In writing yesterday’s article, I read again with interest AusRegistry’s submission to the 2015 Names Policy Panel Draft Recommendations. In their comments, they refer to the NZ experience (top of page 5).
Despite the spin and gloss that certain people want to put on the “success” of NZ direct registrations, many domain investors and registrants think that it has been a bit of a shemozzle.
The managed conflict process has also been a disappointment (some would say nightmare) for many registrants. This is where, for example, one registrant may hold anyname.co.nz while others may hold anyname.org.nz or anyname.school.nz. These registrants all have rights in the conflicted name anyname.nz.
Registrants involved in a conflicted name need to agree among themselves who can register the name.
Agreement can only be reached by taking part in the Conflicted Name Process. This works by having each registrant lodge a preference online.
If the preferences lodged don’t result in agreement (or if not all preferences are lodged), then the conflicted name is unavailable for registration.
Others haven’t understood the process properly, and have therefore missed out on securing their .nz domain. Consequently, competitors / other registrants have sometimes ended up with the .nz domain. I know this to be a fact because I ended up with a few “prime” .nz domains. (Anyone want to buy them? They are going cheap!).
As for the cost of managing such a process – not to mention the time and resources involved – I guess that’s another story altogether.
All I hope is that if auDA does decide to proceed with direct registrations, it sticks to the simple formula that the .UK space finally agreed on.
In essence, the premium domain was .co.uk (approximately 93% of all registrations), and so these registrants were given first rights to .uk for 5 years with nothing to pay until they actually started using the domain. That eased the pain somewhat.
Trivia question: How many registrars are there in the .nz space? Answer is here – you will be amazed! Lots of mouths to feed. 😉
On the positive side of things, what really impressed me about the NZ direct registration process was the amount of communication that their regulator undertook with all registrants before actual implementation. To see what they actually ended up with; and how they got there, have a look at this link.
You’ll notice they actually ended up doing three separate consultations. Consultation 2 is illuminating.
Getting back to my first paragraph at the top of the page, in the AusRegistry article, you will see how Debbie Monahan (NZ’s Domain Name Commissioner) describes the “success” of direct registrations. This is the bit that I like (and that I hope auDA follows):
From the project’s early days we meaningfully engaged with the public and stakeholders – achieving this through multiple public consultation rounds and meetings.
Our experience was that this public outreach surfaced a number of important points, which we subsequently wrote into the policy. By being prepared to listen and make changes, our final policy was well received and went through with a minimum of fuss.
Personally, I think that given New Zealand’s tiny domain market, they simply did not need another domain extension at this time. Which is exactly how I feel about Australia.
However, as auDA says, they have to “add value to all three main categories of users – registrars and resellers, registrants and ultimate users of the .au domain name system”. New Zealand obviously felt the same way. 😉
As always, what do you think?