Vanuatu’s telecommunications regulator announced this week that their ccTLD .vu has successfully transitioned to Neustar’s registry platform.
The Office of the Vanuatu Telecommunications, Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR) selected Neustar to be the Registry Operator for the .vu country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) in August 2019 following a highly competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process designed to identify the provider that would be best positioned to carry the namespace forward.
TRBR has been working with Neustar for the last few months to ensure a smooth transition, including technical preparations and collaboration with industry and business stakeholders. Following these preparations, and a successful DNS migration, the .vu namespace was transitioned to Neustar’s registry platform.
The Regulator, Mr. Brian Winji said that Neustar’s capabilities and experience are well suited to support the growth and promotion of .vu.
“It was important for us to partner with a company who has a demonstrated history of professionalism, innovation, and reliability. Neustar has a strong reputation in the domain name registry space with extensive ccTLD experience. Their capabilities are well suited to taking the .vu namespace forward.”
The process of awarding the registry contract started in 2016 when the Vanuatu government passed legislation relating to .vu that would lead to deregulation as well as an upgraded IANA process for redelegation that previously took many years to complete. There had also been deregulation of Vanuatu’s telecommunications space which had seen costs go down by around 80%, so the government was keenly away deregulation could bring benefits. Vanuatu has a population of around 276,000 for the Pacific island east of the northern part of Australia.
Vanuatu’s ccTLD, with around 1,500 to 2,000 registrations, nobody seemed to know for sure at the time the contract was awarded, was notable in recent years for a less than stellar service for registrants and it was something the government was keen to improve. The less than stellar service meant the registry wasn’t reliable which resulted in local businesses and others looking abroad to other top-level domains when registering their domain names. So a consultation process began with various internet groups who were supportive of change and to allow Vanuatu companies and organisations to sell domain names.
Now, with Neustar Vanuatu Limited, a subsidiary of Neustar, Inc, as a reliable registry operator .vu is looking to expand and will continue to be available to registrants around the world. But now it will be able to add security and stability to having a visually appealing top-level domain to appeal to registrants. It was a positive year for Neustar who had also added .in earlier n the year to their growing stable of TLDs.
While the addition of .vu will add little to domains under management to Neustar, it is undoubtedly of strategic value and will demonstrate that despite their size, Neustar is capable and willing to operate TLDs of any size. Today Neustar operates the back-end technology and marketing for several ccTLDs around the world, including .co (Colombia), .us (United States) and .in (India). In addition, they operate and support a large portfolio of generic TLDs, including the fastest-growing city TLD .nyc, and other high-profile domains like .biz. In total, they support almost 240 TLDs and 15 million domain names around the world. Of these, they provide backend registry services to 218 new gTLDs, the largest of any backend registry operator, with 2.6 million domains under management according to nTLDstats.