The recently launched .pw domain, managed by Directi, is doing particularly well in China, according to an early analysis from DomainTools.
The survey of data from name servers supporting 63,736 .pw domains found that well over half — 38,356 — were on Chinese IP addresses.
The Chinese registrar XinNet, which promotes low-cost .pw heavily on its home page, runs the second-largest number of name servers for the ccTLD’s registrants, DomainTools said.
According to the data, Directi’s own PrivacyProtect.org service is the third-largest name server host for .pw, followed by NameCheap and Sedo.
While Directi said from the outset that it expected to see growth from less-developed regions of the world, it has also come under fire recently for a massive spam outbreak from .pw addresses.
The ccTLD already has over 100,000 domains, according to the company.
KSRegistry has been appointed the new registry operator for Grenada’s ccTLD after bad management at the previous operator led to the whole TLD being hijacked.
But the fate of two other hijacked ccTLDs — .tc and .vg — appears to be less certain, with significant confusion over who’s in charge at both.
One of them, at least, may still be “hijacked”.
But KSRegistry, part of the KeyDrive group, said today that it took over the technical management of .gd from AdamsNames (Amaryllis Investments Ltd) on May 1.
While a press release describes the change as a “redelegation” by ICANN’s IANA function, in fact it’s just a change of technical contact in the IANA database.
Grenada’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission remains the official, delegated manager of the TLD.
The hasty switch-over follows the alleged wholesale hijacking of the ccTLD by a disgruntled former employee of AdamsNames, who temporarily relocated it from the UK to Turkey.
The TLD, along with .tc and .vg, went AWOL in March after one Ertan Ulutas apparently took over the domain AdamsNames.net, the web site which was used by registrants to manage their names.
For a couple of weeks the site remained in the hands of the alleged hijacker, and all the while the AdamsNames.net site presented itself as the official registry manager.
KSRegistry was at the time the appointed back-end provider, appointed last year, for AdamsNames.
Due to the period of confusion, KSRegistry said today that the integrity of registration data in .gd may have been compromised, and that the zone will be “frozen” until May 21.
KSRegistry said in a statement:
While the .GD zone is frozen, no registrations, modifications, transfers, deletions or renewals can be made until the zone file has been fully reviewed and confirmed as valid and complete. Expired domains which are still in the zone can explicit be set to be either deleted or renewed prior to the reactivation of automated domain deletion function on May 21. Contact and nameserver updates can be done by each registrar for the domain names in its portfolio once the ServerUpdateProhibited status is removed. The NTRC and the KSregistry GmbH intend to resolve the discrepancies in the registration data with the .GD accredited registrars until May 21, 2013.
Getting rid of AdamsNames seems like a smart move by Grenada.
While AdamsNames has not been accused of any wrongdoing, allowing its TLDs to get hijacked, putting many thousands of domains at risk, certainly smacks of incompetence.
And the current status of .tc and .vg is unclear enough that I’d advise extreme caution when doing business with either TLD until further notice.
According to IANA records, .vg (British Virgin Islands) still has AdamsNames listed as the technical manager, but there have been significant, dodgy-looking changes at .tc recently.
Notably, references to AdamsNames as technical contact and official registration site for the ccTLD have been removed and replaced with those for a couple of new companies.
TLD AS (based in Turkey) and Meridian TLD (based in the British Virgin Islands) have been named as technical contact and registration site for .tc respectively.
Also, a name server for .tc that was operated by RIPE (a respectable organization), was also removed and replaced with one from zone.tc, a domain controlled by Meridian TLD, in early April.
All the name servers for .tc, and all but one of the name servers for .vg, are now on domains controlled by Meridian.
On the face of it, it looks almost legit. Meridian’s web site even states that its representatives were at the ICANN meeting in Beijing a month ago.
But according to AdamsNames, Meridian is actually run by Ulutas (the alleged hijacker) and at least two other people, and the two other people showed up in Beijing pretending to represent AdamsNames.
AdamsNames said on its web site:
We have to state frank and clear that neither Ayse Ergen nor her companion are authorised to represent or to act on behalf of AdamsNames Limited. By posing as employees of AdamsNames, the group of criminals around Ertan Ulutas, newly also known as “Meridian TLD Corp.”, continues its efforts to hijack the business of AdamsNames (run since 1999) by underhand means.
ICANN/IANA, according to AdamsNames, was aware of its complaints about Meridian from late March, which was before it made the changes that gave Meridian effective control over .tc.
Right now, it looks disturbingly like the alleged “hijacker” has actually managed to not only take over operations for at least one entire ccTLD but also to make it official.
Today, we’ve launched a new search tool that enables you to easily view, search and sort new gTLD program Initial Evaluation scores from a single page.
The tool, available to DI PRO users here, is designed for those who desire a little more granular data on IE results than currently displayed on the New gTLD Application Tracker.
Users can see financial, technical and total evaluation scores for each application that has been processed through IE (currently 244 applications) in the same sortable table.
Results can be filtered by string, applicant (or portfolio parent) and back-end registry services provider.
New scores will be added every Friday night (or Saturday morning, depending on the timing of ICANN’s results publication) until Initial Evaluation ends.
Another 31 new gTLD applications have passed Initial Evaluation in ICANN’s weekly batch of results.
The applied-for strings receiving passing grades are:
.gay, .statebank, .tkmaxx, .school, .app, .thai, .site, .democrat, .holdings, .room, .equipment, .alipay, .merck, .fls, .fire. .cloud, .rugby, .now, .news, .mtn, .bike, .estate, .auto, .gripe, .naspers, .deal, .xbox, .cars, .virgin, .insurance, and .art
There are now a total of 244 applications with passing scores on IE, and only one that did not pass. The highest priority number application to have its results published is 300.
According to the DI PRO New gTLD Application Tracker, which has been updated with the latest results, 179 of the passing applications are uncontested, and 142 of those have no Governmental Advisory Committee worries and no objections.
ARI Registry Services has withdrawn its application for the .book new gTLD.
The application was one of nine for .book and is the first in the contention set to be withdrawn.
The application lists Global Domain Registry Pty Ltd as the applicant, but all the contact information belongs to ARI/AusRegistry and its executives.
ARI was also its selected back-end provider.
The company had proposed a restricted .book, where you could only register a name if you had an ISBN number.
It had a priority number of 1,464, so was not due to get its Initial Evaluation results for many weeks.
It’s a crowded contention set, however — other applicants include Google, Amazon, Top Level Domain Holdings and Donuts — that may well wind up costing a lot of money to resolve.
It’s the 57th new gTLD application to be withdrawn; 1,873 remain.