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PIR starts pre-registration for .ngo domain names

Kevin Murphy, February 19, 2013, 17:21:55 (UTC), Domain Registries

Public Interest Registry has become the first major gTLD registry to start taking pre-registrations for a not-yet-approved gTLD.

PIR said today that it’s allowing non-governmental organizations to register an “expression of interest” for .ngo and .ong domains.

Pre-registrations are of course free and non-binding. They’re mainly a way to opening the marketing communications channel with customers well in advance of the launch of a TLD.

PIR does not expect to launch .ngo or .ong until 2014. Its ICANN evaluation priority numbers for the two TLDs are 810 and 958, in the first half of the list.

Pre-registration is not a new concept, of course, but it’s one generally embraced more often by registrars (eNom and United Domains are the two most prominent examples) rather than incumbent registries.

For PIR to start engaging directly with potential registrants is one of the first signs that, in the wake of ICANN’s lifting of the ban on vertical integration between registries and registrars, the new gTLD market won’t be playing by the old rules.

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Comments (6)

  1. Michael Palage says:

    Not totally new, as ICM Registry in its capacity as a registry was taking pre-registrations as well, http://domainincite.com/3889-icm-sees-30000-xxx-reservations-in-a-day

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      I’m sure ICM would be delighted to hear you think they’re a major gTLD registry. 😉

      There are a few other examples of gTLD applicants taking preregs. One of the .mls applicants starting taking paid! preregistrations many months before the application window even opened.

  2. Rubens Kuhl says:

    .ngo is a sure thing, but .ong is in a high risk of being squashed either by ICANN’s own string similarity analysis or a string similarity objection.

    If, one day, ICANN allows ASCII variants, maybe then .ong could be an option for a registrant already owning the same .org domain.

  3. Jean Guillon says:

    I don’t understand the connection between submitting an EOI and receiving an information regarding all launch processes.

    For what reason on earth would someone inform another about his interest in a domain name but take the risk to have his info used against him?

    I would understand:
    – …such an EOI if the registry offered to register domain names in the future but they won’t (or will they?);
    – …if the Registry was able to pre-register and block domains once for the Registrants but…on what basis?
    – …if this was a way to target potential Registrants with a Pioneer Program.

    I see absolutely no reason about such an EOI for the moment: isn’t an alert about future launchings enough?

    I just see a risk so I sent my question to PIR.

  4. Tom G says:

    Registries assuming the role of Registrars.

    I can smell the anti trust litigation.

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      I’m not saying that PIR is exempt from anti-trust litigation, but being a not for profit with goodwill in the Internet for supporting technical developments (IETF), they might had a risk assessment that would be very different if it was Verisign, for instance.

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