CentralNic To Delete Several SubDomains-Websites From 8 Domains Like .GB.COM or .NO.COM

CentralNic sent out a chilling email informing several of its clients that the domains they have bought, build into websites and have been renewing for years will be deleted in a year from now. CentralNic offers domains like .uk.com, .co.com, or .xyz(?) as a substitute.

CentralNic advised that from April 30, 2017 the following SLD domain extensions will be sunsetted, meaning that new registrations and renewals will not be permitted:
.AR.COM, .GB.COM, .HU.COM, .KR.COM, .QC.COM, .NO.COM, .SE.COM, AND .UY.COM

The most obvious reason is that there are not many registrations in these 8 2-letter domains to support the business model. The company probably plans to sell the domains for a few million dollars and buyers can be found in the Chinese market that prefers short .com domains.

For every domain affected, they will provide customers with a free two year registration on a substitute extension, which can be any domain of using any extension from the list provided:
.ae.org, .com.de, .com.se, .gb.net, .hu.net, .jp.net, .jpn.com, .mex.com, .sa.com, .se.net, .uk.com, .uk.net, us.com, us.org, za.com

Most of the deleted domains are used as a ccTLD domain alternative where the domain in the ccTLD was taken of certain registration restrictions applied. It is unclear what domain could work as a substitute to a registrant from Norway or Sweden that have bought a .no.com or a .se.com domain respectively.

Although they have nothing to do with the sunsetting domains, CentralNic offers as compensation a free two year registration of any available .xyz or .co.com domain as a substitute for sunsetted domains.

The company claims that there are no plans to sunset any other domains managed by CentralNic but this sunsetting is set to create doubts to registrants of all other domains that the company offers.

CentralNic has not shared the number of the domains that will be affected by this change. These are not “real” domain names, but rather subdomains of short .com registrations. However Centralnic has been selling these domains for many years now like they were real domains. Several registrars around the world offer them like they are real domains. CentralNic claims to have a global network of 1,500 registrars and over 100,000 resellers includes leading industry names such as Network Solutions, eNom, Webfusion.

central-nicCentralNic is the registry of ccTLDs .PW and .LA. They also bought registrar Internet.bs in 2014 and also own the Instra registrar.

CentralNic (AIM: CNIC) is also a backend registry provider for several New gTLDs. CentralNic has over 4 million domain names on its new top level domain registry services platform. According to nTLDStats, CentralNic is the largest backend registry services provider in terms of domain names.

It provides registry services to .xyz domains, which accounts for about 70% of the their total registry operations and .college. They provide backend services to Radix registry that owns top level domains like .site, .online, .website, .space and .tech. They also have some other smaller clients like .design, .ink, .bar, .love, etc.

See here the complete email send by CentralNic to its clients:

Hi,

CentralNic advises that from April 30, 2017 the following SLD domain extensions will be sunsetted, meaning that new registrations and renewals will not be permitted.

.AR.COM, .GB.COM, .HU.COM, .KR.COM, .QC.COM, .NO.COM, .SE.COM, AND .UY.COM

There are no plans to sunset any other domains managed by CentralNic.

Although there are only a very small number of domains (and an even smaller number of active websites) using these extensions, we realise the inconvenience this causes you and your clients, and so we will do everything in our power to make this a smooth process. We have put in place the following timetable, compensation and support plan:

1. Timetable

All domains using the sunsetting extensions will now show as ?unavailable? for new registrations. This is to ensure no further domains can be registered, as they will not be able to be renewed.

All domains currently registered using the sunsetting extensions will have their expiry date extended to April 30, 2017 at no charge, giving your customers a year to migrate to alternative domains. This means there will be no further renewals processed for the affected domains.

On April 30, 2017, any remaining domains on those extensions will be deactivated.

2. Compensation

For every domain affected, we will provide you with a free two year registration on a substitute extension, which can be any domain of your customer?s choice using any extension from the list provided.

For any multi-year registration (extending past April 30, 2017), we will provide you with an additional two years of registration free for each additional year currently registered

Your registrants can choose any available domain at any of the following extensions:

.ae.org, .com.de, .com.se, .gb.net, .hu.net, .jp.net, .jpn.com, .mex.com, .sa.com, .se.net, .uk.com, .uk.net, us.com, us.org, za.com

Although they have nothing to do with the sunsetting domains, the helpful people at .xyz and .co.com have also offered to assist by contributing an additional option: a free two year registration of any available .xyz or .co.com domain as a substitute for sunsetted domains.

For registrars not accredited for .xyz CentralNic can arrange this for you to obtain these domains via Instra or InternetBS.

How the compensation works:

To make things as easy as possible, we will simply credit you with two years of registration for every domain year you currently have registered under the sunsetting domains.

We will take the total number of domain years you have registered on these extensions, and will credit the first same amount of two-year registrations on the substitute extensions. This credit is automated – we do not require any reporting from you, and there are no restrictions on how you use these credits. You may start offering the substitute domains immediately if you wish, until April 30, 2017.

If you would prefer to use .xyz or .co.com credits or have any other special request, please do not hesitate to contact us.

3. Support

We will not contact your registrants ? however let us know if you would like our support in communicating with any of your customers, including explaining the sunsetting, assisting in obtaining a domain comparable to the one they have now, or for us to put in place a free (301) redirect to their new domain. We can also offer support in any language required.

Meanwhile, to assist you with your own registrant communications on this matter, we have attached a spreadsheet which lists all domains affected, with for each one:

registrant name

admin email

date of expiry

status: in use or not in use

You will note that the vast majority of registrations under these extensions are unused or redirected and only a small number of websites are affected.

Please note: this report is not exact at this time, as it may include recently expired domains that have not renewed. We will be available to provide you further reports on affected domains in future if you require them.

CentralNic apologises for the inconvenience caused by these exceptional circumstances. We invite you and your customer to contact us should you have any queries.

Regards,

CentralNic

+44 (0) 203 515 0085

SLDqueries@centralnic.com

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

11 comments

  1. That had to happen.

  2. This was to be expected. It should create a fleeing away from other Centralnic operated two letter etc. domains. For those that built brands and active web sites on LL .com subdomains, the compensation offered is a joke.

  3. Yes this is a very unsatifactory outcome. Some people may have paid a lot of money
    for these domains in the secondary market. It means thousands of GB.com registrants are going
    to be in real difficulty – do centralnic not own the domains or are they sacrificing registrants
    to cash out on the two letter .com ?

    People registered these believing them to be real domains to operate their business on and the impression was given that so long as renewals were paid they could use the domains indefinitely.

    How can anyone trust the .uk.com, eu.com and us.com will not go the same way ?

    There is no reason given for the deletion of these domains and the inconvenience caused will be horrendous. Many registrars of these domains will face huge problems and costs explaining this to their customers.

  4. Years ago I warned that the stability of these subdomains from Centralnic were not guaranteed. That they subsequently set themselves up with “registrars” and sold them as though they WERE as stable as “real” domains and later pulled the plug should be reason enough to pummel this company into oblivion.

  5. The only compensation they are offering is two years subscription on a new domain which bears no relevance of the original. We have a customer who has owned a gb.com domain for over 16 years, building up a massive presence on the internet. How much money would our client need to spend in advertising all because Centralnic want to get greedy.

    I can see a lot of law suits coming their way.

    • 16 years, they are long-time customer.
      But I’m pretty sure that their terms (if you can find them !) are written in a way that indemnify against lawsuits etc.
      There is a lesson to be learned here.

      It’s time to get a real domain name and do 301 redirects now.

  6. Disgraceful centralnic

    Joe it is shocking that this can happen to loyal customers of centralnic. They are clearly a company that cannot be trusted for any of their domains after this. GB.com went down before and now they are destroying thousands of businesses that have built up brands over the years. I believe that they have previous form in this regard with respect to web.com subdomains.

  7. A quick ping of those SLDs via Google returns the following numbers for the pages indexed:

    site:.AR.COM 4,660,000 results
    site:.GB.COM 316,000 results
    site:.HU.COM 196,000 results
    site:.KR.COM 47,300 results
    site:.QC.COM 27,000 results
    site:.NO.COM 574,000 results
    site:.SE.COM 437,000 results
    site:.UY.COM 26,900 results

    Comparing to the other extensions:

    site:.CO.COM 744,000 results
    site:.UK.COM 13,700,000 results
    site:.UK.NET 4,100,000 results

    CentralNIC would be probably better off with better marketing than dropping the zones. Though, you never know until you try.

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