It took close to two months for .CO to reach the significant half million active registrations when it became available for general registration following its relaunch in July of this year, but it only took eight days for the Russian Cyrillic domain .РФ (.RF – Russian Federation or Российская Федерация in Cyrillic) to pass the same mark.
While registrations have predictably eased off the Russian Cyrillic domain is still growing by at least several thousand per day and now stands at over 556,000 registrations.
The huge interest in .РФ domains has surprised everyone including Andrey Kolesnikov, the director of the Coordination Center for TLD RU. Kolesnikov believed there could be 100,000 .РФ by the end of 2010.
There are a few restrictions on registering .РФ domains for the first 12 months including that registrants must be a Russian citizen or business and the changing of the domain administrator in the first 12 months is not allowed. There is also a list of obscenities that are not allowed to be registered, a list only accredited registrars have access to.
“We have compiled this stop-list in order to prevent the first registered word after the launch of the open registration period to be some ‘f@&*.рф,'” said Kolesnikov.
There are many benefits in having domain names in Cyrillic. “It’s great that it will be possible now not to invent the way how to represent in Latin script many unique Russian letters: Щ, Ц, and my favorite letter Ё. Incidentally, I usually use Ё in writing and don’t replace it with Е. Letter Ё is what we missed over the years of English-speaking Internet’s reign and now it is going to revive. All patriots should register domain names with letter Ё,” Kolesnikov joked.
There are no limitations on the number of domain names registered on a given individual.
“I don’t think the launch of ccTLD .РФ will lead to an upsurge of cybersquatting – to this end we have banned the change of the domain administrator during one year. Basically, there is the professional domain business engaged in registering and subsequent reselling “nice” domain names. Cybersquatting means raiding of somebody’s name for the sake of blackmail and extortion. The rightholders will deal with such cases by themselves. There is a great deal of precedents in ccTLD .RU in this regard.”
Andrey Kolesnikov clarified to the journalists that the registry does not set neither fixed, nor recommended prices for domain names, and this matter has been left to registrars to decide.
“I don’t think that pricing in zone .РФ will differ significantly from the one in zone .RU, which at present accounts for about 500-600 Rb.”
To register your .РФ domain name, check out Europe Registry here.