Tucows First Quarter Investment Community Conference Call is Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at 5:00 P.M. (ET)
Tucows plans to report its first quarter fiscal 2008 financial results via news release on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at approximately 4:00 p.m. (ET). Company management will host a conference call the same day at 5:00 p.m. (ET) to discuss the results and the outlook for the company.
More details and the full news release can be found at our media site.
CIRA leading the way on WHOIS Privacy
After much deliberation and consultation (in other words, in true Canadian fashion), the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has announced that WHOIS Privacy will go into effect on .ca domain names beginning June 10th, 2008.
The CIRA approach to WHOIS privacy is quite interesting and demonstrates a clear desire to protect the privacy of Registrants. There is full information on the new policies at the CIRA website.
In his Law Bytes column in today’s Toronto Star, Michael Geist calls the new policy “a model for domain name registries around the world.”
Geist goes on to suggest that CIRA is now in a global leadership position on the issue of registrant privacy. Geist writes, “With more than a million Canadian domain name registrations, the resolution of the whois issue ensures that the Canadian domain name space is set for continued growth as it now features a “privacy advantage” over other domains struggling to strike a similar compromise.”
What makes the CIRA policy different is that WHOIS privacy is enabled by default for individual domain owners. Registrants have to specifically opt-out with CIRA to have their information displayed. In contrast, the registration information for corporate domain holders is shown by default, however, they can opt-out and hide the information in what CIRA calls special circumstances.
As you would expect, we’ll be fully complying with the new policies. We’ll have more on how things will work from both a Registrar and from the Reseller perspective soon.
Tucows continues fight for domain name portability
Tucows has been an advocate of strong domain name portability policy since the early days of ICANN. We believe that consumer choice is a fundamental element of a healthy market. Without strong domain name portability policies the domain market will never be as strong as it should be.
The debate dates back to the early days of ICANN. Network Solutions, still owned by Verisign, had 100% market share. They were also the only registrar. By the end of the first full year of domain name competition, their market share was almost cut in half, falling to just 52.9% market share. At this time, fewer than 1 in 5 customers were choosing to do business with Network Solutions.
The former monopoly had serious problems to address.
The primary driver of this massive loss of market share was the substantial drop in domain name prices that Tucows introduced into the market in January, 2000. At the time domain, the early competitive registrars and Network Solutions, were selling domain names for $30-$35 each. We sold our first name as an accredited registrar on January 16, 2000 for $10 making us the first competitive registrar to seriously compete with NSI for real market share. NSI has since reduced their prices to closer match the market but they are still viewed by many as a high-price provider.
When faced with these prospects, most business owners react with a competitive response – new pricing, special promotions, enhancing features, etc. Network Solutions reacted by making it as difficult as possible for domain registrants to transfer their business to one of the newly created registrars. Instead of working harder to keep their customers, they were going to make it impossible for their customers to leave.
Tucows advocacy resulted in ICANN adopting a set of domain name portability policies entitled “Inter-Registrar Domain Name Transfer Policy”. In its earliest form, draft versions of this policy proposal were actually modeled on Tucows transfer practices which continued to be viewed as a benchmark for the industry. While the new portability policy had widespread support amongst the community, Network Solutions, Go Daddy and Register.com strongly opposed its adoption.
Network Solutions and GoDaddy reacted by implementing more obstacles for customers who wanted to leave and try a new provider. They claimed these restrictions would enhance “consumer protection” and “security” but the net result was simply that it became a lot harder for registrants to transfer their domain names away to new providers.
These customer hostile policy abuses continue into the present day.
This is why Tucows especially welcomes this clarification from ICANN. This advisory specifically addresses many of these policy abuses and provides greater recourse for our staff to help our customers in resolving domain transfer related issues. Provided that ICANN backs up this advisory with clear enforcement against those ignoring its advice, it should become easier for duly authorized registrants to safely and securely transfer their service to a new provider.
Elliot Noss will keynote ISPCON Spring ’08
Elliot Noss, our President and CEO, will be one of the keynote speakers at ISPCON Spring 2008. ISPCON happens May 13th – 15th at Chicago’s Donald E. Stephen’s (Rosemont) Convention Centre.
On Wednesday, May 14th, at 10 A.M., Elliot will present, “Why YOU and lowfat lattes are Google’s Worst Nightmare.” Here’s the summary:
“Google has an Achille’s Heel. Ruthless efficiency is embedded in their DNA, which is good for machines but bad for human beings. In this keynote session, Elliot Noss, President and CEO of Tucows will talk about how Starbucks is a better role model than Google or how applying this approach can help make a difference in your business as you compete against the biggest fish in the pond.”
As usual, Tucows will exhibiting at ISPCON. In addition, Rohan Jayasekera, Director, Tucows Email Service, will be participating in a panel discussion. That session, “Who Should Be Running Your Email,” is scheduled for the Wednesday, May 14th, but check the ISPCON conference schedule for the official word on times and for information about the other sessions.
ISPCON is less than six weeks away. We’re gearing up for the show, and we’re looking forward to getting the chance to meet potential new, and current customers face-to-face. See you there.