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11.09.2019

TLDCON 2019 opens in Vilnius

On September 11, the 12th international conference for ccTLD registries and registrars of CIS, Central and Eastern Europe, TLDCON 2019, opened in Vilnius, Lithuania. The two-day conference brought together 120 participants from 20 countries. It is organized by the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ with the support of DOMREG.LT (host), the Internet Technical Center (general partner), ICANN and the Vilnius Convention Bureau. Andrei Vorobyov, Director of the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ, opened the conference. He noted that the event would focus on an analysis of the ongoing processes in East European ccTLDs for the past quarter century. Many of the regional countries have either recently marked the 25th anniversary of their TLDs, or will mark it this year, like .RU.

“We will talk about how national domain zones are developing, how this development is seen by international organizations, and how registries and registrars contribute to the development of the internet. Today .RU has a little less than 5 million domain names, and we continue to grow, actively responding to the challenges facing the domain industry,” said Andrei Vorobyov.

He gave his best wishes to the participants of TLDCON 2019 on the 25th anniversary of TLD .RU adding that next year will mark another anniversary – 10 years of the Russian national Cyrillic domain .РФ, which today ranks second among all IDNs and first among Cyrillic domains. The development of IDNs is a very important area for the center. This year, the center initiated the creation of the Universal Acceptance Regional Coordination Group of CIS and Eastern Europe, including its Russian branch, the Russian Working Group on Universal Acceptance. These groups promote the universal adoption of internationalized top-level domains (IDNs), new top-level domains, and email addresses that use non-Latin alphabets.

The conference participants included the founding fathers of the Runet. One of them, Chairman of the Internet Development Foundation Supervisory Board Alexei Soldatov, also greeted the participants.

“The advent of the internet and domains has changed the world, and 25 years of .RU is a landmark not only for those involved in the domain business, but for everyone who uses the internet,” he said. He also noted that the number of domains in a domain zone is not an indicator of its health, and high growth rates do not always benefit the domain.

Andrei Vorobyov spoke about the great work the center is doing to improve the legal framework for domain registration and the relationship between the registry and registrars. “We have expanded the procedure for compiling the list of character identifications whose registration as domain names is prohibited, as well as the rules for resolving domain disputes. New documents more specifically describe the previously adopted regulatory principles,” Andrei Vorobyov explained.

The plenary meeting attendees talked about the need for cooperation between various organizations. Irina Danelia, member of the Board of Directors of the Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries (CENTR), Deputy CEO of the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ, noted that “cooperation is the foundation on which CENTR works. Collaboration is why we meet at conferences like this. It gives us an opportunity to take the next step, drawing on the experience and support of our colleagues.”

Irina Danelia spoke about the main trends in the domain industry. One of them is the emergence of new technologies, such as DNS over TLS, which could change the technology landscape of the internet, as well as international lawmakers’ increased attention to internet governance. She also talked about CENTR’s projects involving cooperation between European registries and about the ongoing study of the processes underway in the domain market. The Coordination Center has already organized the translation of some of these studies and published them on its website.

Alexei Rogdev, Director General of the Technical Center of Internet, cited some interesting statistics. He noted that, despite the projected 20% decrease in the number of domains in the .RU zone, the real drop was only about 6%. At the same time, the number of new registrations has not decreased, while the number of removals, on the contrary, is decreasing every month. The proportion of renewed registrations has been growing since the fall of 2016 along with their age. The percent of unused domains not associated with any service such as email or a website, or parked domains, is falling. This statistics suggest domain zone integrity and a high demand for registered domains,” Alexei Rogdev concluded.

Daiva Tamulioniene, Director of the Lithuanian national registry, Domreg.lt, talked about the history and development prospects of TLD .LT. “The .LT zone was created in 1992, and its first users were universities. Today there are more than 196,000 domains in the .LT zone, 58% registered by companies, and 42% by private individuals. As many as 171,000 domains are registered by the country’s residents,” Tamulioniene said.

The TLDCON 2019 plenary meeting ended with a presentation by Natalia Mochu, Global Stakeholder Engagement Manager Eastern Europe and Central Asia at ICANN, who offered an outsider’s view on the development of the domain industry in the region. She encouraged country registries to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by their association with ICANN, and to participate in the regulation of the internet, including the development of global policies, as well as exchange best practices in the management of national domain zones.

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