increase of 1.3 percent in three months.

Among the ccTLDs, growth was highest with the largest, .tk (Tokelau) which saw registrations of its free domains grow 8.6 percent to 26.0 million. No other ccTLD saw growth of over two percent, but five saw registrations of 1.0 percent or more. They were .cn (China) with growth of 1.8 percent to 10.8 million registrations, followed by .eu (European Union – 1.5% – 3.8m), .ch (Switzerland – 1.2% – 1.9m), .br (Brazil – 1.2% – 3.5m) and .au (Australia – 1.0% – 2.9m).

The 20 largest ccTLDs accounted for around 82 percent of all ccTLD domains registered globally and 38 percent of all domains.

Within Europe there were almost 66.5 million ccTLD domains registered at the end of August, a growth rate of 0.3 percent for the quarter and 2.8 percent for the year.

The report also notes the countries with the highest domain name penetration. Liechtenstein tops this list with 176 ccTLD domains registered per 100 people, followed by Montenegro with 117, boosted by their .me ccTLD being promoted as a gTLD. The Netherlands and Switzerland followed with 33 and 24 respectively, then Denmark (23), Germany (19) and the United Kingdom (17).

The report also looked at registrar security and authentication. CENTR asked over 100 registrars, web hosting companies, ISPs and other IT related organisations for their thoughts on some specific areas of security management. The aim of the survey was to gather views on how to increase the security level access to their web portals as well as to evaluate the need for a greater emphasis on two-factor authentication and other security features.

The survey found that 90 percent of respondents are not aware of any situation where leaked credentials have led to an attacker modifying DNS or related data. This left 10% who have experienced this type of incident. Almost 70 percent of all respondents stated an attack of this kind would be a major impact on either the entire or part of the organisation.

To download the CENTR report in full, go to:
https://centr.org/news/09-25-2014/domainwire-sep14-global-tld-report

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.

European ccTLD Growth Slowing But Still Higher Than gTLDs

It may have a reputation for being one of the TLDs with the most phishing domains, but the number of .tk (Tokelau) domain names under management continues to soar. Registrations grew by 13.9 percent in the quarter ending August, according to the latest Centr DomainWire StatReport, with total registrations reaching 19.1 million for the ccTLD whose domain names are given away for free.The report notes .de (Germany) continues to progressively grow and maintain its second place with 15.5m DUM while .uk (United Kingdom) comes in third with 10.6m. But .cn (China) continues to rapidly grow, again, and is now back to 7.8m.Within Europe, at the end of August 2013 there were just over 65.1m DUM while over the past 12 months, overall net growth is 5.9 percent – an increase of around 3.6m. The largest contribution to the increase came from .ru with 780,000.The ccTLDs with the largest growth rate within Europe were .me (Montenegro) where registrations grew by 5.2 percent in the quarter ending August, followed by .ru (Russian Federation – 4.1%), Cyprus (.cy – 3.8%), .pt (Portugal – 3.4%) and then .is (Iceland – 2.9%).The report also shows the number of domain names per person. This statistic is skewed by how the ccTLD is marketed, with .me ranking highly due to it being marketed more as a gTLD. The Centr report shows that .li (Liechtenstein) has the highest penetration with 181 domains per 100 people for the 37,000 people in the country, followed by .me with 116. Then follows .nl (Netherlands – 32), .ch (Switzerland – 23), .dk (Denmark – 22), .de (19) and then .uk (17).The report also notes that growth rates in European ccTLDs have slowed over the past 12 months. The growth rate for the year to August 2013 was 5.9 percent (compared to the 12 months to April 2012 whose growth rate was 6.6 percent) but this was on average 2.5 percent higher than for gTLDs globally. The average monthly growth of all European ccTLDs is 0.47 percent. Globally the number of ccTLD registrations grew by one percentage point in the 12 months to August 2013, while gTLDs share dropped by the corresponding percentage point.Marketing is also looked at in the report, with how ccTLDs are marketed. Registries use traditional as well as new marketing tools, as shows the below graph which is based on a June 2013 survey amongst CENTR members. The same survey shows that a large majority of the registries have, or are developing, a formal marketing plan. The traditional ‘offline’ channels such as printed media, TV and radio are used by several registries while others cooperate with registrars with sponsorship arrangements and co-marketing initiatives and programmes.The report is available for download from centr.org/system/files/share/domainwire_stat_report_2013_2.pdf.

Geographic gTLD Applications Taking A Battering

Objections to a number of applications for regional generic Top Level Domains have meant that a few have seemingly bitten the dust.First was the application for .swiss by Swiss International Airlines. The Swiss government objected to this application, and so the airline withdrew its application.Then there were a few South American countries that objected to applications for .patagonia by the outdoor company and .amazon by the online retailer, and both seem to have been rejected.For .patagaonia, Argentina and Chile protested while Brazil and Peru objected to .amazon. All of the countries objected to private companies having control of gTLDs and preventing individuals and organisations in these regions being able to register domains to benefit the regions.The protests against the three gTLD applications have been most prominent at Governmental Advisory Committee. For example, the Swiss government set out its reasons for objecting and said “there is no doubt that the adjective/noun ‘Swiss’ and the management of the corresponding gTLD belong to the Swiss community and should not be controlled by a single private entity.”The governments of Brazil and Peru in objecting to .amazon said the application by the online retailer “has not received support from the governments of the countries in which the Amazon region is located. Therefore, the Governments of Brazil and Peru (GAC Members), with full endorsement of Bolivia, Ecuador and Guyana (Amazonic non GAC members) and also of the Government of Argentina, would like to request that the gTLD application be included in the GAC early warning process.”The governments of Argentina and Chile gave similar reasons for their objections to .patagonia.In the case of both of .amazon and .patagonia, there was only one application for each. But in the case of .swiss, the Swiss government also applied through their Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications.

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