Blacknight Solutions has dropped its local ccTLD, .ie, from the free domain name program it offers in partnership with Google to Irish small businesses.
It’s being replaced with .co, the repurposed Colombian ccTLD, which has been getting an indecent amount of traction in regional projects targeting small business recently.
“Unfortunately, while we may be the market leader for .IE, we feel that the restrictions on the domain impose too many restraints to benefit program participants,” Blacknight CEO Michele Neylon said.
Supporting the highly restrictive ccTLD was imposing too many costs and headaches, Neylon said. The company will continue to sell the domains, just not through the program.
Blacknight, Google and the Irish postal service have been offering companies a free year domain registration and hosting under the banner of Getting Business Online for over a year.
In May, Blacknight reported that in the first year only about 21% of companies participating in the program chose .ie.
The .co domain is of course unrestricted.
It’s another regional win for .CO Internet, which markets .co as the TLD of choice for startups.
Just last week .CO Internet announced that Startup Britain, a private-sector entrepreneurial campaign backed by the UK government, had switched from a .org to a .co.