The Swiss ccTLD operator, Switch, has announced the launch of a new company and service called “SwitchPlus”.
The new entity is a wholly owned subsidiary of Switch and is aimed at providing a range of services that would, essentially, compete against the registry operator’s clientele – namely registrar, hosting providers and IT service companies.
The Swiss operator claims that this move is to protect its staff:
In launching switchplus, SWITCH is also making a key contribution towards securing its own future in the field of internet domains. The contract with the Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) for the registration of domain names runs until 2015. It is uncertain whether a follow-on contract will come into being at all – and, if so, what form it will take. This situation constitutes a substantial risk for SWITCH – firstly in terms of its revenues and secondly as regards the jobs of its employees working in this area. For that reason, SWITCH must take steps today already to secure the future of its Internet Domains business.
If I were based in Switzerland I would not be overly impressed by this move.