There are just 3 more days left for the public to make submissions in the IE Domain Registry’s (IEDR) public consultation on the proposed changes to the rules for registering domain names in .IE, the country-code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) for Ireland.

Blacknight joins other registrars and stakeholders in the Irish internet industry, and the board and management of IEDR, in supporting the policy change, which involves doing away with having to explain your reason for registering the domain name (the ‘claim to the name’). However all applicants will still have to prove that they have a real connection to Ireland.

We’ve put out a press release with more details, which goes into the reasons for the change, and why Blacknight supports it. The press release is based on a podcast interview with our CEO, Michele Neylon, which you can listen to here in full.

Click on the player below to play the podcast, or download it here: 29:30; 17MB; MP3.


Blacknight CEO Michele Neylon wants a kinder, gentler .IE domain registration process. He said 'please'.

Blacknight CEO Michele Neylon wants a kinder, gentler .IE domain registration process. He said ‘please’.

A change in the rules for .IE domain names will encourage the development of the Irish internet, says Michele. Applicants will still have to prove a connection with Ireland, but it’s proposed to do away with the requirement to show a valid reason for registering the domain. The ‘claim-to-the-name’, as it is called, is costly, irksome and superfluous, he explains. It is unnecessary because applicants are already validated by proving their connection to Ireland, and because IEDR’s Dispute Resolution Policy provides adequate protection for intellectual property rights holders.

On the other hand, while the ‘claim-to-the-name’ does not offer protection, it does impose significant costs and delays, which ultimately makes .IE uncompetitive.

“It was quite a complicated convoluted process, and the entire thing – very, very manual, highly subjective, highly problematic and it rendered the dot-IE namespace much less attractive than alternatives”

If implemented, a simpler .IE process should lead to cheaper prices, says Michele.

Over time, with simpler rules, the cost on the registrar side in terms of manpower, labour, and everything else in dealing with this stuff will be significantly reduced; the cost in terms of manpower and everything else on the IEDR side will be significantly reduced, so ultimately the price should reduce.

The proposed policy change will bring .IE into line with other national domains such as .CA in Canada, which retains a similar requirement for applicants to have a Canadian connection, without asking for further justification.

As hundreds of new generic Top-Level Domains (TLDs) have come online in the last few years, consumers have greater choice than ever. .IE registrations grew by more than 5% last year, outpacing the average for country-code domains worldwide, but Michele believes it could do much better.

“Research shows that .IE is a trusted brand in Ireland, and we want to see that continue and grow. The continuing requirement to prove an Irish connection will ensure the ‘Irishness’ of .IE, and protect against abuse. However the ‘claim-to-the-name’ requirement offers no benefit, drives up the cost, and discourages participation”

He thinks it is important that the public has its say in the development of policy for the national domain.

“From our perspective, we think the proposed changes are positive: that this will help the Irish internet as a whole. By making things simpler and easier it means that more Irish business and more Irish individuals will be able to register their own domain name, and that’s a positive thing. Removing blockers and restrictions around registering .IE domain names can only be positive, but people need to tell IEDR

Click here to read our press release.

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