Businesses in the Netherlands Love Their .NL, While Registrar Rewards Result in Big Rise in IPv6

Almost three-quarters (73%) of all businesses registering domain names in the Netherlands chose a .nl domain, according to a survey conducted on behalf of the .nl registry SIDN. This was more than 4 times the next most popular choice, .com, with 17% of all registrations while .eu was third (2%) and .org fourth (1%).

The research conducted by GfK in December found experienced registrants were attracted by .nl’s reliable image. And the preference for .nl isn’t easily shaken. If their first-choice domain name is taken, people usually go for another .nl name, not their first-choice name with a different extension.

The research also found that those experienced with registering domain names and who had registered domain names before, which made up 85% of all business registrants, generally find the registration process straightforward. In most cases, a name is registered within a few minutes of being chosen. Inexperienced business registrants tend to take longer: nearly a week on average. However, first-timers don’t have any difficulty with the process of finding a registrar and getting a name registered.

Most registrants register their domain names without any outside help. The less experienced ones do sometimes ask their web designers for advice, however. By contrast, ‘old hands’ usually take care of things themselves. Nevertheless, both groups checked out information on relevant websites, such as ondernemersplein.nl and mkbservicedesk.nl. About 60% had already chosen a registrar before embarking on the registration process.

For businesses registering domain names the first-time in the Dutch country code top level domain (ccTLD), the main reason was that .nl registrations are easy. Experienced registrants were attracted by .nl’s reliable image. And the preference for .nl isn’t easily shaken. If their first-choice domain name is taken, people usually go for another .nl name, not their first-choice name with a different extension.

And while it’s not related, SIDN also reported this week that while it was a slow-starter in the Netherlands, the number of IPv6-enabled .nl domain names has more than doubled in the last 6 months. Over 1.5 million of them can now be reached using the new protocol with SIDN anticipating around 2 million by the end of the year.

As a means of helping promote IPv6 in the Netherlands’ ccTLD, SIDN has a Registrar Scorecard (RSC) to encourage registrars to help build a better, safer internet.

The RSC is an incentive scheme, through which registrars are rewarded for contributing to the quality of the .nl zone. SIDN scans RSC members’ domain name portfolios for several quality determinants: the combination of active domain name use and low cancellation rate (actively used domain names being less likely to get cancelled), registration data quality and support for DNSSEC. For the last six months, they’ve additionally been rewarding registrars that have a lot of IPv6-enabled domain names in their portfolios. And the policy is working! The number of domain names that can be reached using IPv6 has more than doubled since the rewards came in.