.CO Internet is looking for more registrars to start selling .co domain names.
The company has just released a request for proposals, saying it plans to accredit up to 20 new registrars over the next 12 months.
.CO’s registrar channel was limited by its agreement with the Colombian government to 10 registrars in its first year of business – the government had originally wanted only three, to limit gaming – but that restriction no longer applies.
While there are only 10 .co registrars currently, a few of them operate reseller channels or gateways that have enabled unaccredited registrars to also sell the domains, albeit on non-optimal terms.
According to the RFP, .CO is particularly interested in registrars that are willing to promote the .co TLD by either bringing it to new markets or making it the subject of special marketing campaigns.
While .co operates outside of ICANN control, the company is sticking to its policy of only accepting ICANN-accredited registrars into its channel.
Also, only registrars that are already accredited to sell .biz domains (as well as .com and .net) will be able to offer .co, presumably due to the fact that Neustar is the registry provider for both.
This effectively excludes about 115 registrars, many of which are shell or legacy accreditations used for drop-catching.
There are certain unspecified “special considerations” that apply to corporate-focused registrars, according to the RFP, presumably because they tend to be rather low-volume and generally focused on defensive registrations.