Ireland’s website watchdog wants to make it easier for Irish sites here to get a ‘.ie’ address
The authority in Ireland responsible for the country’s own website addresses, the IEDR, is looking at ways to make it easier for companies and organisations outsides Ireland – but with an Irish identity or connection – to be able to use ‘.ie’ instead of ‘.com’ or ‘.co.uk’.
A public consultation has been launched on whether or not to change the rules to remove some of the perceived obstacles. Under existing rules applicants must prove to the IE Domain Registry (IEDR) that they have a valid claim to their chosen name and a real, tangible connection to the island of Ireland.
The IEDR wants to make it that an applicant only has to prove a connection to Ireland.
It said: “If this policy change is approved any individual or business with a provable connection to Ireland will be able to register a .ie domain name on a first come, first-served basis”.
The IEDR added that registering a .ie address in this manner will be easier and faster, and give individuals, communities and businesses an easier way to get online. This suggestion came from the group’s policy advisory committee which includes members from associations such as Enterprise Ireland, the Small Firms Association, the Law Society, and the Department of Communications.
IEDR CEO David Curtin told one of Ireland’s largest current affairs websites, thejournal.ie: “By dropping the ‘claim to a name’ requirement but retaining the connection to Ireland, we are removing a hurdle that slows down some registrants from getting started with a .ie address.
“One of .ie’s greatest values is that it is ‘identifiably Irish’.
“A business with a .ie address is immediately authentic, trustworthy and familiar.
“For that reason, the requirement to prove a connection to the island of Ireland will not be going away.”
There are currently at least 230,611 .ie domain names registered to the IEDR of which some 20,244 were registered in the first half of this year.