The second quarter of 2020 saw global domain name registrations continue to rise, with an increase of 3.3 million, or 0.9%. This took total registrations around the world to 370.1 million as the global COVID-19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc.
Tom Kleiber, a 53 year old ICT veteran, has been named today to take over as Managing Director of SWITCH, which among other roles manages Switzerland’s ccTLD .ch and Liechtenstein’s .li. Kleiber will succeed Andreas Dudler who is stepping down after nine years as Managing Director and retiring at the end of 2021. Kleiber will take up his new post on 1 January 2021.
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and EURid this week announced they are set to intensify their collaboration with a number of initiatives, with the main one being to allow start-ups, in particular, to obtain their trademark and .eu domain name as part of one process.
Donuts has migrated the backend operations of all their 241 new gTLDs and 3.777 million domain names to the cloud using Amazon Web Services. It is the first major backend registry operator to migrate an existing on-premises backend to the cloud.
Announcing the move, Donuts says moving to the cloud has many strategic benefits for the largest new gTLD operator by TLDs and its registrar partners. The transition will allow Donuts to scale platform capacity according to the growth of its registrations while leveraging the redundancy and resiliency of the AWS platform. By leveraging the power of the cloud and AWS services, Donuts can expand its operational footprint in new geographies and deploy cloud services to efficiently process and analyse registry data for Donuts and its partners at a competitive cost structure.
“Our teams have mastered new technologies through this migration process. With this cloud migration, Donuts is positioned to take on new growth and innovation initiatives with confidence, knowing that our team of engineers and data scientists are up to the challenge,” reported Donuts CEO, Akram Atallah.
“We’ve fully automated the platform environment build-up, allowing us to set up a new registry platform in any geography with the push of a button,” says Benoit Levac, VP of Product and Engineering at Donuts. “This strengthens our position within the market as acquisition opportunities present themselves during this market consolidation.”
As one of the most innovative registries in the new gTLD era, Donuts is committed to maintaining the best platform and technology stack. Cloud enablement provides the scale and agility required to seize business opportunities ahead. Donuts plans to continue to optimise the new cloud platform to increase security, reliability, and adapt to the ever-changing technology landscape.
EURid is warning of a website that is infringing on their trademarks, illegitimately ripping off their website even including the EURid announcement that they’re… ripping off their website.
The website, http://aim-search.info, is illegally using EURid’s trademark without authorisation and has copied the content and the lay-out of our official website. They even link to the legitimate EURid social media accounts.
EURid, the registry for .eu, .ею (Cyrillic) and .ευ (Greek) top-level domains, has said this constitutes infringement of their intellectual property rights and misleads consumers into believing that EURid is somehow associated with this website. EURid has taken legal action against its holder.
The number of .vn domain names had passed the half million mark at the end of October according to the Viá»t Nam Internet Resources Report 2019 published last week with the total number as of 31 October being 501,027.
These 501,027 .vn domain names represents almost half (49.0%) of all domain names registered in the country according to the report, with 49.4% for legacy gTLDs and the remaining 1.6% for new gTLDs. The 49% figure for .vn in Viá»t Nam ranks the country somewhere in the middle of its peers in the region with .tw (Taiwan), .kz (Kazakhstan) and .uz (Uzbekistan) all having over 90% market share within the country while .th (Thailand) is less than 10% being the extremes of the 16 profiled.
There was also a reform of administrative procedures and supplementing regulations to resolve some practical situations such as electronic records, marking a major improvement in the management of .vn during the year.
The major cities of Ho Chi Minh and Ha Noi accounted for the majority of .vn domain name registrations with 189,336 and 174,171 respectively, while no other city or town managed more than 10,000.
There are 13 second level domains with .com.vn the largest with 34.56% of .vn domain names, .edu.vn (4.24%) and .net.vn (1.77%) being the only 2LDs with more than a 1% market share, while registrations at the second level accounted for 57.25%.
According to the report from Viá»t Nam Internet Network Information Center (VNNIC), the number of IPv4 addresses allocated to Viá»t Nam reached 16,001,024 at the end of October, ranking the south east Asian country second in the region, eighth in Asia and 29th globally.
Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC)âs statistics showed that the use of IPv6 for Viá»t Nam reaches approximately 40 per cent, ranking second in ASEAN and eighth globally with more than 21,000,000 IPv6 users by October.
In their annual report, VNNIC note a number of other activities for 2019 including signing a new partnership agreement with CCTLD.RU to strengthen the cooperation in management and ensure the security of national critical internet infrastructure system.
There are also 14 registrars for Viá»t Namâs country code top-level domain while registrants of 3,237 domain names have utilised VNNICâs Registry Lock and 170 domains are made more secure having DNSSEC enabled.
The Viá»t Nam Internet Resources Report 2019 published by the Viá»t Nam Internet Network Information Center (VNNIC) is available for download in Vietnamese only here [pdf].
Following CentralNIC’s strategic investment and becoming owner of Slovakiaâs ccTLD manager SK-NIC in 2017, CentralNIC and SK-NIC have been continually investing in and improving the operations of .sk.
Last week there were 2 announcements. The first was SK-NIC is planning to introduce automated DNSSEC activation on the basis of the data on the DNS servers (so called CDS scanning). DNSSEC was launched in .sk in April this year and already one quarter of domain names are secured, ranking .sk among the top European ccTLDs in the share of domains secured by DNSSEC.
In the second announcement, for 2020 SK-NIC have announced theyâre preparing several new services that will increase the security of the virtual Slovakia. For the joint endeavours to continue to deliver such results, SK-NIC want to support these with their continued attractive price for .sk.
Therefore, the long-term promotions are being extended for 2020 with the cheaper new domains promotion running until 31 December 2020. This promotion, called the New Domains for Cheaper promotion, makes it possible to register a new domain for a single promotional price of â¬7 (plus VAT) instead of the standard price for Registrars according to the Price List. As well, the Achieve 100, Gain 100 promotion is also being extended until 31 December 2020. This promotion is in recognition of Registrarâs activity in registering new .sk domains by returning â¬100 (excluding VAT) for every 100 new domains registered through this Registrar. However in line with the goal of increasing security in .sk, the condition for securing the domain through DNSSEC has been added to include the domain in this promotion.
An independent review into the body responsible for regulating New Zealand’s ccTLD, the Domain Name Commission, has found “there is much for current and past DNCL staff to be proud of” and that it “is a sound and competent regulator of the .nz space.”
It’s the first regulatory review into the Domain Name Commission and was undertaken over 2018-2019 by independent reviewer David Pickens and was published Thursday. It’s a far cry from New Zealand’s neighbours Australia where a government review published in April 2018 found “urgent reforms are necessary” and that auDA’s “current management framework is no longer fit-for-purpose and reform is necessary if the company is to perform effectively and meet the needs of Australia’s internet community.”
The independent reviewer found DNCL staff are well regarded for their achievements, and there is much optimism with respect to where the DNCL is heading.
One of the findings of the report is “against the theory of regulatory standards and enforcement theory, the evidence available to the review and from the interviews, the DNCL is a sound and competent regulator of the .nz space. It is highly regarded internationally and operates absent many of the handicaps other TLDs contend with. With small exceptions, the .nz policies and the enforcement of those standards were viewed as appropriate.”
The report notes that “overwhelmingly, the response from the DNCL’s stakeholders was positive, with one exception… The majority offered no or minor criticism only. Favourably commented upon were the people, culture, systems and comparative international performance.”
The one exception was criticism of how the DNC deals with domain name abuse but even here there were diverging views with criticism not coming from all respondents.
“All regulators and a number of other stakeholders felt the DNCL needed to more actively reduce opportunities for domain name abuse. Harm was being perpetrated that the DNCL was uniquely positioned to stop, New Zealand was now out of step with international developments, there was a growing risk to integrity and confidence in the .nz space and legal and political risks to the DNCL was growing. Nearly all, however, acknowledged the DNCL appeared more open to debating and moving towards a more proactive role, and its recent efforts were supported.”
With this though there were “a significant number of people who supported the status quo, arguing policing this activity was not the DNCL’s responsibility and that comparatively New Zealand performed well. It was also argued greater policing efforts would be costly and generate little benefit.”
One key weakness identified during interviews was “the absence of well-developed indicators allowing comparison of the DNCL’s performances with comparable entities overseas.”
“This has been a huge amount of work for Mr Pickens, and we thank him for the thought-provoking report,” said DNCL Chair Jordan Carter.
“Since the Domain Name Commission was established in 2002 to regulate the .nz online space, the .nz space has evolved. In today’s online era, the .nz domain is at the heart of New Zealand’s distinctive online world.”
The Domain Name Commissioner Brent Carey welcomed the review findings saying “Mr Pickens’ recommendations will help to ensure we are keeping pace with modern self-regulatory challenges”.
“The Commission and InternetNZ will be looking to work with others to equip us with the right relationships and tools to help us keep .nz fair and safe for everyone.”
There were a number of recommendations made by Pickens including that “the DNCL should view itself more as a competitor against other TLD administrators and regulators,” “to explore the utility of a comprehensive information disclosure regime to drive better performance across registrars in the .nz space”, to collect and disseminate performance data, “seek international co-operation”, “rescinding the current market concentration policies” and to collect market concentration information “with respect to the abuse of market power by registrars”.
In responding to the report, the DNCL have “already commenced the implementation of some of the recommendations and will continue to incorporate the report’s findings and recommendations in its priorities.”
Additionally, the DNCL “have identified several improvement areas including, process improvement, delivery capability, emerging policy considerations, stakeholder relationship management and enforcement and compliance.”
Of the 15 recommendations in the report, the DNCL note they either fully support or support in principle every one of them.
The Commission has published the full final review along with its response to the recommendations. For the report, Pickens conducted 23 interviews with DNC stakeholders, current and past staff, Board members, staff of the other two main players in the .nz space (InternetNZ and the Registry), Government and self-regulators and registrars. Specialists from overseas and those delivering the Disputes Resolution Service were also interviewed. Registrants were sought out, although many interviewed were .nz registrants.
Zimbabweâs ccTLD management is about to be brought into the 21st century with the government calling for public comments on a DNS Framework Consultation paper that was released Monday. The paper outlines the limitations of the current setup such as no single registry, no functional WHOIS, registrations are manual and difficulties in implementing security initiatives, no IPv6.
According to the paper published by the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ), âZimbabwe does not have a DNS Policy in place. A DNS policy is an essential pierce of legislating that clearly defines roles or industry players, define standards to be set, and also define levels of security to be put in place by data processors.â The paper mentions âmany countries with successful DNS implementation have DNS policies in place, South Africa included.â
The current set up for .zw is POTRAZ delegated the administration of the technical and operational aspects of the DNS in Zimbabwe to TelOne in 2004. TelOne acts as registrar and registry for .org.zw while other second level domains were delegated to the University of Zimbabwe (.ac.zw) , ZISPA (.co.zw) and GISP (.gov.zw).
âCurrently, the paper notes, âin Zimbabwe every registry [has] their own DNS policies and that they use in registering domain names under their delegated SLDs. As a result, implementation of security measures depends on the willingness and capacity of each registry/registrar to implement their own measures.â
And while this has served .zw satisfactorily, there are some âweaknesses and shortcomingsâ. These include:
- registration has remained manual and time consuming
- the fragmented manner in which the DNS has been implemented has presented a lot of security loopholes affecting DNS availability and reliability with the implementation of DNSSEC a challenge
- there is no functional WHOIS service
- growth has been slow because there is no dedicated entity to make sure that DNS industry thrives
The paper also notes that Zimbabwe has the highest IPv6 usage in Africa, but not one .zw domain name utilises the protocol.
To help bring Zimbabweâs country code top level domain into the 21st century, POTRAZ is planning on remaining the sponsoring organisation and selecting a registry operator for .zw. The new registry âwill be responsible for the registry database and the supporting infrastructure of DNS servers, WHOIS systems and so on. It will implement the policies and processes defined by the ccTLD registry and Sponsoring Organisation.â The registry will then appoint registrars. POTRAZ is seeking comment on whether they should implement a registry solely set up for managing .zw and whether this body should be âpart of government, outsourced, independent -externally regulated or independent-self regulated.â
The Consultation Paper On Domain Name System (DNS) Framework and .ZW ccTLD Management can be downloaded here [pdf]. Public comments are open until 9 August 2019.
A new set of rules for .eu came into being on 18 April which will be applicable from 13 October 2022, except for the article 20 that introduces eligibility to EU citizens residing in third countries, which should start applying as of six months after entering into force, that is, in October 2019. In the coming weeks EURid will inform all its stakeholders about the exact date when the new eligibility criteria apply.
The new rules have come about following a political agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on 5 December 2018 and are designed to support better quality and more innovative services on .eu.
From 13 October 2022 there will be a legal flexibility for the .eu domain to adapt to rapid market changes and allow modernisation of its governance structure. A new body, bringing together stakeholders from different backgrounds, will advise the Commission on the management of the top-level domain.
Article 20, which comes into being on 19 October 2019, will extend the right to register a .eu domain name to citizens of the European Union and the European Economic Area (EU/EEA) residing outside the EU. This was previously limited to citizens living in countries within the EU and EEA. It will also offer some comfort to some citizens of the EU/EEA who have registered .eu domain names and reside in the UK if Brexit, assuming it happens, is drawn out long enough.
The new Regulation aims to adapt the current rules to the fast-changing domain name industry in order to strengthen the link with the growing Digital Single Market which focusses on European values like multilingualism, privacy protection, and security.
In addition, EURid announced at the end of March the Service Concession Contract between themselves and the European Commission has been extended until 12 October 2022 to be in line with the new .eu Regulation enforcement.
The new Regulation on the implementation and functioning of the .eu TLD name is available here.