.pw The Professional Web

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PW-LOGO-1.png
Industry: Registry
Founded: 2004
Ownership: Directi
Website: Registry.pw
Key People
Bhavin Turakhia, CEO Directi Group
Sandeep Ramchandani, Director of Strategic Parnterships, Directi

.pw - The Professional Web is the re-launched registry for the Open ccTLD for Palau, .pw. The Professional Web is a subsidiary of Directi, which operates prominent registrars, hosting companies, and development companies, and is also an applicant for 30 new gTLDs. Despite these applications, the launching of the now-open ccTLD represents the Directi group's first active registry operation. The official launch of the TLD is ICANN 45 in Toronto.

The extension is currently in General Availability, with 110 registrars offering registration. Learn more here.[1]

Major selling points for the extension will be its relatively low-price, and the vast amount of quality domain names available. Further uncertainty over the timeline of ICANN's new gTLD program gives the company an opportunity to target entities feeling constricted by the lack of quality domain names in other, more saturated TLDs.

Directi CEO, Bhavin Turakhia, said in the .pw re-launch press release: "The top generics are running in a depleted state. In over 70% of the cases, consumers are unable to obtain a name of first choice, and must settle for longer, less memorable names. Moreover, for these unattractive names, they will pay more and more each year as incumbent gTLDs continue to raise prices. .pw aims to meet the global demand for shorter, first choice names at a reasonable price."[2]

Background

The .pw ccTLD was delegated to the Pacific island nation of Palau in 1997.[3] It has been redelegated a number of times, and Directi obtained exclusive rights over .pw - The Professional Web in 2004 from EnCirca, the registrar that originally launched the eponymous acronym. Prior plans for the ccTLD were to create a bundled social media and messaging product, though that project did not come to fruition, and so the ccTLD has seen little registration and is consequently now open for wide growth.

Relaunch

The new operations under Directi of .pw The Professional Web entails relaunching the ccTLD as an Open ccTLD. An open ccTLD is one that is available for registration outside of the nation that it designates, in this case Palau. The official relaunch of .pw as an open ccTLD was ICANN 45 in Toronto, which ran the week of October 13, 2012. The Professional Web was an ICANN-meeting sponsor.[4] This will then be followed by a gTLD style launch, which includes a 68 day Sunrise Period in early December 2012, and a month-long Landrush Period in February 2013.

Technical registry functions will be handled by CentralNic, which will support DNSSEC, IPv6, and multiple IDNs.

While the Directi group includes its own registrars, such as LogicBoxes and ResellerClub, .pw is offered by 90 registrars and prominent resellers and wholesaler such as eNom.[5][6]

  • Sunrise Period: December 3, 2012 - February 15, 2013. Any individual or company with a registered trademark filed before or on 1st December, 2012 can apply for the Sunrise period. Duplicate applications will be resolved via auctions. The Sunrise period was extended for an additional week, from February 8th to February 15, due to demand.[7]

TM.Biz, which integrated the Trademark Fact Check service to enable the validation of trademarks for new gTLDs, is the trademark validation agent for the .PW Registry. Trademark Fact Check debuted for the .xxx Sunrise, where it pre-validated thousands of trademarks by searching more than 65 online trademark databases and applying the validation criteria as defined by the .xxx registry. The sunrise system at .PW Registry allows one brand to protect numerous variations, trademarks, and common misspellings and abbreviations through one application.[8]

  • Landrush Period: February 18, 2013 - March 22, 2013. Hundreds of generic and premium domains will be released. Parties interesting in developing and utilizing .PW domains are invited to contact the Registry for strategic partnership opportunities. Contended applications will be handled through auction. The landrush period was extended from an original end date of March 18th to accomodate its growing list of registrars and interest in the extension.

.PW added an innovative step to its landrush phase, supplying a list of premium domains at the opening of the phase rather than reserving them to be released and bit on later, which is generally the case. It is expected that there will be more than one applicant for the premium names and so the price will be decided via auction rather than at the standard landrush application/registration price.[9]

  • General Availability March 25, 2013. Domains are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. The registry announced that 50,000 domains had been registered in 3 weeks, with 4,000 names registered in its first 30 minutes of General Availability. It notes that this makes it the most successful TLD launch since .xxx.[10]

Developments

A few months after the string was made available to the general public, spammers were widely abusing the domain, causing security companies to issue warnings to customers or block the domain wholesale. Directi stated that it has a zero-tolerance policy to spam and is fighting back, including deactivating about 5,000 domains for breaching its anti-abuse policy. The company also noted that such levels of spam are commonplace since spammers generally start using a new TLDs immediately while the general public is slower to register new TLDs.[11]

References

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