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What does it take to run a TLD registry?

11 February 2007

That’s the question that has been reverberating around one of the mailing lists that covers Internet issues. It’s an important question, and once in which we hope our community have some answers – or, at least, some pointers.

What does it take to run a Top Level Domain Registry? And what’s more easy to run: a ccTLD or gTLD?

Opinions so far have ranged from “it’s easy” to “it’s a serious business” – both of which are obviously far too vague to being to measure what is an intriguing question. Some suggestions fall down in favour of the easy option: “only 5 ccTLDs show 24 x 7 support”, “registries are not difficult to run”. Others say, “it requires great technical skills, and business approach”. They maintain that the while technically and even theoretically it is easy to run a top-level domain, the realities mean providing and/or selling domains, advanced review systems, legal considerations and so on.

It would be good to hear what the registries and businesses think – is it really that difficult to run a TLD? Is it easy to decide what kind of machines to get, how to backup, what power supply you’ll need, Internet connectivity, UPS, 24×7 staff, backup of the power supply, backup of the Internet connection. Do you need staff, payments, social security, registration of a company, accounting, etc., or you think one could run the TLD from their garage? Are there differences between running a ccTLD, and a gTLD?

Let’s hear what you have to say.


Veni Markovski

Veni Markovski

VP, Government Engagement - UN NY and Interim Head of Government and IGO Engagement