Tag Archives: Switzerland

Domain Pulse 2013: GFC, Maturing Markets, Lead To Domain Registration Growth Slowing

Maturing domain name markets and the global financial crisis have both impacted on the registration growth within the German speaking countries in Europe as well as elsewhere Mathew Zook of Zooknic told the Domain Pulse conference last week.However this does not mean registrations have declined, as they are still growing strongly and would be the envy of any other industry or economy. It is just not growing as strongly as they have previously. Growth could be compared to the Chinese economy, which was rocketing along until the GFC hit, but then still continued to grow at a rate that was the envy of almost every other country.Overall across the world Zook has observed through his research that yearly growth rates have been declining over time due to maturing markets, high penetration rates for internet use and it becoming harder to find good domains. As the GFC hit, registration growth was slowed a bit more. But as the global economy is improving, Zook has observed so are registration growth rates.But the pattern observed by Zook is inconsistent as registrations are growing more strongly in some markets. Over the last ten years the fastest growth has occurred in ccTLDs such as in .in (India), .cn (China), .tk (Tokelau, which gives away its domains for free) and .co (Colombia). But within the German speaking countries that co-host Domain Pulse, growth has been slower. However it should also be noted these are more mature markets.An example of a maturing market is .de which has expanded by 2.5 times over the last ten years and remains the world’s largest ccTLD and second largest TLD, but overall share has shrunk due to the expansion of other TLDs.One market that has grown strongly in recent years and which is a mature market is .fr (France). However this is likely to be largely explained by the liberalisation of registration policies.Domain registrations also increase the more computers there are connected to the internet, Zook also told Domain Pulse, which was also fairly constant over time.Speaking of new TLDs, a focus of this year’s Domain Pulse, Zook believes they can be successful. Those TLDs that will be open for public registrations may face an uphill battle getting noticed with registrars reluctant to add new and unknown TLDs to their “shelf space.” But Zook cites the examples of .me (Montenegro), .co and .tk, all successfully relaunched in recent years as defacto gTLDs, to show that they can work.Zook also believes new TLDs are not likely to have a significant impact and they may be complementary to rather than a substitution for existing registrations.

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.

SWITCH Discontinues Registrar Service For .LI

SWITCH logoSWITCH, the registry for the .li and .ch ccTLDs, is withdrawing the option for .li (the ccTLD for Liechtenstein) registrants to register .li domain names with them directly as of 14 February 2013. The move means that registrants will need to transfer their .li domain names as of this date to its accredited registrars, or as it calls them, “Partners.”

Up until now, it has been possible to register .li domain names directly with SWITCH or with one of more than 60 recognised Partners of SWITCH. The change has no impact on .ch (Switzerland) domains. Whether any similar change occurs to .ch domains is in the hands of OFCOM and the Swiss legislator. However SWITCH note they are not aware of any plans in this respect.

The SWITCH Foundation has taken the decision to discontinue its direct customer business with .li domain names. The current model with SWITCH as a registry and provider is no longer appropriate for the market the organisation believes.

“SWITCH has successfully built up the direct customer market over the past eight years. And more than 60 recognised Partners of SWITCH now ensure properly functioning competition. SWITCH is thus withdrawing from this market,” adds Andreas Dudler, managing director of SWITCH. This move has been coordinated with the Liechtenstein Office of Communication.

Leading up to the change, all registrants of .li domains that use SWITCH as their registrar will be informed of the change in writing and will be invited to transfer their domain names to a partner of their choice by 13 February 2013. If customers fail to do anything, their .li domain names will be automatically transferred to switchplus on 14 February 2013. switchplus is a recognised Partner and subsidiary of SWITCH. A subsequent transfer to a different Partner is possible at any time. SWITCH is making sure that all customers are able to select a new service provider and is ensuring the interruption-free operation of .li domain names.

SWITCH is continuing to act as the registry on behalf of the Office of Communication of the Principality of Liechtenstein and will ensure that .li domain names operate reliably and are available round the clock all over the world. SWITCH will additionally be supporting the more than 60 recognised Partners.

For more information, see:

Domain Pulse 2013 Conference Focussing on European New gTLDs

The highlight of the European domain name calendar is fast approaching with the Domain Pulse conference set for 18 and 19 February in the Swiss alpine resort of Davos.Best known for hosting the World Economic Forum, which will be held in late January, Davos will be cleared of world leaders and the important issues impacting on domain names can then be the focus of this annual event.Highlights of the 2013 Domain Pulse will be an analysis of the Top Level Domain landscape by presentations from new gTLD applicants for .swiss, .wien and .zuerich, cybercrime online from Team Cymru, Matthew Zook from Zooknic and a presentation on a secure internet in Switzerland. There will also be a presentation on the 2012 Registrar Atlas that looks at issues affecting registrars in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and France.Domain Pulse is co-hosted by the Swiss (SWITCH), Austrian (nic.at) and German (DENIC) registries who take it in turns to host the event. While most presentations are in German, there will be simultaneous translations from German into English, or English into German.Registration and attendance at this unique event is free, with hotel and transport costs the only expense for attendees. More information, and to register, can be found at www.domainpulse.ch

SWITCH, .CH Registry, Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The SWITCH Foundation, operator of the registry for .CH (Switzerland) domain names, celebrated its 25th anniversary last week. To commemorate the anniversary, SWITCH have had a look back at its 25 years and looked at what it has achieved, and also looked at the future.For more on SWITCH’s 25 years, check out the SWITCH announcement below:SWITCH celebrates its 25th anniversaryThe SWITCH Foundation is looking back on the first 25 years of its existence today. As a partner to the universities, SWITCH develops services for researchers, lecturers and students which strengthen Switzerland as a research location and contribute towards networking the universities. Projects for the younger generation and the development of an e-identity are pointing the way to the future for sustainable Internet services.Since it was founded in 1987, SWITCH has been committed to creating, storing and disseminating new knowledge. As part of the Swiss university community, the Foundation makes researchers, lecturers and students more successful on a global basis through comprehensive networking and individual ICT services. It is SWITCH’s close cooperation with the university community and the corporate culture characterised by a team spirit, solidarity and curiosity that have made it a success. “Its global networking ensures that SWITCH is always on the ball”, explains Andreas Dudler, managing director of SWITCH.SWITCH services make their mark on everyday university life
Today, members of the universities use services provided by SWITCH on a daily basis in their work and studies. The SWITCH AAI login, for example, gives 350,000 students and university members secure access to a large number of e-learning systems, web applications and learning platforms at all the participating universities in Switzerland.The authentication and authorisation infrastructure AAI has considerably strengthened Switzerland as a research location and made a key contribution towards networking the universities. AAI has also proved successful internationally: comparable infrastructures are being set up and further developed all over the globe. In the field of e-learning and cooperation, SWITCH has developed services for online lectures, virtual project work, interactive web conferences, an e-learning forum and digital learning libraries.A look to the future
SWITCH is supporting the “Information Technology Biber Switzerland” project, which shows young people just how versatile and relevant to everyday life the Internet is. This IT competition for children and young people in years 5 to 13 at school is intended to arouse young people’s interest in information technology. A further future-oriented project is the e-identity launched in conjunction with Swiss universities, which is developing a permanent, globally compatible, digital identity for lifelong students in Switzerland. SWITCH is keeping a finger on the pulse of innovation with its Innovation Engine: all those belonging to a university are entitled to contribute their idea for an ICT service. If the idea fulfils criteria such as implementability, relevance and financeablility, SWITCH will develop an appropriate service for the university community.

A look back
25 years of SWITCH, 25 years of “.ch” and 25 years of Internet in Switzerland: the virtual journey through time is online at: www.switch.ch/about/25yearsLinks:

Swiss Court Upholds SWITCH’s Right To Link To Switchplus

SWITCH logoThe Swiss Federal Supreme Court has upheld the SWITCH’s right to provide a link to its independent subsidiary switchplus ag.

An earlier court lower court decision had precluded SWITCH from doing so. SWITCH then lodged an appeal on 22 March 2012 with the Federal Supreme Court against the verdict of the Federal Administrative Court of 13 February 2012. This verdict banned SWITCH from providing a link to its subsidiary switchplus ag on the switch.ch website. SWITCH’s appeal was upheld in its entirety by the Federal Supreme Court on 14 August 2012.

“With its decision, the Federal Supreme Court is supporting SWITCH’s economic freedom”, explains Andreas Dudler, Managing Director of SWITCH.

The decision specifies inter alia that it must be possible for SWITCH to provide information on the group website switch.ch not only about its core business for the universities but also on the services of its subsidiary switchplus. With its verdict, the Federal Supreme Court also confirms that SWITCH has not given its subsidiary switchplus an unlawful advantage.

Switchplus was originally established in response to calls from domain name customers for hosting services, so SWITCH set up its commercial subsidiary switchplus ag in 2009. This company provided services associated with an internet presence – from the registration of the domain name, via web mail and CMS hosting, right through to hosted exchange. SWITCH uses its subsidiary’s profits to support Switzerland’s universities.

After switchplus ag had been set up, a group of hosting providers prevented the market entry of the subsidiary. The decision taken by the Federal Supreme Court should now have put an end to this longstanding discussion. “We welcome this pioneering decision by the Federal Supreme Court. It confirms that SWITCH has always acted correctly”, says Marco D’Alessandro, media spokesman for SWITCH.

Malware security: Switzerland No. 1 worldwide

SWITCH logo[news release] In its fight against malware, SWITCH is demanding that the holders and operators of infected websites remove the malicious code within 24 hours. Thanks to this measure, a total of 1052 Swiss websites have already had the dangerous drive-by code removed from them in 2012. 

According to the latest quarterly report published by security firm, Panda Security, 32 percent of computers worldwide were infected with malware in 2012, somewhat fewer than the year before (38 percent). Switzerland is No. 1 worldwide with the lowest infection rate. Malware takes in malicious software such as viruses, worms and Trojans. Once websites are infected with malicious code, they can install malware on the PC unnoticed by site operators and visitors. It is frequently enough to just call up a manipulated website. In order to protect Internet users from precisely this danger, SWITCH has been pursuing the aim of having infected .ch and .li websites cleaned up as rapidly as possible since the end of 2010. Hence, a total of 2828 affected websites were rendered harmless between January 2011 and July 2012 (see graph).

Security in the Internet has top priority for SWITCH. “We see on a daily basis how cyber criminals repeatedly find new loopholes allowing them to infect websites with so-called drive-by infections”, explains Dr. Serge Droz, Head of the Security Division of SWITCH. “That is why it is essential for operators to clean up infected websites quickly.”

SWITCH Fighting Malware in Switzerland table

A unique process anywhere in the world
In its fight against malware, SWITCH demands that the holders and operators of infected websites remove malicious code within 24 hours. For each suspicious website, SWITCH’s Security Division checks whether calling up the site can lead to a computer becoming infected. The source code of the website is examined to this end. If SWITCH finds malicious code, the holder and operator of the domain name will be informed. If it does not prove possible to contact the domain owner or a competent system administrator, SWITCH will block the domain name in order to protect Internet users, which means that the website in question can no longer be reached. If the holder also fails to respond to the website being blocked, SWITCH will demand that the holder identify himself/herself within 30 days by means of a certificate of place of residence, or an excerpt from the Commercial Register. If this identification is not forthcoming, the domain name will be deleted.

To download the “Quarterly Report PandaLabs, April-June 2012” click here. [PDF]

As a non-profit organisation, SWITCH guarantees Switzerland’s access to the Internet. One hundred employees work on a daily basis on further developing web technologies, facilitating the exchange of knowledge between Swiss universities and increasing the security of the Internet in Switzerland. In 2012, the Internet service provider with its head office in Zurich will be celebrating its 25th anniversary.

This SWITCH news release was sourced from:

.ME Fastest Growing European ccTLD Shows Centr Report

The Montenegrin ccTLD .ME is the fastest growing of all European ccTLDs while there are there are roughly 59 million domain names registered in Europe the latest Centr DomainWire Stat Report shows.The report for the first half of 2012 contains a wealth of statistics including that 40 per cent of all domain names registered in Europe are for private purposes while 60 per cent are for business.There is also the average length of a domain name – 11.2 characters.The ccTLD with the highest number of domain names per person in Europe is.LI (Lichtenstein) with 192 domains per 100 people living in the country followed by .ME with 86 domains per 100 people. Third is .NL (Netherlands), which is the first of the larger ccTLDs with 28 domains per 100 people. Rounding out the top ten are .CH (Switzerland – 28), .DK (Denmark – 21), .DE (Germany – 18), .UK (United Kingdom – 16) and then .AT (Austria), .LU (Luxembourg) and .SE (Sweden), each with 13 domains registered per 100 inhabitants.The report also lists the top 20 ccTLDs globally using figures as of the end of April. The top ten are .DE first with over 15 million registrations, followed by .UK (10.09m), .NL (4.92), .RU (Russian Federation – 3.79), .EU (European Union – 3.60), .CN (China – 3.35), .BR (Brazil – 2.89), .AR (Argentina – 2.49), .AU (Australia – 2.40) and .IT (Italy – 2.39).To download the Centr report and check out many more statistics including on domain name renewal rates and world internet usage, go to https://www.centr.org/DomainWire_Stat_Report_2012_1.

SWITCH celebrates 25 years of .CH

SWITCH logoThe Swiss Top Level Domain .CH is 25 years old: it was in May 1987 that .ch was registered as the Swiss ending. This was the point at which the Internet in Switzerland came to life – even before the World Wide Web had been invented.

It was the year in which Andy Warhol died, the rock group Nirvana was founded, Steffi Graf won her first “Grand Slam” and Platoon was awarded an Oscar for the best film. In 1987, the Swiss Internet address ending .ch was registered – and, as of that time, SWITCH was responsible for administering the country domain.

Awarding Certificate For 25 Years of CH

Application by e-mail

The Swiss country ending was applied for in a particularly straightforward manner: “to show that we were entitled to .CH, we sent an e-mail identifying ourselves as the experts who were responsible for computer networks in Switzerland”, explains ETH Professor Bernhard Plattner. Since the necessary ISO Standard had also been complied with, Jon Postel, the founder of IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), registered .ch in May 1987 in the name of Bernhard Plattner and his then PhD student, Hannes Lubich, of the ETH Zurich.

“Unfortunately the e-mails got lost at some stage with the transfer to different systems and computers”, says Plattner with regret. The ETH professor, who was also managing director ad interim of the newly established SWITCH Foundation at the time, transferred the country address ending to SWITCH – and thus laid the foundation stone for the present-day registration of .ch domain names.

Celebrating 25 Years Of CH ICANN Certificate

The Internet as a research network

In 1987, the Internet was still purely a network between universities in the USA. “All the data traffic was conducted on the basis of e-mail. A domain name was needed for the address so that the computers could deliver the e-mail correctly in the Internet. That was the first practical use for .CH domain names”, explains Urs Eppenberger, head of the SWITCH registry.

Urs Eppenberger was SWITCH’s first employee as of June 1987, together with interim managing director Plattner. The predecessor of .CH was the e-mail-based “.chunet” network. This abbreviation stood for Swiss university network. The focus on research also emerges clearly from the first three Swiss internet addresses to be registered: these were ethz.ch, cern.ch and switch.ch. Tim Berners Lee did not lay the foundation stone for the current World Wide Web until 1989 at CERN. In 1990, the Internet was made available for commercial use, and people outside the universities and the US military were permitted to use it.


As a non-profit organisation, SWITCH guarantees Switzerland’s access to the Internet. One hundred employees work day-in day-out on further developing web technologies, facilitating the exchange of knowledge between universities and stepping up the security of the Internet in Switzerland. For the private sector, SWITCH develops specially-tailored security solutions and supports the exchange of information. In November 2012, the Internet service provider, with its head office in Zurich is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

This SWITCH news release was sourced from:

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