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TBTF Guide to Non-US Domain Name Registries

Since 1993 anyone who wanted a second-level domain name has had to deal with the monopoly supplier, Network Solutions Inc. (NSI), a subsidiary of the US defense contractor Science Applications International Inc. Since 1995 NSI has charged $100 to register a name (the fee covering the first two years), and $50 per year on an ongoing basis. Efforts over the last two years to introduce competition to the domain name business have not yet reached fruition.

Some enterprising countries and companies have elected not to wait for the official dawning of domain-name competition. Instead they are selling second-level names inside their country domains.

Here is a partial listing of those non-NIS domain-name suppliers that are actively marketing their services. A great many more country-code domains will accept registrations from anyone but don't necessarily advertise the fact. See this database to explore the status of most country-code domains.

TLD Country In TBTF... URL to register $ initial $ annual
.tv Tuvalu nic.tv 1000+ 500
Application fee is $1000. Download a PDF application form, snail-mail or fax it back. Uncontested names will be awarded on 1 February 1999. Contested domains will go to auction "or other format chosen by The .TV Corporation"; unsuccessful bidders get a refund.

A Toronto company won the bidding, at $25M, to register .tv names. Tuvalo is one of the world's smallest countries. [1998-12-18]

.am Armenia 1998-04-20 amnic.net 200 0
Fee is $20 for Armenian applicants, $200 for all others; no recurring fees. Fill out and email application template, snail-mail a banker's draft or certified check. Registering party is required to certify that the domain "will not be used for any illegal or unethical purpose under any circumstances in any country," a near impossible condition. [1998-04-13]
.cc Cocos (Keeling) Islands 1998-02-23 nic.cc 100 50
Initial $100 covers 2 years. Policies are not published on NIC site, which seem to amount to 5 pages in total. Credit cards accepted via secure link. Registration form sends email and they get back to you if your application is accepted. No word on trademark or dispute resolution policies. No indication of who they might be working with to implement the NIC, or who is behind this enterprise; not even a "Visit the beautiful Cocos" page. Quote from the top page: "Our friendly staff and personnel are working to make this site extremely friendly for our alliance members and patrons." They've got a vast distance to go to meet this goal. [1998-02-22]
.tm Turkministan 1998-02-09 www.nic.tm 50 50
Will void a name when ordered by a "court or or governmental administrative body" (not just a local court). May refuse or void a name that is "offensive or misleading to the Internet community." Payment by credit card, secure transaction, in US dollars. "We may soon offer the option to pay online in different currencies." NIC is based in UK so 17.5% VAT applies to billing contacts in the UK. NIC accepts no responsibility/liability for trademark status of names. [1998-02-07]

[1999-09-07] Thom Stark <thom at starkrealities dot com> writes to note that Turkministan has suspended its name-registration service. The .tm NIC page states:

The response to the .TM registry has been overwhelming. Thousands of names have been registered from all over the world. Some of the names registered, however, may be legally obscene in Turkmenistan, and as a result the .TMNIC registry is reviewing its naming policy for future registrations. The .TMNIC has suspended registrations until a new policy can be implemented. We hope to be live again shortly.
.nu Niue 1997-11-17 www.nunames.nu 25 25
Site gives numerous cookies. Easy registration, via First Virtual or secure credit card. 24-hour activation. Payment of 5 years in advance accepted, 20% discount. $10 charge for most account changes. Good-faith trademark clearing statement required by registrant. Will void a name only by order of Niue court. Some second-level names reserved: .com.nu, .firm.nu, .co.nu, etc. [1998-02-07]
.to Tonga 1997-06-23 www.tonic.to 100 50
Gorgeous pages. Slick registration, via secure credit card. 24-hour activation. Unique 2-level password scheme lets you edit your account information in realtime. Contact information on nameholders is confidential (Whois facility anonymizes). No trademark restrictions. Strong anti-spam policy. Has registered 5,000 names [1998-03-17]
.nf Norfolk Island 1996-07-14 www.names.nf 350 50
1000 100
Payment by credit card, not secure. Lower price is for second-level name such as .com.nf, .net.nf, etc. Higher price is for .nf name. [1998-02-07]


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Most recently updated 1999-09-10