Singapore’s SGNIC has outlined a couple new proposals (full text here) that could make .sg a more attractive product going forward.
The first mirrors a debate taking place in Australia, which we previously covered here. Singapore is another one of the few countries that explicitly forbids the sale of domain names in the secondary market. This policy is now under review.
The rationale for allowing resale is that the restrictive nature of the current policy could prevent a buyer from making a “legitimate” purchase. For example, say there are two companies with the same name, one large and one small. If the smaller company had the exact-match .sg name, it couldn’t sell to the larger one even if both parties were interested in such a transaction.
It’s important to note that the proposed policy change would be limited to .sg and its IDN variants. .com.sg etc. would not be covered, again for an interesting reason:
SGNIC puts itself in the shoes of a person that pays for a .com.sg on the secondary market, only to realize later that they don’t meet the criteria for this extension. The domain would be revoked and the registrant would lose their investment in the domain. As second-level .sg is open to all registrants, this would not be an issue for that extension.
The second proposed policy change deals with .net.sg, an extension under which there are only around 500 active domains. There is currently a restriction by which only licensed network service providers in Singapore can register under .net.sg, a policy which would be eliminated if SGNIC moves forward with the proposed change. The new policy would be brought in line with .com.sg, where any Singapore company could register a .net.sg name.
The rationale for this change is largely based on providing registrants with more choice. SGNIC indicates that they’ve receive comments about the lack of quality domains under .sg and .com.sg.
If the registry moves forward with the proposed change for .net.sg requirements, they would use a traditional Sunrise model to give registrants of matching domains under other extensions the first opportunity to register their match under .net.sg.
Both polices are open to public comment between now and June 28. There’s no word on when the changes would be enacted, but we’ll update this page as new information becomes available.