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ICANN Domain Registrant Survey Report Released

October 2, 2015

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently released findings emerging from the organisation's first Global Registrant Survey.

The survey was carried out with 3,357 domain name registrants aged 18+ living in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America.

While Australians weren't involved in the survey, there were some interesting results that are reflected here.

Just as is the case with consumers, while registrants expressed being somewhat averse to stricter criteria relating to domain name registration, they acknowledge that those restrictions do improve the level of trustworthiness.

Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) such as .AU have reasonably strict eligibility criteria. For example, to register a .COM.AU, the applicant must be an Australian registered company, hold an ABN; or be one of a series of other types of commercial entities. Further details on the criteria for various .AU extensions (.COM.AU, .NET.AU, .ORG.AU, .ASN.AU and .ID.AU) can be viewed here.

It's these restrictions that have helped to build trust in the .AU namespace. A survey of Australian registrants earlier this year found around one-third were more likely to trust a .AU website over other extensions.

The ICANN survey also found country level names are widely seen as trustworthy and are frequently visited in their respective countries.

Interestingly, there still seems to be a high level of lack of awareness of cybersquatting among registrants, the practice where a party registers a domain name they have no rights over under the policies of the controlling registry. Just 54 percent claimed familiarity with cybersquatting; compared to 40 percent for general Internet users.

Registrants participating in the survey stated they primarily register domain names for personal or small business use and 61 percent said they find it very or somewhat easy to register domains. Those surveyed also generally expressed a good level of trust in registrars.

The ICANN Global Registrant Survey can be viewed here (PDF).

ICANN coordinates the functions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), services critical to the continued operations of the Internet's address book, the Domain Name System (DNS).

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