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Logo of the IE Domain Registry
|Introduced||27 January 1988|
|TLD type||Country code top-level domain|
|Registry||IE Domain Registry|
|Sponsor||University College Dublin|
|Actual use||Entities connected with |
|Registration restrictions||"All applicants applying for a .ie domain name who are not situated in the 32 counties of Ireland, must demonstrate a real and substantive connection with Ireland (with the exception of those applying by means of Community Trademark)."|
|Structure||Registrations are done directly at the second level.|
.ie is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) which corresponds with the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for Ireland. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) list the Computing Services Computer Centre of University College Dublin as its sponsoring organisation for the .ie domain. Since 2000 the business of administrating the domain registry has been handled by IE Domain Registry Limited. Domain name registration is open to individuals located in, or with a significant connection with, any part of the island of Ireland. In 2006, .irish was a proposed new generic top-level domain (gTLD) for the global Irish community.
.ie was registered on 27 January 1988 and a year later the registration of .ie domain names was delegated by Jon Postel to the Computing Services Computer Centre of University College Dublin, then headed by Dennis Jennings. In 2000, the administration of the .ie domain was sub-delegated by UCD to a new company, IE Domain Registry Limited.
In 2000, the Irish parliament enacted a law giving the Minister for Public Enterprise the power to make regulations regarding the registration of .ie domain names. In 2007 this power was transferred to the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg).
The IEDR is considered more conservative than other similar authorities and places certain restrictions on registration. The .ie ccTLD is primarily a business orientated ccTLD for Irish businesses and businesses doing business in or with Ireland. It has allowed personal domain name (PDN) registrations though these would only account for approximately 1% of the number of .ie domain registrations. An individual is allowed to register their own name or a variant of it with a utilities bill or passport as proof of entitlement.
Registration policies have been liberalised somewhat in recent years and rules such as the one against registering generic domain names have been dropped. The .ie ccTLD is a managed ccTLD where applicants for .ie domain names have to provide proof of entitlement to the domain that they want to register. In August 2017 IEDR began a consultation on removing this restriction and allowing first-come first-served registration; the requirement of a connection to Ireland will remain.
Registration is restricted to entities with a connection to Ireland. Thus, American singer Melanie was not allowed to register
Melan.ie; whereas Microsoft, which has a corporate presence in Ireland, was allowed to register
Modern.IE, a domain hack whose full name reflects its purpose as support for IE (Internet Explorer).
In February 2016 IEDR began a consultation on the introduction of internationalized domain names, in particular the vowel + "fada" characters (á é í ó ú) used in Irish orthography. Existing holders of Irish-language domain names lacking fadas will be able to apply for the accurate name.
Registering a domain
The typical registration fee via accredited .ie registrars is approximately €25 (plus VAT of €5.75). The IEDR charges a retail price of €62.00 (plus VAT of €14.26) per year for direct registration and is considered a registrar of last resort for registrants who do not wish to go through the registrar network. This higher than normal registration fee means that it is not competing with its accredited registrars. Registration is free for charities registered with the Revenue Commissioners. Evidence of entitlement to the domain name (such as evidence of entitlement to use a particular business name via a Registered Business Name certificate  or registered company name) and a connection with the island of Ireland are required for registration.
There is no official second-level domain policy. A number of domain names, typically those of other TLDs, two letter domains and potentially offensive domains are forbidden from being registered. Nevertheless, the Government of Ireland began using the
.gov.ie domain where once it used
irlgov.ie. Some government departments continue to use their own non
Prior to 16 December 2015, two character domains consisting of one letter and one number were permitted, but two-letter domain registrations were not permitted. The only exceptions to the old two letter rule were
ul.ie, which was registered by the University of Limerick before the rule came into effect, and
ns.ie, which is used for the .ie name servers. The domains in the forbidden category will return a record for a WHOIS query but they are not in the .ie zone. In June 2015, the IEDR announced that two-letter names would soon be available; a 30-day registration began in November for a go-live date of 16 December 2015. Where there were multiple applicants for a given combination, an auction was be held in early 2016.
Number of registered domains
On 31 December 2019, there were 280,958 registered .ie domain names. This has surpassed the number of Irish-owned and or hosted .com domain names. It is the preferred extension for new Irish businesses. Approximately 140 new .ie domains are registered each working day.
- IANA - .ie
- "Registrations Policy". Archived from the original on 2013-01-20. Retrieved 2012-12-24.
- "Root Zone Database". Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- Office of Public Affairs, UCD (1 November 2000). ".ie Domain Registry to Become Independent Service". Retrieved 24 December 2012.
- "Licensing & Services". Retrieved 24 December 2012.
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- "section 31 of the Electronic Commerce Act 2000 as originally enacted". irishstatutebook.ie/.
- "section 21 of the Communications Regulation (Amendment) Act 2007". irishstatutebook.ie.
- "Public consultation to liberalise .ie domain". RTÉ.ie. 28 August 2017. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
- "New guide to IT law". The Irish Times. 28 July 1997. p. 8. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- "Modern.ie Whois Lookup". Who.is. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- Lardinois, Frederic (31 January 2013). "Microsoft Launches Modern.IE To Help Developers Test Their Web Apps For Legacy And Modern Versions Of IE". TechCrunch. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- "Public Consultation Document: The release of Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs)" (PDF). IE Domain Registry. February 2016. pp. 5–6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-23. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
- "Web addresses using fadas to be made available". RTÉ.ie. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
- "List of accredited .ie registrars". Archived from the original on 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
- "Companies Registration Office - Business Name Registration". Archived from the original on 2013-08-21. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
- "Two-letter .ie domains open to registration - IEDR". 2015-11-16. Archived from the original on 2015-11-25. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "2 letter .ie domain names to be registered soon - RTÉ News". RTÉ.ie. 11 June 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "Domain stats - IE Domain Registry". Retrieved 2019-06-25.