Dot-ca registration to get easier later this year

The organization responsible for operating the dot-ca domain space is rewriting its registry to simplify the registration process for Canadian users and businesses.


One of the major changes being undertaken by the Canadian Internet Registry Authority will make Web site registrars such as Tucows Inc. or The Go Daddy Group Inc. more directly responsible for validating addresses under the Canadian presence requirement.


Under the current system, after purchasing a dot-ca domain from a Web site registrar, the registrant will be contacted separately by CIRA for security and verification purposes.


“We have been injecting ourselves between the end user and the (Web site) providers,” said CIRA President and CEO Byron Holland. He added that this often created a lot of confusion and has now led to an inefficient system for today’s Web site registrants.


Holland said that while the registry system has ensured the dot-ca domain to be one of the most secure in the world, the strong demand from registrants to streamline the process means Web site registrars will not handle the verification procedure.


However, if a dot-ca domain holder wants to transfer ownership of their address — which Holland said is technique often employed by cyber criminals — the CIRA will step in and send out a notice to the registrant.


CIRA is planning the registry rewrite — which has been just under two years in the making and has involved nearly everybody working in the CIRA — to be fully completed in October.


Other changes being made will be focused on the business user, especially those who might be managing multiple dot-ca domain addresses.


In addition to significantly shortening and simplifying the 27 page registrant agreement that dot-ca buyers have been required to sign, the CIRA is working on functionality in its system that would make purchasing multiple domains at multiple registrars less time consuming.


Holland added that despite multiple notices from the CIRA and the Web site registrars, many IT people in big businesses simply forget to renew their dot-ca addresses. “It’s a problem we deal with every day,” he said.


To remedy this, CIRA plans to implement a service at the registrar level that allows for indefinite auto-renewal.


As for whether CIRA would ever think about developing an application to manage all of these dot-ca domains, Holland pointed out that CIRA is not looking to go down that path.


“We’re like Ford and we have a whole bunch of retailers who deal with the end user,” he said. “Dealers don’t want Ford getting into the mix, so we’re here to support the registrars.”


From the registrar’s side, many of the registry rewrite objectives have been demanded for many years, Holland said.


Jody Kolker, director of registrar services at Go Daddy, agreed, saying that CIRA’s changes to the dot-ca will be helpful for everyone purchasing a Canadian domain.


“It’s going to be a much more streamlined process, which ultimately benefits our end users,” he said. “Go Daddy customers are really going to notice the changes when they register or make changes to their domain names.”


Kolker added that users will find the process of registering a dot-ca “similar to working with a dot-com name.”

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