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Mystery .vu registry revealed

Kevin Murphy, August 13, 2019, 15:48:52 (UTC), Domain Registries

Neustar has been selected as the back-end domain registry operator for the nation of Vanuatu.

The company, and the Telecommunications Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator, announced the appointment, which came after a competitive tender process between nine competing back-end providers, last night.

The ccTLD is .vu.

It’s unrestricted, with no local presence requirements, and currently costs $50 per year if you buy directly from the registry, Telecom Vanuatu Ltd (TVL).

Unusually, if you show up at TVL’s office in Vanuatu capital Port Vila, you can buy a domain for cash. I’ve never heard of that kind of “retail” domain name option before.

A handful of international registrars also sell the domains marked up, generally to over the $80 mark.

TVL was originally the sponsor of the ccTLD, but ICANN redelegated it to TRBR in March after Vanuatu’s government passed a law in 2016 calling for redelegation.

Under the deal, Neustar will take over the registry function from TVL after its 24 years in charge, bringing the .vu option to hundreds of other registrars.

Most registrars are already plugged in to Neustar, due to its operation of .us, .biz and .co. It also recently took over India’s .in.

There’s no public data on the number of domains under management, but Vanuatu is likely to have a much smaller footprint that Neustar’s main ccTLD clients.

It’s quite a young country, gaining independence from France and the UK in 1980, a Pacific archipelago of roughly 272,000 people.

Neustar expects the transition to its back-end to be completed September 30.

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Comments (2)

  1. Leo says:

    I remember a customer visiting the office of the ISP where I worked in 1998, so that he could buy a domain name and associated services for cash. It was a sufficiently rare situation that I remember spending an afternoon working out how to apply our telephone and card process to cash. Finding a person in the office who was willing to take those crisp £50 notes from me and issue the customer a receipt was slightly challenging.

  2. Rob Golding says:

    We still have clients who come to the office to pay by cash – the handling fee the bank charge makes it similar cost to card processing for making deposits, but it does ensure it’s all tracked the same way as other payment methods.

    The charities and gov’t departments still paying by cheque in the 21st century is more of an issue IMHO.

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