John McCormack commentary

Respected hosting industry commentator, John McCormack (www.whoisireland.com) commentary on Novara’s contribution to the Irish Internet landscape is as follows:

“Novara’s Register.ie division was the first Irish web hoster to focus on the complete automation of the .ie domain name registration process. The Irish top level domain is a Managed Registry (all claims to a domain must be supported by documentary evidence of the claim as opposed to the first come, first served nature of generic top level domains such as .com) under the supervision of the .ie Domain Registry (IEDR).

Prior to this the Irish domain name registration market had been the province of the national and multinational Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Eircom.net and BT (trading as Esat/IOL). Registration was also a time consuming, labourious process that could take up to 2 weeks to achieve the successful granting of a requested name (due to inefficient order processes, errors and incorrect supporting evidence documents being submitted during the application process) and coupled with the then comparatively high cost of the .ie registration fee (approximately ten times that of a .com registration) it led to the .com TLD becoming the domain of choice in the Irish market.

The ISPs held the bulk (>50%) of the market share in domain registrations when Novara launched its web based .ieXpress. None of the ISPs had automated registration procedures. This emphasis on manual domain registration procedures was shared by the IEDR itself at that time.

Novara’s .ie domain processing web application (.ieXpress) automated the domain ordering and registration procedure. It also provided the customer with an online login where they could track the status of their domain registration. This automated approach gave Novara a major competitive edge over the ISPs and some other second generation hosting service providers. THeir subsequent provision of a public API for resellers further consolidated their market share.

The effect was that Novara captured a major part of the .ie registration market, forced other HSPs to innovate, and led to the decline of the ISPs market share in the Irish domain industry. Furthermore .ieXpress application codified the .ie application procedure thus enabling it to be subsequently automated by the Irish Domain Registry (with whom Novara worked closely in forcing the pace of technological change).”



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