|Introduced 27 January 1988|
Registry IE Domain Registry
|TLD type Country code top-level domain|
Sponsor University College Dublin
Actual use Entities connected with Ireland
.ie is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) which corresponds with the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for Ireland. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) list the Computing Services Computer Centre of University College Dublin as its sponsoring organisation for the .ie domain. Since 2000 the business of administrating the domain registry has been handled by IE Domain Registry Limited. Domain name registration is open to individuals located in, or with a significant connection with, any part of the island of Ireland. In 2006, .irish was a proposed new generic top-level domain (gTLD) for the global Irish community.
.ie was registered on 27 January 1988 and a year later the registration of .ie domain names was delegated by Jon Postel to the Computing Services Computer Centre of University College Dublin, then headed by Dennis Jennings. In 2000, the administration of the .ie domain was sub-delegated by UCD to a new company, IE Domain Registry Limited.
The Computing Services Computer Centre of University College Dublin remains the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority's sponsoring organisation for the .ie domain.
In 2000, the Irish parliament enacted a law giving the Minister for Public Enterprise the power to make regulations regarding the registration of .ie domain names. In 2007 this power was transferred to the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg).
The IEDR is considered more conservative than other similar authorities and places certain restrictions on registration. The .ie ccTLD is primarily a business orientated ccTLD for Irish businesses and businesses doing business in or with Ireland. It has allowed personal domain name (PDN) registrations though these would only account for approximately 1% of the number of .ie domain registrations. An individual is allowed to register their own name or a variant of it with a utilities bill or passport as proof of entitlement.
Registration policies have been liberalised somewhat in recent years and rules such as the one against registering generic domain names have been dropped. The .ie ccTLD is a managed ccTLD where applicants for .ie domain names have to provide proof of entitlement to the domain that they want to register.
Registration is restricted to entities with a connection to Ireland. Thus, American singer Melanie was not allowed to register
Melan.ie; whereas Microsoft, which has a corporate presence in Ireland, was allowed to register
Modern.IE, a domain hack whose full name reflects its purpose as support for IE (Internet Explorer).
In February 2016 IEDR began a consultation on the introduction of internationalized domain names, in particular the vowel + "fada" characters (á é í ó ú) used in Irish orthography. Existing holders of Irish-language domain names lacking fadas will be able to apply for the accurate name.
Registering a domain
The typical registration fee via accredited .ie registrars is approximately €25 (plus VAT of €5.75). The IEDR charges a retail price of €62.00 (plus VAT of €14.26) per year for direct registration and is considered a registrar of last resort for registrants who do not wish to go through the registrar network. This higher than normal registration fee means that it is not competing with its accredited registrars. Registration is free for charities registered with the Revenue Commissioners. Evidence of entitlement to the domain name (such as evidence of entitlement to use a particular business name via a Registered Business Name certificate or registered company name) and a connection with the island of Ireland are required for registration.
Second level domains
There is no official second-level domain policy. A number of domain names, typically those of other TLDs, two letter domains and potentially offensive domains are forbidden from being registered. Nevertheless, the Government of Ireland began using the
.gov.ie domain where once it used
irlgov.ie. Some government departments continue use their own non
Two character domains consisting of one letter and one number are permitted, but two-letter domain registrations are not permitted, although this policy will change on 16 December 2015. The only exceptions to the old two letter rule were
ul.ie, which was registered by the University of Limerick before the rule came into effect, and
ns.ie, which is used for the .ie name servers. The domains in the forbidden category will return a record for a WHOIS query but they are not in the .ie zone. In June 2015, the IEDR announced that two-letter names would soon be available; a 30-day registration began in November for a go-live date of 16 December 2015. Where there are multiple applicants for a given combination, an auction will be held in January 2016.
Number of registered domains
On 2 December 2013, there were 191,528 registered .ie domain names. This has surpassed the number of Irish-owned and or hosted .com domain names. It is the preferred extension for new Irish businesses. Approximately 130 new .ie domains are registered each working day.
As of 18 March 2015, there are 202,443 registered .ie domain names.