Uniregistry has got into the ccTLD business, taking over management of the Cayman Islands’ .ky domain this week and planning a relaunch for later this month.
Uniregistry, which is based in Cayman, has replaced a US company called SilverSky, now part of BAE Systems, as the official registry for .ky.
CEO Frank Schilling told DI that the previous custodian was running a manual registration process but that the ccTLD will now run on the same platform Uniregistry uses for its new gTLDs.
The company will act as both registry and registrar for the names, though the space will be opened up to third-party registrars.
The wholesale fee will be $29, with Uniregistry’s registrar business retailing names for $39 a year, Schilling said.
The ccTLD will be relaunched later this month with a six-month period where only people with a self-professed (check-box) “nexus” to the Cayman Islands will be able to register names, Schilling said.
There won’t be a sunrise period in the classical sense, but UDRP will apply, he said.
An official announcement about dates and eligibility rules is due some time this month, about a week before the relaunch.
Currently, .ky has about 11,000 registrations, Schilling said. That may be considered surprisingly high, given Cayman’s small population (under 60,000) and the apparent lack of automation in place previously.
But Cayman is a tax haven, and overseas companies often choose to register .ky names to help convince the tax man where they really are based that they have a true connection to the territory.
Schilling said that the Cayman government’s registrar of companies will promote .ky domains to businesses that set up a presence there.
He added that its shipping register will plug the names to those who moor their “super yachts” in Cayman.
The deal with the Cayman government, which remains the “owner” of .ky as far as IANA is concerned, is the first of what Schilling said he hopes will be many ccTLD relationships.
Uniregistry has also bid to run Bermuda’s .bm, which is currently managed in-house by the country’s government, and is talking to other ccTLDs as well, Schilling said.