The registry for .nz has announced its intent to select an external operator to replace its domain management system.

InternetNZ has established a six-week window ending on November 29 during which they’ll receive expressions of interest from providers of these services.  The submissions will be evaluated given a score from 1-10.  The process will culminate with an announcement on February 19, where the registry will outline the next steps, but not necessarily announce that they’ve selected an operator.

Vendors that submit an expression of interest are expected to document their capability of managing registry operations and to quote their fees for providing this service.

There aren’t many criteria that disqualify an prospective vendor outright.  The process is not limited to New Zealand entities:  Although data and systems must be located in-country, the terms specifically indicate that overseas applicants are welcome.

The current registry system consists of two separate interfaces:  An older one based on XML and a newer one using the EPP standard.  According to InternetNZ data, 65% use the older interface and the other 35% use EPP.  The next registry operator will be expected to implement a single interface based on EPP, with unique extensions.

To give the prospective vendor an idea of the command volume they might expect, InternetNZ has shared real data from September 2019:

  • 47,000 registrations
  • 249,000 combined renewals and updates
  • 8,069,000 Whois queries

There will be two briefing sessions, one at the next ICANN meeting in Montréal and another in New Zealand during the second week of November.  These are opportunities for prospective vendors to schedule meetings with InternetNZ to discuss the requirements for submitting expressions of interest.

We don’t hear many complaints about .nz from registrants, so from that perspective we hope that the end result is more of the same:  Low prices and a stable service.  Once the new operator is selected, we will announce it on the website.

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