Evaluation of the registrar model
A lot has happened in the world of domain names since Norid introduced the registrar model in 1999. Internet has become something everybody uses, which means that today’s domain name holders form a large and diverse group. This requires more of all parties involved in the registration of a domain name.
To ensure that the needs of the domain name holders are met, Norid makes use of registrars. The registrars manage the contact between Norid and the domain name holders. While we have the responsibility to administer .no centrally, the registrars have direct contact with the customers. Due to Norid’s unique role in the market, we find it important to leave the tasks that do not have to be centralized to the registrars, who can compete among each other.
It is an important goal for Norid to have a good and professional relationship with the registrars. At the same time the registrar’s needs have to be balanced against the needs of the Internet community in general. Last year a domain regulation was introduced which set down a formal framework for the registration system and the registrars. It is therefore an appropriate time to evaluate the registrar model and see how it functions in regard to meeting the needs of the users.
As a part of this evaluation, Norid sought advice from our Advisory Body, Norpol, which includes representatives from the authorities, user organizations and the Consumer’s Council among others. Both Norid and the Advisory Body are of the opinion that the registrar model essentially functions well and that there is no need to change the principles in the model.
It is still necessary to make a few minor adjustments. The registrar industry has matured during it’s five years of existence, and the registrars as a group seem to be able to take a bigger responsibility for all activities in regard to the domain name holder. Norid therefore wishes to remove parts of the ‘security net’ which has given holders the opportunity to deal with Norid directly. From now on, Norid wants to leave this work to the registrars. This is most importantly reflected by the new invoice model, but also through some other changes in the agreement between Norid and the registrars.
As the registrars as a group get more responsibility, it becomes more important to make sure each registrar fulfill their role. Norid must have very good reasons in order to refuse someone to become a registrar. We have thus adopted a principle where the threshold to become a registrar is set relatively low, but the status is also easy to loose if the registrar does not fulfill the requirements set by Norid. This principle will be maintained, but Norid will reinforce the consequences for breach of the agreement.
The changes in the agreement will be effective as of May 1st 2005. Notice of termination of the old agreements were sent before November 1st and there will be a transition period during the required six months before the revised agreement takes effect. Parts of the new invoice model do not require changes in the registrar agreement and will therefore be introduced at the turn of the year.
Registrars who wish to transfer from the old registrar agreement to the revised agreement will not have to pay a new registration fee.
More about the revision