“One of the goals of the domain reform was to overhaul the domain register, checking the data of the domains in use and releasing the domains no longer in use for their use anew,” said Marek-Andres Kauts. As in accordance with the old rules domain costs were covered by the state budget and registrations were termless, it was common practice to simply forget to have the no longer needed domain unregistered. “Over a period of 18 years a remarkable number of such zombie domains accumulated in the register. As of today, the number of actually used domains is 43,728. This figure is verified and reliable,” Kauts added.
The 90-day deletion proceeding now commences for the domains that have not been re-registered and on the 6th of April, 2011, these domains will be deleted from the register and will become available to the general public for new registration on a first-come, first-served basis. Kauts: “The deletion proceeding is customer-friendly and during the first 30 days of expiry the domains will still be open for re-registration and active, meaning that the corresponding e-mail addresses and websites will still be working. Nevertheless, we urge latecomers to make haste with re-registration.”
One of the questions at the press conference was whether the .ee domain fee would be reduced in the future. Marek-Andres Kauts: “The Estonian Internet Foundation is a non-profit organisation and the domain fee is derived from our expenses. This means that if the number of registered .ee domains increases, the fee will be reduced. We have a mechanism for the fee review and the first such opportunity will come during preparation of the budget for the next financial year in the fourth quarter of this year.” The money from registration fees covers current administrative expenses, investments and reserves. The .ee domain registration fee in 2011 is 18 euros 20 eurocents. The final market price for the registrant is determined by the particular registrar in view of the competition and this price can be higher or lower than the registration fee.
During the 6 months the re-registration activities peaked at the start of the period in July and in November-December.
The various registrars have been working hard during the re-registration period. Most domains were registered by Zone Media OÜ (43.69%), Elion Ettevõtted AS (14.56%), Netpoint Systems OÜ (10.54%) and Elkdata OÜ (9.22%).
In accordance with the domain reform plan, the Estonian Internet Foundation created the Domain Disputes Committee. The first resolved case was that of the bang-olufsen.ee domain name and there are now a further 4 cases under review.
During the 6-month re-registration period information was distributed about cooperation with registrars, some 191,170 notification e-mails were sent out and an information campaign was conducted online.
The 3-month deletion proceeding had commenced for domains without re-registration as of 5.01.2011:
05.01.2011 – 5.02.2011, the domain search on the www.eestiinternet.ee website will show domains that were not re-registered with the note “domain being deleted”. NB! During this initial period the domain remains active and you can re-register it.
6.02.2011 – 5.04.2011, the domain is out of the zone, meaning that it is no longer active and the associated web pages and e-mail addresses have ceased to function. NB! The domain can still be re-registered.
On 6.04.2011, the deletion proceeding ends. All domains without re-registration are now deleted and they are free for anyone interested to register in their name on a first-come, first-served basis.