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At ICANN, you can have any registrar you want, as long as it begins with A

Kevin Murphy, February 3, 2022, 16:49:02 (UTC), Domain Registrars

Want to find a registrar based in your home country, or in a friendlier foreign jurisdiction? Don’t rely on ICANN to help.

A recent outcome of the Org’s information transparency car crash is a registrar search engine that only returns filtered results where the registrar’s name begins with the letter A.

The search engine allows users to search for registrars by name, IANA number or the country/territory where the registrar is based. Results can also be filtered alphabetically.

But it’s broken.

If you’re looking for a local registrar, or an overseas registrar, perhaps because you’re concerned about the legal jurisdiction of the company before you register a domain, you might expect the handy drop-down countries menu to bear fruit.

Say you’re looking for an Irish registrar. You select “Ireland” from the drop-down:

ICANN screencap

And the results come back:

ICANN screencap

Oh. According to these results, there are no ICANN-accredited registrars based in Ireland.

But I notice the letter A is highlighted. Perhaps it’s only showing me the registrars beginning with A.

Are there any Irish registrars beginning with B? I’m sure I’ve heard of one, but the name escapes me. I click B:

ICANN screencap

Oh. It’s showing me registrars beginning with B, but they’re not all Irish. The search engine has cleared my original filter.

With B still selected, I filter again by country, and now I’m looking at an empty result set again. There are no Irish registrars beginning with A, ICANN is telling me again.

ICANN screencap

There also doesn’t appear to be a way to filter for registrars that begin with numerals or special symbols, so the likes of 123reg and 101domain appear to be fresh out of luck.

This search engine appears to have been live for about a year, replacing the old flat list, which appears to have been deleted, because that’s how ICANN rolls nowadays.

I don’t know whether it’s been broken the whole time it’s been live, nor whether ICANN knows it’s broken.

Perhaps nobody uses it. It does appear to be the only way to find accredited registrars by country on the ICANN or IANA web sites.

UPDATE Feb 4, 2022: within approximately seven hours, one of the major bugs reported in this post had been fixed. That’s what I call tech support!

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Comments (3)

  1. Rob Golding says:

    Might be your browser, as shows all 4 of them for me 🙂

  2. Dan says:

    Seems to work for me too — although clicking a letter does clear the filter instead of adding to the filter which is dumb.

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