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Dot-IE Names Surge as Rules are Relaxed

Wednesday was a record day for registrations of .IE domain names, as many of the restrictions were lifted for Ireland's national Internet domain. Almost 700 applications for new domain names were approved, more than 5 times the typical daily average for IE.

The numbers bring the figures for new .IE names to 4,015 so far for March: that's up 34% on the same period in February and an increase of 62% on the period from 1 to 22 March 2017, according to the IE Domain Registry (IEDR).

The surge is due to a change in policy whereby it is no longer necessary for applicants to justify their reasons for requesting a particular domain name. All that is required is that they can show a connection to Ireland.

Individuals can most commonly do this using a scan or photo of their passport or driving licence, or even a utility bill with an Irish address. Companies can do so using their company registration, VAT Number, or if they have Irish or EU registered trademarks. Foreign companies are also eligible if they show evidence of doing business with Ireland.

But while these measures help to ensure that bona-fide individuals and organisations are behind .IE domain names, they no longer have to provide additional evidence of their entitlement to a particular name. Starting yesterday, .IE domain names are, essentially, first-come, first-served.

What’s more, for individuals or entities registering multiple .IE domains, it’s not necessary to demonstrate the Irish connection each time you register a domain name. Once you’ve successfully established your credentials with a previous domain registration, a domain registrar can simply wave you through.

Under the new policy, however, the IE Domain Registry has reserved the right to refuse applications “where the proposed name is likely to lead to confusion, or is likely to be subject to an administrative proceeding under the Dispute Resolution Policy”.

The new policy has been broadly welcomed by the Irish Internet industry. Mr Michele Neylon, CEO of the largest Irish domain registrar, Blacknight, says it has removed an obstacle which resulted in many Irish SMEs choosing .COM or other top-level domains, simply because  of the red-tape that was associated with .IE.

“For a small business, they don’t care about domain names, they really don’t. They want to get themselves online; they want a digital presence, and if they’ve the choice between registering their-business-name.com or their-business-name.ie a lot of them were going to go for the .COM because it was quick, it was easy, it was simple”.

Blacknight reported that trading was brisk throughout the day, with a large number of online orders being placed in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The company slashed the price of first-year .IE domain registrations and transfers to just €4.99 ex VAT in order to highlight the opportunities offered by the new regulations.

“It means now, for example, that people can register nicknames easily”, explains Neylon. “Whereas previously you’d have had to provide some kind of documentation. If you wanted to register a nickname, you’d have had to provide evidence that you were known by that name. If you wanted to register an alternative version of your name, you couldn’t do that easily”.

And it’s not just about nicknames. The .IE domain is seen as fertile ground for development as it is relatively under-subscribed by international standards. There are less than 250,000 .IE domain names registered, compared to over 133 million .COM registrations.

“When you’ve got a namespace with less than a quarter of a million names registered, there are a way more opportunities”, says Neylon. “There are still things like dictionary words that are available, or simple short memorable names”.

The company reported continued strong demand for .IE domain names on Thursday.

ENDS

Image: Michele Neylon, CEO of Blacknight

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“For a small business, they don’t care about domain names, they really don’t. They want to get themselves online; they want a digital presence, and if they’ve the choice between registering their-business-name.com or their-business-name.ie a lot of them were going to go for the .COM because it was quick, it was easy, it was simple”

Michele Neylon, CEO, Blacknight

“It means now, for example, that people can register nicknames easily. Whereas previously you’d have had to provide some kind of documentation. If you wanted to register a nickname, you’d have had to provide evidence that you were known by that name. If you wanted to register an alternative version of your name, you couldn’t do that easily”.

Michele Neylon, CEO, Blacknight

“When you’ve got a namespace with less than a quarter of a million names registered, there are a way more opportunities. There are still things like dictionary words that are available, or simple short memorable names”.

Michele Neylon, CEO, Blacknight

Spokesperson:

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About Blacknight

Blacknight (http://www.blacknight.com/) are an Irish based, ICANN accredited domain registrar and hosting company. Recipients of several awards for their revolutionary use of social media, Blacknight are one of Europe’s most cutting edge Internet companies. Blacknight constantly seek to lead the way by introducing innovative solutions for its client base and provide dedicated servers and co-location as well as a comprehensive range of Microsoft Windows and Linux based hosting plans and domain name registration services to business globally. IP transit services and other solutions for more demanding business and academic customers are offered a la carte.

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