All .ie domains managed directly by Ireland’s registry (IEDR) will be automatically moved to a registrar on March 31. The identity of the registrar that will receive this transfers should be made known in the coming days.
IEDR is not forcing registrants to choose a registrar, nor suggesting that they do so. Transfers to the appointed registrar will occur at no charge to the end user, whereas explicit transfers include a renewal and are billed at the normal, annual rate.
The registry cites a figure of 2.000 domains currently managed directly, within a total zone size of 280.000. Low usage of their direct management system, together with the availability of 130 qualified registrars, mark the reasons IEDR decided to make this change.
The agreement between IEDR and the registrar appointed to receive these 2.000 domains will apparently not include any guarantees with regards to price. Users unsatisifed with the price cited by the appointed registrar are advised simply to shop around for a better price.
In 2018, IEDR removed a restriction mandating that the domain be a direct match for the name of the entity requesting it. There was hope at the time that this was the first step towards liberalizing .ie and that the connection to Ireland restriction would soon be removed as well. Two years later, users are still obligated to submit documentation showing a bonafide connection to Ireland in order to secure their .ie domain.
With this announcement officially moving .ie to the registry-registrar model, hope is rekindled that more changes are on the horizon. However, there’s been no comment on the document requirement, which still leads to longer registration times and curbs domainer interest.
Read the entire IEDR FAQ here.