The IEDR, who run the .ie country code top level domain name, are withdrawing from the “direct” market. From 31st March of this year onwards they will no longer offer people or organisations the ability to register domain names directly with them.
Most domain name registries do not offer direct sales but operate via a “3 R”” model, namely “Registry”, “Registrar” and “Registrant”. IEDR, in common with some country code registries, has always offered direct registrations. Even after the introduction of a “3 R” model several years ago they continued to offer the service., which some registrars viewed negatively. However from the IEDR perspective they viewed it as being a necessity in some respects. That being said, they always charged more than the market rate and the volume of registrations they were dealing with has been declining for years. So while many registrars are offering new .ie domain registration for €10 or less IEDR were charging €62 per year ex-VAT.
So what’s happening now?
IEDR decided a few months ago that they wanted to get out of the market and focus on their core competency. The challenge for them was managing that exit sanely and smoothly. In the end they opted to run a tender process to select a registrar to get the portfolio of registrations. How that will play out is currently unknown, though the selection process is scheduled to be completed by the end of February.
How many domains are involved?
As I mentioned the volume of domains handled directly by IEDR acting as a registrar has been dropping. New registrations have practically dried up entirely and so there’s currently less than 2000 domains in total, including several hundred which are “charitable”.
IEDR sent an email to all direct registrants last week to inform them of the withdrawal of the service and have setup a special page on their site with some FAQs.
We are contacting you as a billing contact of a .ie domain.
We are IE Domain Registry, the official registry for .ie Internet domain names. We have been managing the .ie country code since 1991.
We note that the .ie domain(s) you manage is registered with us using the direct registration service.
Most .ie domain holders are customers of our accredited .ie Registrars. However, some people chose to come to us directly to get their domain(s). This is now going to change.
Demand for direct registration services has reduced considerably. For many reasons, from 31 March 2020, the direct registration service will no longer be available. By this date, we will transfer all direct registrations to an accredited .ie Registrar.
This means that the .ie domains you manage via the direct registration service will be transferred to an accredited .ie Registrar.
From then, you will need to use the accredited .ie Registrar’s platform for domain management purposes, including domain renewal, and making hosting record changes.
We are currently in the process of identifying the accredited .ie Registrar to whom the direct registrations will be transferred.
We will contact you again in early March 2020 with more information.
What does this mean for my .ie website or .ie email?
There will be no service impact to your .ie domains during this process.
Any websites or email services associated with direct registrations will operate as normal.
Can I select an accredited .ie Registrar to manage my .ie domain registrations?
Yes, you can transfer to any accredited .ie Registrar at any time.
Further information on how to do this is available on our website.
It is important to note that Personal Data associated with your .ie domain registrations will also be transferred to the accredited .ie Registrar by 31 March 2020.
‘Personal data’ includes the names, address, email address which you provided during the initial registration process and subsequently. No passwords will be transferred. Note that we do not retain credit card details for any customers.
You can transfer your .ie domain registrations to your preferred accredited .ie Registrar at any time.
We’ve put some additional content about this matter on our website.
If you have other questions, you can contact us via email to email@example.com.
IE Domain Registry
So if you’ve registered a domain directly with IEDR you’ve essentially got two options:
- Do nothing and IEDR will move your domains to a registrar of their choosing. Upside: you don’t need to do anything. Downside: you won’t have any choice
- Transfer your domain(s) to your preferred registrar before the end of March. Upside: you get to choose who you’re doing business with. Downside: you’ll have to pay the usual domain transfer fee, though that will renew your domain(s) for a year.
Personally I think this move makes a lot of sense for IEDR and also shows that the market in Ireland has matured. There are plenty of companies competing in the domain registration space and companies can choose the one that best suits their needs. From IEDR’s perspective being able to make a “clean break” is the best way to exit the market and they’ll hopefully be “out” by the end of March or early April.