Afilias

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AfiliasLogo.png
ICANNWiki Member
Type: Private
Industry: Registry, Registrar
Founded: 2000
Headquarters: 4th Floor, International House
3 Harbourmaster Place
IFSC
Dublin 1, Ireland
Country: Ireland
Businesses: mTLD Top Level Domain Ltd.,
Employees: 200 [1]
Website: Afilias.info
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png@Afilias
Key People
Hal Lubsen, CEO

Jonathan Robinson, Executive Chairman
Huw Spiers, Chief Financial Officer
Ram Mohan, EVP and CTO
Roland LaPlante, SVP and CMO
Steven Pack, Compliance officer
M. Scott Hemphill, VP and General Counsel
John Kane, VP of Corporate Services
Chris Campbell, Director of Business Development
Michaela Cruden, Director of Business Development - Europe
Kroopa Shah, Accounts Manager
Doug McDonald, Sales Executive
Steve Heflin, VP of Sales

nTLDStats
TLDs: 20
Registrations: 3,899,480

More Info: nTLDStats

Afilias is one of the major gTLD registries in existence today, and it launched the .info gTLD in 2001. Afilias has also owned the Registry Operator for the .mobi mobile phone TLD, mTLD Top Level Domain Ltd., since February 2010. It helped found the dotMobi company and provided early technical assistance to the company.[2] In January 2012, Afilias acquired Registry Services Corporation, which until that time had been the registry for the .pro TLD.

Afilias also supports the technical back-end of man TLDs, including 9 gTLDs, the largest of which is .org.[3][4] In total, their systems currently support more than 20 million registrations.[5]

Background

Acknowledging the need for more competition at the registry level of the domain name industry, a number of important domain name registrars created Afilias in September, 2000. Just two months later, Afilias was selected by ICANN to launch the .info gTLD, which has been called the most successful new gTLD after the launch of .com.

The headquarters of Afilias is located in Dublin, Ireland. They have a large number of offices worldwide, including operational offices in New Delhi, India, an operations center in Toronto, Canada, American offices in Philadelphia, and sales offices in London, U.K. Afilias Canada Corp also includes operational facilities in Ontario and sales offices in Vancouver.[6]

Afilias is the second largest domain services provider after Verisign, supporting over 14 million domain names, as of January 2008.[7]

Afilias was the first registry to provide IDN capable email to its customers. All of its servers are DNSSEC and IPv6 capable.[8]

.info 10 year Anniversary

On December 7th, 2010, Afilias released its annual report on .info domains, which happened to coincide with the domain space's 10-year anniversary. The report detailed the general growth and increased availability of the domain. At that time, it was the number one new TLD to ever be launched, and the 7th largest TLD in the world. It stood at about 6.8 million domain registrations, with about 5 million of those, or 70%, resolving to active websites. They are available through 90% of domain registrars, and the entire registration grew about 30% from the year before. It had double the registration of any other new TLD.[9]

Sunrise Auctions

In 2012 and 2013, Afilias teamed up with GoDaddy to auction off domains that had been reserved under its Sunrise periods but whose trademarks later proved to be invalid. The first round of auctions produced highlights such as Cancer.info, sold for $16,005, and loans.info, sold for $12,205. Together both auctions include over 235 domain names.[10]

Products and services

Afilias is a domain service provider and a domain registrar.

Service provider for the following TLDs:[11]

Registration Stats

In January 2011, Afilias announced that the 3-month old .xxx extension had over 200,000 registrations, which were being technically supported by Afilias. However, more than half of these were not signed into the root zone, meaning that many of the registrations were defensive acquisitions by trademark owners, or pre-blocked domains by ICM Registry that will never be resolving domains.[12]

Afilias was able to double the registrations for .pro in just a year 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.[13]

In December, 2010, .info was the largest new gTLD, and the 7th largest TLD in the world, with about 6.8 million registrations.[14] Afilias' Roland LaPlante has noted that "there are as many .info domains registered as all other new TLDs combined."[15] Between 2012 and 2013, the .info TLD had a net loss of 914,310 domain registrations, which amounted to an 11% decline compared with 2011 domains. 2012 ended with 7,402,557 .info domains, still making it the leader in new gTLD total registrations despite the loss. Afilias attributed the decline to the implementation of an anti-abuse policy that took down registrations it considered as spam.[16]

Developments

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.[17]

Other

New gTLD Contest

In October 2011, Afilias announced that it would be holding a contest to find the best new gTLD idea. The top prize would be $5,000 with other prizes going down to $1,500. Judges of the contest included Kevin Murphy of Domain Incite, former ICANN CEO Paul Twomey, and Aflias' own Roland LaPlante and Ram Mohan.[18]

The winning extension was .know, which was billed as a platform for an online knowledge base. The two runners up were .sec, for secure websites and file transfers, and .med, for verified medical professionals.[19]

In December 2011, Afilias publicly warned brand owners that it could be ten years after the first new gTLD application period opens in January 2011, before a second round is opened. Afilias cited the batching and delay process that will surely follow, and also the typically slow ICANN process.[20]

ISOC Sponsorship

Afilias is a sponsor of a component of ISOC's Next Generation Leaders Programme, which is an academic and field-based program, launched in 2010 in conjunction with the DiploFoundation, intended to further the skills of promising Internet professionals and individuals working in Internet governance. Afilias specifically sponsors a fellowship with the IETF, a part of the academic portion of the NGL programme.[21]

Opposition to SOPA

In January 2012, Afilias put a sponsored post on CircleID highlighting their opposition to SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act being considered by the U.S. Congress at that time. They noted that they do support intellectual property protections, but still regard SOPA as a threat to the integrity of the Internet. Their reasons for opposing SOPA include: the threat it poses to DNSSEC, given that ISPs would suddenly be required to interrupt the security protocol's chain of command to block or suspend domains in violation of its copyright protections; the ease at which a user could still resolve a blocked site, given that it would be the local ISP's responsibility to block infringing domains; and the many opportunities and loopholes the legislation would create for Internet criminals.[22]

Interesting facts about Afilias

Arabic Internet users get native language e-mail thanks to Afilias and .jo registry

On October 29, 2010, Afilias and the National Information Technology Center of Jordan announced that, thanks to Afilias' IDN technology, the .jo registry managed to send an e-mail between two completely internationalized e-mail addresses in the Arabic language.[23]

Increased DNS security thanks to Afilias Afilias has managed to implement DNSSEC for many of its ccTLDs and gTLDs. Its .org TLD was secured with DNSSEC in 2009, making it the first open TLD to implement these important security measures.[24] On October 5th, 2010 it initiated the new security measures for .vc (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), .lc (St. Lucia), .hn (Honduras), .bz (Belize) and .ag (Antigua and Barbuda).[25] It has continued to transition to DNSSEC secured TLDs.

New gTLDs

In November 2011, Afilias announced that it was going to apply for both simplified and traditional Chinese IDNs for the translation of its .info domain under ICANN's new gTLD policy. This followed an announcement by their competitor Verisign that they intended to pursue IDN translations of their own .com domain.[26]

On June 12, 2012, the company confirmed its application for a total of 305 new gTLDs; 170 of the applications are Brand TLDs, 18 IDNs, 4 Community gTLDs, 4 geographical TLDs, and the remaining 211 TLDs were applied for as Generic TLDs. Roland LaPlante, Afilias Senior Vice President and CMO, said that the company's gTLD applications are more concentrated on European strings since the company is based in the region, though its clients also come from North America and the Asia Pacific.[27]

References

  1. Afilias on LinkedIn
  2. Afilias Limited Acquires .Mobi Domain Registry and Expands Market Leadership, Afilias.info.
  3. Afilias acquires Services Corporation dot Pro, CircleID.com. Published 2012 January 17.
  4. Afilias Acquires .Pro Operator RegistryPro. Domain Incite.
  5. Afilias Bringing Hundreds of New Top Level Domains to the Internet, CircleID.com Published 2012 June 12.
  6. Info, Afilias.info.
  7. Osbr.ca
  8. IDNnews.com
  9. Afilias Releases info Domain 2010 Annual Report, Info.info.
  10. Afilias and Go Daddy To Hold Second Info Auction, DomainNameWire.comPublished 8 Jan 2013, Retrieved 9 Jan 2013
  11. Global Registry Services. Afilias.
  12. Afilias XXX 200k Domains Under Management a Look Inside the Numbers, TheDomains.com. Published 2012 January 18.
  13. Afilias Doubles Pro Registrations in a Year, DomainIncite.comPublished 22 Jan 2013, Retrieved 23 Jan 2013
  14. Afilias Releases info Domain 2010 Annual Report, info.info
  15. Press Release, May 29, Sedo.com Retrieved 29 May 2013
  16. Afilias blames security crackdown for massive drop in .info domains, Domain Incite Retrieved 13 Sept 2013
  17. Afilias Wants Registrar ownership bands lifted, Domain Incite Retrieved 19 Sept 2013
  18. Win 5,000 for your new gTLD idea, DomainIncite.com.
  19. Here Are the Winners, Afilias.info.
  20. Afilias Coud Be 10 years Before Another new TLD Application Round Opens, DomainNameWire.com. Published 2011 December 2.
  21. Newsletter, ISOC.org
  22. Afilias Says No To SOPA, CircleID.com. Published 2012 January 7.
  23. Afilias and .JO Registry Bring Native Language E-mail to Arabic Internet Users, SFGate.com. Published 2010 October 29.
  24. [1], TheWhir.com. Published 2009 June 2.
  25. Afilias Increases DNS Security with DNSSEC, MyHostNews.com. Published 2010 October.
  26. Afilias to Apply for Chinese .info, DomainIncite.com
  27. Afilias Bringing Hundreds of New Top-Level Domains to the Internet, CircleID.com. Published 2012 June 12.

External links