IE Domain Registry
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The IE Domain Registry (IEDR) is the domain name registry for the .ie country code top-level domain. Formally, the IE Domain Registry Limited is a private company, limited by guarantee, incorporated in Ireland having its registered office and principal place of business in Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin. It operates on a not-for-profit basis and is a member of the CENTR representative body. IE Domain Registry Limited took over the administration of .ie in July 2000. Prior to that, the .ie ccTLD had been administered by University College Dublin.
The IE Domain Registry (IEDR) operates a managed registry model for Ireland's national .ie domain. The managed registry model requires that all applicants provide evidence authenticating their claim to their chosen .ie domain name at the time of application. Applicants must show that the domain they are applying for is related to their company, business, association or trademarked name. Company names and trademarks are often self-evident. Sole Traders and small businesses and some companies use Registered Business Name (RBN) certificates that are acquired by registering a business name through the Irish Companies Registration Office .
The .ie ccTLD has a Registry – Resellers model. The .ie Resellers are the equivalent of Registrars in the standard Registry – Registrars model. However becoming a .ie Reseller requires that the reseller has over 200 registered .ie domains or is at least the billing contact on over 200 .ie domains, provides a 2500 Euro bond, passes a credit check and has a demonstrable knowledge of IEDR domain name policies and technical procedures.
In 2001, IEDR had a rule prohibiting the registration of generic .ie domain names. In the first quarter of 2001, 73 domains were registered by a now dissolved company, On-Line Media Limited. Many of these domains were generic in nature despite IEDR's "Generic Rule" being in force at the time. In October that year, approximately 322 domains based on generic medical terms were directly registered by Medical Pages (Ireland) Limited in what was certainly Domain name warehousing. The "Generic Rule" was changed immediately after this incident to permit the registration of generic domains in .ie ccTLD. IEDR had been conservative when it came to the issue of the registration of surnames as domains though this has eased recently.
Internal IEDR disputes and disagreements with the Irish internet industry had so badly affected the credibility of .ie ccTLD that government intervention was necessary. In 2004, the government announced that the state communications regulator, ComReg, would take control of the .ie domain. The legislation covering this change was signed into law in 2007. In effect, the move has ComReg controlling policy while IEDR continues to run the .ie ccTLD.
IEDR has improved registration services over the last few years. Registering a .ie domain is now more automated with .ie registrations typically going live within 12 hours during weekdays. Previously, it had been an intensively manual process based on e-mail submissions and faxed paperwork. A web interface for .ie Resellers and an API which enables .ie Resellers to integrate .ie registration procedures with their own systems are partially responsible for the more efficient registration process.
The wholesale price (the price charged to .ie Resellers) of .ie domains has fallen over the past few years as the .ie ccTLD has grown. It fell again by 14% in January 2007. This follows reductions of 20% in 2006, 12.5% in 2005 and 10% in 2004 in the wholesale price of .ie domains. However when compared with the cost of a .com, a .ie domain can be three to ten times more expensive.
The Irish domain hosting industry has some concerns about IEDR being both the Registry and a Reseller. IEDR has maintained a more expensive price for direct registrations so as not to compete directly with .ie Resellers. Most new .ie registrations are now made via .ie Resellers.
In March 2006, The IE Domain Registry (IEDR), the company leading the IENUM consortium, won the competition to provide a commercial registry for the supply of ENUM (Electronic Numbering) services in Ireland . The IEDR's partner in the IENUM consortium is Internet Privatstiftung Austria (IPA), the Austrian organisation which operates the .at domain name and provided the first ENUM commercial registry service in the world.
ComReg Takes Over IEDR Policy Functions
Under the Communication Regulations (Amendment) Bill 2007, the Communications Regulator (ComReg) has taken over most of the policy functions of IEDR. The legislation was passed by the Oireachtas and came into force on 15 May 2007 with the signing of the Communications Regulation (Amendment) Act, 2007 (Commencement) Order, 2007 – (S.I. No. 224 of 2007).
According to the Regulatory Impact Analysis, the legislation puts in place legal instruments for the regulation of the private sector company (IEDR) which is currently administrating .ie ccTLD. This move to protect the .ie ccTLD and provide the mechanisms to transfer the administration of .ie ccTLD away from IEDR if required makes this legislation very powerful and effectively changes IEDR to being a service company from its previous position of making policy and administrating the .ie ccTLD.
The legislation gives ComReg complete power over .ie ccTLD policy decisions: designating the authority to register .ie domains; setting renewal periods and conditions; revoking registrations, registration conditions; pricing of .ie domains and appeals against revocation of registrations. IEDR, however, still provides the day-to-day administration of .ie ccTLD.