.PL Another TLD Facing Challenges Finding Growth

Earlier this week I wrote how .nz was one of several TLDs facing challenges in finding new growth. This declining growth and often declining registrations have led to budgetary pressures increasing due to registries being required to do more, such as combatting internet-related harm, privacy, cybersecurity, compliance checks, customer service difficulties between registrants and registrars and more. And this week, the Polish registry operator .pl domain Registry released a report showing how total registrations in the ccTLD had declined in the third quarter of 2019.

At the end of September 2019, there were 2,553,759 active domain names in the .pl domain Registry, which was a decrease of 1.90% over the previous quarter. For these domain names there were 1, 076,157 registrants. On average, there were 2.37 .pl domain names per registrant.

During the quarter there were 170,754 new .pl domain names registered, which means that average of 1,856 domain names were being registered daily. The highest share of names registered directly in the .pl domain was the highest ever recorded in the history of the Registry and amounted to 78.97%.

There has been a decline in the number of registrants securing their domain names with DNSSEC. The number peaked at the end of 2018 with around 501,000 domains, but at the end of the third quarter of 2019, there were 465,631 names secured with the DNSSEC protocol, which was by 9,669 names fewer than in the previous quarter.

For internationalised domain names, there were 35,650 .pl domain names with national diacritic signs, which was 1.40% of all registrations, but the peak was around 2011 when there over 60,000 .pl IDN domains.

Naturally the majority of registrants for the Polish country code top-level domain (ccTLD) came from Poland with over 9 in 10 (93.01%) registrants, followed by Germany (1.60%), Great Britain (0.70%) and the USA (0.65%).

But there were positives and improvements in the operations of the .pl domain Registry. In September 2019, the .pl domain Registry implemented a comprehensive solution for registrars, cooperating with NASK within the framework of the Partner Programme, consisting in easier implementation of formal and legal changes. The solution, composed of three elements: bulk transfer, merger of accounts and assignment, has been primarily designed to strengthen the security of registrants due to the provision of continual administrative and technical service of .pl domain names in the event of termination of cooperation between the Registry and the registrar.

The report can be downloaded in full here [pdf].