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Five million Indian government workers to get IDN email

Kevin Murphy, August 30, 2017, Domain Registries

The Indian government has announced plans to issue fully Hindi-script email addresses to some five million civil servants.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology announced the move, which will see each government employee given an @सरकार.भारत email address, in a statement this week.

सरकार.भारत transliterates as “sarkar.bharat”, or “government.india”.

The first stage of the roll-out will see the five million employees given @gov.in addresses, which apparently most of them do not already have.

Expanding the use of local scripts seems to be a secondary motivator to the government’s desire to bring control of government employee email back within its borders in a centralized fashion.

“The primary trigger behind the policy was Government data which resides on servers outside India and on servers beyond the control of the Government of India,” the MEITY press release states.

India currently has the largest number of internationalized domain names, at the top level, of any country.

NIXI, the local ccTLD manager, is in control of no fewer than 16 different ccTLDs in various scripts, with ample room for possible expansion in future.

The registry has been offering free IDN domains alongside .in registrations for about a year, according to local reports.

There are about two million .in domains registered today, according to the NIXI web site.

“Ditch .com!” government to tell Indians

The Indian government is to urge citizens to register .in domain names instead of .com, according to local reports.

The Economic Times reports today that the Ministry of Economy and IT is to launch a “massive advertising campaign aimed at companies, individuals and startups” promoting .in.

Rajiv Bansal, MEIT joint secretary, is reported as saying the campaign will play up to nationalist sentiments

The government wants to grow .in from about 2.1 million domains to 3 million domains by March next year, it said.

Prices could come down to the $2 to $3 range, the paper said.

The campaign is due to start in a month or so, it was reported.

ICANN diverts from Puerto Rico to India to avoid Zika

Kevin Murphy, May 17, 2016, Domain Policy

ICANN has confirmed that its 57th public meeting will not be held, as originally planned, in Puerto Rico.

Instead, it is asking community members to instead head to Hyderabad, India, this November.

Those Las Vegas rumors turned out not to be true. However, on the up-side, those Las Vegas rumors turned out not to be true!

The decision was to relocate made to the a “state of emergency” being declared in Puerto Rico due to the Zika virus.

Zika is spread by mosquitoes and male sexual partners and can cause devastating birth defects in kids.

Latest figures from the US Center for Disease Control put infections in US territories at 701, three of whom were travelers.

ICANN said in a blog post this evening:

This decision was based on available research and information and the fact that Puerto Rico has declared a state of emergency due to the ongoing Zika virus outbreak. We believe that the Zika virus poses a significant enough threat that we need to postpone going to Puerto Rico for the health and safety of our community and our ICANN team, just as we had to postpone ICANN52 and relocate from Marrakech to Singapore due to the Ebola virus outbreak in 2014.

It’s the second of this year’s meetings to be relocated due to Zika. June’s Panama meeting has been moved to Helsinki.

ICANN said that the new venue for ICANN 57, which takes place from November 3 to 9 this year, is the Hyderabad International Convention Centre.

It’s said that ICANN will take a seven-figure hit to its bank balance in order to cancel the PR meeting.

Go Daddy opens Indian call center — a portent?

Kevin Murphy, August 8, 2012, Domain Registrars

Let’s hope this isn’t the beginning of the end for Go Daddy.

When newly installed CEO Warren Adelman abruptly quit and took a back-seat advisory role at the company last week, my gut reaction was that all is not well at Go Daddy.

CEOs of companies with new owners don’t just up and quit eight months into the job unless there are performance problems or substantial disagreements about management style, in my view.

Adelman was replaced on an interim basis by Scott Wagner of Go Daddy’s main investor, the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

The news a couple of days later that KKR had appointed a new exec to oversee Go Daddy in India also caught my attention.

I was half tempted to write a post there and then speculating that Go Daddy was about to shift its flagship customer service operations — currently based in the US — to India.

While that news hasn’t arrived yet, the company has today confirmed that it has opened a call center in Hyderabad.

Today, the new facility appears to be limited to supporting Indian customers, according to a press release:

A team of local agents, who speak local languages, are now providing Go Daddy’s brand of award-winning customer service to Indian customers. Since opening a little more than one month ago, agents have taken more than 10,000 calls, mostly from entrepreneurs and business owners. To date, Go Daddy India now supports more than 120,000 customers.

But for how long will this be true?

Private equity firms exist to buy companies, make them more profitable, and flip them for a return on their investment. That usually means cutting costs in unpopular ways.

With the new owners in charge, I have to wonder if Go Daddy’s excellent US-based call centers — a constant source of bragging rights in the Bob Parsons era — are at risk.

It’s a lot more expensive to hire wage-slaves in Arizona than India.

I expect that decision will come down to whether Go Daddy starts to view its American call centers as a cost center, rather than a profit center, and whether it thinks it can ship the function overseas without sacrificing quality and alienating its US and other English-speaking customers.

Shipping jobs to cheaper climes might look like a no-brainer on paper, but there’s ample opportunity for #fail in this case.

If, of course, it ever happens. This article is pure speculation.

WSJ reporting bogus Indian domain name market info?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that India “passed an Internet milestone of sorts” in the first quarter, when the number of .com domains registered in the country broke through 1 million.

Did it?

This is what the WSJ says:

[India] now has more than one million registered web sites using the suffixes .com or .net, according to data released today by VeriSign Inc., the U.S. company that tracks this sort of thing.

In its Domain Name Industry Brief, it reported that India now has a registered total of 1.037 million .com and .net domain names, up from about 800,000 in the same period the year before.

The number 1.037 million is terribly specific, considering that VeriSign’s Domain Name Industry Brief doesn’t say anything of the sort.

There’s nothing in the DNIB to suggest that anybody in India has ever registered a single .com domain.

The DNIB has never broken down .com registrations by location, and the Q1 report, released on Monday, doesn’t use the word “India” once.

If the WSJ numbers are accurate – the paper does appear to have interviewed a VeriSign India executive – I’m wondering how they were calculated.

It can’t be a case of tallying the number of .com domains managed by Indian registrars. Mumbai-based Directi alone has had more than a million .com names under its belt for a long time.

Could VeriSign be mining Whois records for location data?

It runs a thin registry, so it would have to reference Whois data acquired from its registrars in order to compute the numbers.

Or did the WSJ hit on unreliable sources? It seems possible.