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Cooperation between SWITCH and OFCOM extended

On 20 March 2015, the SWITCH foundation and the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM) signed an extension of the existing registry contract to 30 June 2017. The transfer of .ch domain names from SWITCH to the registrars is proceeding as planned.

Published on 23.03.2015

SWITCH and OFCOM are continuing their cooperation: on 20 March 2015, they signed an extension of the existing registry contract to 30 June 2017. OFCOM will put out a public tender for the registry function in 2016. SWITCH is delighted to be maintaining its successful cooperation with OFCOM. This means that SWITCH retains responsibility for the administration of .ch domain names and supports the customers in transferring their .ch domain names to the registrars.

The best choice

The SWITCH foundation has more than 27 years’ experience in operating the registry and offers the best possible protection for the Swiss Internet thanks to its dedicated team of security experts. It is therefore confident that it will continue to be the best choice to operate this critical infrastructure for Switzerland going forward.

Background to the transfer of .ch domain names

SWITCH stopped selling .ch domain names directly as of 1 January 2015, and since then it has been handing over the related client support to its business partners, the registrars. At present, some 500,000 .ch domain names are still registered directly with SWITCH. These are held by 270,000 clients. SWITCH will in future focus on operating the .ch domain name directory and on ensuring that the Swiss Internet remains secure and stable.

Ensuring a secure and stable Swiss Internet

In operating the Domain Name System (DNS) infrastructure for .ch, SWITCH makes sure that the Swiss Internet is stable and accessible worldwide and protects it against failures and attacks. Safeguarding the DNS has thus been written into the new Ordinance on Internet Domains (OID). SWITCH’s renowned Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has been successfully combating malware (harmful software) on Swiss websites since 2010, making .ch one of the most secure top-level domains in the world. The registry for .ch is a critical infrastructure for Switzerland and must therefore meet particularly high security standards. SWITCH’s many years of experience and proven track record guarantee the robust design and stable operation of this critical infrastructure.

Explanation of terms

Registry

A registry is an organisation that centrally administers the operation of a country’s Domain Name System (DNS). In particular, it is in charge of registering the country’s domain names. Examples include nic.at in Austria and denic.de in Germany. SWITCH is contracted by OFCOM in Switzerland to register domain names ending in .ch and by the Office for Communications in the Principality of Liechtenstein to register domain names ending in .li.

Registrar

A registrar is a company that offers its clients domain name registration services as well as additional services such as e-mail and web hosting. It thus acts as a resale partner of the registry and an interface between the registry and the end clients (domain name holders).