Of course they didn’t bother telling any of their stakeholders that it had been released, but we’re more or less used to their lack of communication at this stage, as they prefer to tell the media!
In any case with the current Comreg public consultation ongoing the report was bound to make at least a passing reference to the regulatory changes.
The introductory section did not disappoint:
As a result of the Communications Regulation (Amendment) Act 2007, regulation of the .ie namespace passes from the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to ComReg, which is empowered, subject to consultation with the relevant Ministers and the approval of the Oireachtas, to issue regulations over a range of operational and other matters in relation to .ie.
It then continues:
Our international competitors, .com and .eu etc., are not subject to the Act or to ComReg regulation. So we have a concern, which we expect ComReg would share, that the impact of regulation should not militate against the continued growth and development of .ie.
They conveniently ignore that .eu is answerable to the European Union, which is a lot more onerous than any national body.
Other parts of the report deal with the company’s retained profits. Similar to Nominet and other ccTLD registries the IE Domain Registry does not have any financial issues.
It’s unfortunate that the bulk of the annual report was drafted prior to the recent ICANN meeting, as it would have been interesting to see what kind of comment they’d have made on the new TLDs.
When it comes down to the actual figures involved there are few surprises, though how the figures are framed is questionable at times. The reliance on webhosting.info’s statistics, for example, is quite disappointing. The assumptions about registrant density are also quite odd, as only a portion of a ccTLD’s registrants would actually reside in that country. This is of particular importance if you wish to examine the registrant makeup in *.uk for example, which has a very open registration policy. It would have been a lot more interesting to see a report similar to that produced by AFNIC last year.
The cost of IE domains to resellers has been dropping, but sales figures and turnover has been increasing.
Of course the report doesn’t make it clear that not all resellers will pass on savings to users, so certain assumptions and gaps in the report may lead readers to get a slightly different persective.
The introduction of “personal” IE domains gave a boost to registration figures for 2007. That’s hardly surprising really.
But what about the antiquated and ambiguous policies that the registry still enforces?
The IEDR’s David Curtin is a stalwart defender of some of their views, which seem to be at odds to those of other ccTLD managers.
For example the lack of a formal aftermarket in IE domains would be seen as quite negative by many industry observers, whereas Curtin seems to view this in a positive, yet incredibly naive and misinformed light:
…there is no formal secondary market for .ie domains, therefore the problem of
poaching of domains and holding them to ransom is not an issue…
A healthy secondary market does not have to involve “poaching” of domain names and I’m amazed that a man of his intelligence would make such a comment. That’s almost like saying that selling property to the highest bidder should be illegal.
One of the “unique selling points” of the IE namespace is its supposedly higher level of security:
Other countries that made different choices regarding the type of ccTLD Registry
are now facing the challenges of costly intellectual property disputes, identity theft, phishing, cybercrime and credit card fraud.
It will be interesting to see if any of the media do more than simply recycle the press release.
Update: Now linking to a local copy of the IEDR’s report as the link on their site seems to have been removed