.pro

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.pro.JPG
Status: Active
country: International
Manager: Afilias
Registry Provider: Afilias
Registrations: 160,000
Date Implemented: June, 2004
Type: gTLD

.pro is a generic top level domain (gTLD) in the Domain Names System (DNS) root zone. In January, 2012, Afilias became the registry manager for the domain,[1] after having acquired the previous manager, RegistryPro, formerly a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Hostway Corporation.

The .pro TLD is meant for use by professionals.[2]

In October 2012, Directi registrar ResellerClub announced that it had sold 11,000 .pro names in the first month of support for the TLD.[3] Afilias was able to double the registrations for .pro in just a year's time, including overcoming a deep loss of 40,000 domains of zip codes that had been registered to Hostway. In January 2013, it noted that it had 160,000 domains registered. CEO Karim Jiwani notes that it is all organic growth rather than large bundled deals, and is the result from various price decreases, and on-boarding more registrars, most notably Directi. All this has happened while Afilias simultaneously got more serious about enforcing the registration policies that require professional credentials. Though this also means educating registrars that an extensive degree is not a requisite of being a professional, and a professional may be a massage therapist or tour guide.[4]

History

In June 2004, .pro TLD became the seventh new TLD approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to be included in the DNS root zone, in addition to .biz, .info, .name, .museum, .coop, and .aero. Registry.pro was the main proponent in creating .pro, an unsponsored TLD restricted to registration by credible individuals and entities providing professional services, such as accountants, doctors, engineers and lawyers.[5]

On May 2002, ICANN approved RegistryPro's application and designated the organization to manage and operate .pro.[6] The TLD was officially launched in June 2004.

In August 2004, ICANN approved the proposal for Registry.pro to offer second level .pro domains. Subsequently, .pro expanded its operations and began offering registration to professionals in Canada on September 27, in the United Kingdom on October 4, and in Germany on October 11 of that year.

In September 2004, RegistryPro announced a proposed expansion for .pro that would allow registration to the following types of professionals: Architects (arc.pro), Certified Financial Analysts (cfa.pro), Certified Financial Planners (cfp.pro), Dentists (dds.pro), Engineers (eng.pro), Nutritionists (ntr.pro), Optometrists (opt.pro), Pharmacists (pha.pro), Physician Assistants (pa.pro), Podiatrists (pod.pro), Psychologists (psy.pro), Educators (ed.pro), Veterinarians (vet.pro), Physical Therapists (pt.pro), and Public Relations professionals (pr.pro).[7]

On September 2008, ICANN unanimously approved the above .pro expansion. Based on the new terms set by ICANN, .pro will be available to any professional or entity with credentials from a certifying governmental authority anywhere in the world. The expansion widens the market for the .pro domain while maintaining the exclusive nature of the TLD to professionals.[8]

October 2012 marked the expiration of 40,000 .pro domains that were registered by the former owner, Hostway, under its Zip.pro program.[9]

In July 2013, Afilias requested that ICANN lift the restrictions set out in its Registry Agreements for .pro and .mobi that forbids Afilias from owning more than a 15% share in the registrar company that sells the TLDs.[10]

.pro TLD Requirements

Any individual or entity who wishes to register a .pro domain name must meet the following requirements:[11]

  • Provider of professional services
  • Admitted to or licensed by a government certification body or jurisdictional licensing entity recognized by a governmental body that regularly verifies the accuracy of its data
  • In good standing with the licensing authority
  • Able to provide information regarding their professional eligibility such as: identification, contact information, license number, or any information relevant to the specific profession

References