Some of the questions posed by Weckler revealed some of the more awkward and restrictive views of the registry, including its policy on censoring domain names.
However it is interesting to note that Curtin not only made public reference to setting up a policy advisory board, but also mentioned the registry’s plans to introduce support for IDN’s (finally!).
Some of the answers, however, are amusing.
Curtin seems to believe that people register larger volumes of domains in .com as they are afraid of “cybersquatting”.
While this may be true of large corporates it is most definitely not the case with Irish SMEs. Most Irish SME users register theircompanyname.com and possibly theircompanyname.ie. They won’t register derivatives or typos unless someone tells them to.
The fact that so many people still opt for a .com over a .ie cannot be explained away by referring to Curtin’s favourite bogeyman dotCom (he’s taken to referring to them as a competitor).
IE domains cost at least two, if not three to four times, more to register than a .com.
The average cost of registering an IE domain is approximately 40 euro per annum, if you average the price across the largest vendors.
The average cost of registering a .com domain is approximately 8 euro.
The cost of registering a domain name is directly related to the level of automation possible. Since IEDR’s systems still rely heavily on human intervention both at the registry and registrar (reseller) level real competition with doteu and dotcom is not a viable proposition at this juncture.
An average SME that does not conduct a large portion of its business online may want email and an online presence, but probably won’t want to spend more on the domain than they have to.
The supposed added value of a dotIE is primarily of interest to large corporates. Smaller business is not as concerned with trademark issues as some people would like to make out.