OpenRegistry has become the domain name industry’s newest top-level domain registry operator.
The new company, which went by the name Sensirius while in stealth mode, announced itself officially at the ICANN meeting in Cartagena two weeks ago.
Jean-Christophe Vignes is giving up his operational role at EuroDNS to be CEO of the new company, which hopes to bring more modular, custom-tailored options to organizations that want to launch new TLDs.
For “open”, read “flexible” – OpenRegistry plans to differentiate itself by offering clients “a la carte” options, rather than the one-size-fits-all services it believes some competitors offer.
“We’ve noticed that no two clients are the same,” Vignes said. “Some of them are already pretty well taken care of when it comes to drafting applications and so on, and just need the registry solution, but others are happy to have the full suite of our services.”
The idea is that a city TLD or niche community TLD will not necessarily have the same needs as a full-blown mass-market gTLD, Vignes said.
OpenRegistry plans to make three packages available at first, according to its web site – all-inclusive, managed registry, and software-only. Prices appear to start at around 100,000 euros.
The software itself is based on the registry expertise used in the design of Belgium’s .be and EurID’s .eu, although it appears to be a fresh creation.
Vignes said that it will be able to natively handle start-up functions such as premium domain auctions and interfacing with the IP Clearinghouse.
The company does not intend to apply for its own TLDs, Vignes said, allowing it to focus on its clients.
But it does plan on being somewhat selective on which TLDs with which it works, with “feasibility studies” one of the services on offer.
Like the incumbent registry triumvirate of VeriSign, Afilias and Neustar, OpenRegistry hopes that the ICANN-accredited registrar community will be a good source of clients.
ICANN recently said it plans to lift restrictions on registrars applying for and running registries.