More than 20 companies want to take over the back-end registry for the .org gTLD, according to Public Interest Registry.
PIR put the contract, currently held by Afilias, up for bidding with a formal Request For Information in February.
It’s believed to be worth north of $33 million to Afilias per year.
PIR told DI today that it “received more than 20 responses to its RFI for back-end providers from organisations representing 15 countries.”
That represents a substantial chunk of the back-end market, but there are only a handful of registry service providers currently handling zones as big as .org.
.org has about 11 million names under management. Only .com, .net and a few ccTLDs (Germany, China and the UK spring to mind) have zones the same size or larger.
PIR said it would not be making any specific details about the bidders available.
The non-profit says it plans to award the contract by the end of the year.