Red.es is a public sector (government agency) registry. There are 1.7 million .es domains (December 2014). There are just over 100 accredited registrars, of which 57% are from Spain. Red.es’ registrar accreditation process is tough compared with other registries. As well as meeting documentation requirements, registrars need to carry insurance cover and lodge a financial bond with the registry. Registrars also need to demonstrate technical proficiency to interact with Red.es’ systems. Under .es there is a ban on the warehousing of domain names (a practice associated with the secondary market). Registrars also need to keep a signed document on behalf of the registrant to prove their identity. The registry is beginning to enforce data quality requirements.
IDNs are offered in Latin script at the second level to support Spanish – one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world. IDNs were launched in 2007, with a high-profile event at the Royal Spanish Academy in Madrid, with the Spanish Prime Minister and other Ministers in attendance. The IDN launch was reported widely in the press, with a focus on how it would allow people to represent the word “España” properly, with the tilde on “ñ”.
The registry reports that at the time there was a great deal of optimism: “We felt we’d invented the ñ.” Optimism has given way to frustration, as a result of universal acceptance issues. The registry reflects on the problems with usage: “It’s getting better for websites, but email is not so good. Overall, registrations are quite marginal. Registrars don’t see it as a priority, and demand is not high.” Red.es’ IDN numbers have remained stable at 20 000 since 2009. The renewal rate is comparatively high, at 83%, but the number of new registrations is low (approximately 4 000 per year), and therefore the net growth is negligible as deletes offset new registrations.
Previously published in the World Report on Internationalised Domain Names, 2015.
Emily Taylor is the CEO of Oxford Information Labs. She is an Associate Fellow of Chatham House and is the Editor of the Journal of Cyber Policy and co-founder of ICANN accredited registrar, Oxford Information Labs.
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