Ireland’s ccTLD manager, IE Domain Registration (IEDR), has commenced a public consultation to look at liberalising .ie registration policies.
Ireland’s country code top level domain has some of the more restrictive eligibility policies with individuals or businesses having to prove they have a valid claim to the desired name and a real, tangible connection to the island of Ireland.
As a result, .ie has one of the lowest rates of domain name registration in Europe. Despite strong growth at home, Ireland ranks 18th out of 22 European countries for the number of country domain names per 1,000 people, with 49. Ireland ranks ahead of countries with larger populations, like France (46 country domains per 1,000 people) and Spain (40), but is significantly behind others of similar size, like Denmark (234) and Norway (141).
But it’s not that there isn’t growth in .ie. According to the latest dot ie Domain Profile Report, which analyses the make-up and geographical spread of .ie domain registrations, there were 230,611 .ie domains in the database as of 30 June 2017. In the first half-year period of 2017, there were 20,255 new .ie registrations, up 11 percent on the same period last year.
The IEDR proposal is to retain the requirement for registrants to prove their connection to Ireland, but drop the need to prove a valid claim to the name. If the policy change is approved, any individual or business with a provable connection to Ireland will be able to register a .ie domain name on a first-come, first-served basis.
By removing this administrative requirement registering a .ie address will be easier and faster, and will further open up the .ie domain namespace to citizens, clubs, communities and businesses.
“By dropping the ‘claim to a name’ requirement but retaining the connection to Ireland, we are removing a hurdle that slows down some registrants from getting started with a .ie address,” said David Curtin, Chief Executive of IEDR. “Our liberalisation proposal will make registering a .ie domain more straightforward for both individuals and businesses.
“One of .ie’s greatest values is that it is ‘identifiably Irish’. A business with a .ie address is immediately authentic, trustworthy and familiar. For that reason, the requirement to prove a connection to the island of Ireland will not be going away.
“The policy change has already been approved-in-principle by IEDR’s Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) and other key .ie domain stakeholders, and by the IEDR Board of Directors. Subject to final consensus following this public consultation, it is envisaged that the policy change will come into force in early 2018.
“We are pleased to be opening up this liberalisation process to the public and look forward to receiving submissions by the end of September. The policy development process for the .ie namespace benefits from this transparent, multi-stakeholder approach to building consensus for policy changes.”
The consultation will run until 30 September.