Preceded by nothing more than rumor, NIC AR today announced the beginning of a Sunrise Period for registrations directly under .ar, for example mydomain.ar.
The dominant domain name extension in the country has historically been .com.ar. Longtime registrants of .com.ar names and other 3LDs will have first crack at the matching .ar name, in accordance with the terms of this launch:
Phase 1: September 11 (today) to November 9
Only registrants whose third-level domain was registered on or before December 1, 2015 can request the matching second-level domain. No up front payment is required, so an application in this period is tantamount to an expression of interest.
If there are multiple applicants, the registry will resolve via lottery. After the conclusion of the period, applicants to whom domains are awarded will be asked to pay the normal, .com.ar registration fee. Subsequent renewals will cost double.
Phase 2: November 25 to January 23
Registration is open to all parties, but domains are not immediately awarded. Unlike the previous phase, an expression of interest now connotes the payment of a non-refundable fee. Again, applicants are subject to a lottery system to determine the order of priority.
The applicant with the highest priority will be given a set number of days to pay the normal, .com.ar registration fee to secure the domain. If they fail to do so, the right will be transferred to the applicant with the second-highest priority, and so on.
As with domains registered in Phase 1, the price for the second year and beyond will be double that of a .com.ar domain.
Phase 3: Beginning February 23
General availability. Domains can be registered on a first come, first served basis, at a price double that of a .com.ar domain.
Toweb has already begun notifying eligible clients about their Phase 1 rights, so these registrants can simply respond to this e-mail with any questions. If you don’t have such rights, but would like more information on Phase 2 and beyond, feel free to raise a Ticket and we’ll get back to you with the pertinent information.
In Latin America, second-level launches have tended to be successful, as long as prices are similar. Cases where the SLD eventually arrived at registration numbers comprarable to the dominant 3LD include Peru (.pe / .com.pe), Uruguay (.uy / .com.uy) and Mexico (.mx / .com.mx). We see no reason why Argentina won’t join this list in the coming years.