Continuing to ensure the stability of the Internet

Is there any truth in the rumours that SWITCH won't be offering any more domains from 2015? CEO Andreas Dudler explains all.

Published on 05.11.2014

Is it true that it will no longer be possible to register any new .ch domains with SWITCH from the beginning of 2015?
Andreas Dudler: Yes, that is the case.

Why not?
From the start of 2015, our partners – the registrars – will be responsible for selling domain names. This is because under the new Swiss Ordinance on Internet Domains (OID), SWITCH will no longer be permitted to operate as a registrar.

Will SWITCH then cease to be?
No, we'll still be here. In future, we will be concentrating on ensuring the secure and stable operation of the registry, and on our services for Switzerland's universities. The registry runs the database with the .ch domain names. If the Swiss Internet were to break down, many areas of day-to-day life would come to a standstill.

Does SWITCH regret that it can no longer operate as a registrar?
No, on the contrary. We welcome the fact that the registrar activities are being left to the free market. This will bring advantages for the customers. For example, they will be able to get domain names, e-mail and hosting from the same provider. However, we want to continue to operate the registry. After all, we have more than 25 years' experience and expertise in this area.

Is it true that the website will be shut down at the beginning of 2015?
No, the website will stay in operation.

So what will happen with the domain names in 2015?
Only .ch domain names are affected by the transfer. If the .ch name is not registered with SWITCH, then nothing will change. However, if it is registered with SWITCH, then it will have to be transferred. Domain holders will be sent instructions on how to do this in good time by post, and they can already find the details online at

So what exactly do I have to do now?
For the time being, nothing at all. We will inform our clients in good time before the transfer period begins. This will probably be from the beginning of 2015. The domain holders affected will receive a letter from SWITCH explaining exactly what they need to do. A list of registrars they can transfer the domain names to will be enclosed with the letter. This process will be phased, and not all .ch domain holders will receive this letter right away at the beginning of the year. The transfer process will probably run through to mid-2016.

What if I would like to stay with SWITCH?
Unfortunately, that won't be possible. However, as a registrar our subsidiary switchplus will continue to offer the full range of domain name services.

Is it true that I could lose my domain name if I miss the transfer?
That is unlikely. Every domain holder will be sent instructions telling them what to do several times, by post, e-mail and even registered mail. After receiving the first instructions from SWITCH to transfer their domain name, everyone will have three months to do so.


Andreas Dudler

Andreas Dudler has been CEO of SWITCH since May 2012. He was previously Chairman of SWITCH’s Foundation Council and worked as CIO at ETH Zurich, and holds a doctorate in mathematics.

The difference between a registry and a registrar

Registry: organisation responsible for registering domain names and for centrally administering the operation of the Domain Name System (DNS).

Registrar: contractual partner of the registry and reseller of domain names. Registrars are in contact with the domain name holders, and offer additional services such as hosting and e-mail.

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