Dot-KY going global

| 05/03/2015 | 20 Comments

(CNS): On 2 September dot-KY will, for the first time, go global, giving the entire world the chance to buy all available names with a .ky ending. Local businesses, residents and individuals, charities and associations, NGOs and all government entities with a Cayman registered domain will be required to re-register their dot-KY web address at an annual cost of US$39.88 before 2 September to keep and protect their online portal.

The Information & Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) has partnered with the Cayman-based Uniregistry, owned by dot-com millionaire Frank Schilling, to hold and manage the database of domains on a secure automated platform.

The ICTA needs to improve and secure the register, which is currently on what was described as an antiquated system and falling short of legal requirements. Although Cayman Islands Government, via the ICTA, will still own and regulate the .ky tag, Uniregistry will manage and promote it.

The year-long contract between the authority and Uniregistry, worth $20,000, will also see the private sector firm take an undisclosed percentage of each fee, which ICTA Managing Director Alee Fa’amoe said was a fractional amount.

Once the new domain name database has been cleaned up and secured, Uniregistry will also be involved in the first ever global promotion of the .ky name.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday morning, Fa’amoe explained that during the six month period before the end of the contract with Uniregistry, the ICTA will be able to assess the global worth of .ky and it will then shape a request for proposals for a longer term contract to manage the domain register and continue to market dot-KY.

The MD of the ICTA said a list of potential unclaimed .ky names have been identified and preserved by the authority that could go for auction. While not expecting any massive windfalls, domain names such as could fetch a substantial price tag for both the ICTA and whoever the future marketing partner turns out to be.

Concerns have been raised in the community that the free domain has jumped to almost $40, considerably more than general domains. However, Fa’amoe said almost no other country now offers free national domains and the .ky fee was set after considerable research about the prices in other comparable countries. The cost, he said, is less than other similar jurisdictions, such as the Bahamas, which charges $500 for its .bs domain names, and the Isle of man, which charges around $100 for .im domains.

As the dot-KY goes up for sale, locals who have registered and paid the fees for a .ky domain will not see the fees increase any more, the ICTA said, and if the .ky domain becomes popular there could be a reduction.

If the ICTA and its private sector partner are able to market and sell lots of .ky names at $39.98, it would help offset the costs of managing and regulating the Cayman domain and push the fees downwards. However, Fa’Amoe said the ICTA was not expecting a massive run on .ky domains, which is why the ICTA has started with a fee that should ensure it covers its costs. He said the fee applied across the board, including government entities and all non-profits and charities.

While .com names can be just a few dollars because of the massively competitive market, the ICTA needed to place a higher price tag on the local domains as sales are not expected to be significant. Fa’amoe said the target was for the ICTA to generate around $200,000 per annum on primary sales of domain names, which will be split with whichever entity becomes the long-term database registry and promoter.

With considerable work to do over the next six months, the ICTA boss explained Thursday that the priority is promoting the changes and getting all of the 10,000 registered owners of .ky names to contact the ICTA to secure the domains they want to keep.

Any names registered to local companies, brands, organisations or websites of any kind with a .ky could be sold off after the deadline to anyone who wants them anywhere in the world.

Fa’amoe urged people who want to keep their .ky domain to visit the ICTA site and begin the re-registration process. So far, just over 1,200 people have staked a claim to the more than 10,000 .ky names that are in existence.

After 3 September they will be sold on a first come, first serve basis and there are no restrictions. Staff at the ICTA, those at Uniregistry or anyone else will be able to buy unlimited .ky names on a speculative basis in preparation for what could prove to be a lucrative secondary market for some of the catchy names or acronyms.

“The dot-KY domain has been around longer than the ICTA, and up until now has been available free of charge to anyone who wanted to own a dot-KY domain name,” Fa’amoe said.  The new fee would “give the domain some structure”, allowing ICTA to manage it better in partnership with Uniregistry, he added.

This will provide more accountability to registered owners and encourage them to utilise dormant KY domains, he said. “We currently have approximately 10,000 domain name owners who would have to re-register and we hope that they will do so, but we also look forward to welcoming new registrants before the September deadline.”

Director of e-Government, Ian Tibbetts, who is tasked with overseeing the government’s transition to online services for many of its current customer interactions, welcomed the move, claiming it would offer a more secure regulatory regime.

“I am pleased with the ICTA’s move to open the dot-KY domain as I believe it will strengthen the Cayman Islands’ position in the global marketplace, and is closely aligned with the government’s determination to move forward with e-government and work to enhance the perception and competitiveness of the jurisdiction,” said Tibbetts.

He and Fa’amoe said that advice had been taken from unspecified places regarding the potential threat to the jurisdiction’s image and that the ICTA had also consulted with CIMA, as he acknowledged that there were risks attached to taking dot-KY global.

The new ICTA MD pointed out that even though only local residents and locally registered companies can currently own .ky domain names, this has been breached in several circumstances and they have ended up in the hands of people and companies not resident here. However, during the cleanup process over the next six months the authority will bring back those domains and others that were unlawfully acquired.

The ICTA will also retain its dispute resolution process and aims to prevent squatting or blackmailing of legitimate local businesses and other mischief that can be caused once .ky sites officially go global.

As part of the promotion a Facebook page has been created and the public can also log on to the ICTA website for more information or to search available domain names.

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Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is a little too late… why wait till all the business have the .ky then start charging for it…. why wait all these years and why now ? why now ??

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s unfortunate there’s so much cynicism around this very positive development for the .ky domain space.
    — The deal as I understand it, is below market and a boon for the ICTA.
    — They go from paying out significant hundreds of thousands to a US contractor each year (plus internal support staff and salaries), to bringing in hundreds of thousands a year at no effective up-front cost. A million dollar potential swing to the positive.
    — The so-called “premium” names are owned by the ICTA and can be sold-on for profit by the ICTA. Uniregistry has nothing to do with that.
    — We are paying $39.88 a year retail vs $250 a year in Bermuda, $200 a year in Barbados $500 a year in Bahamas, $92 per year in Antigua. We are the cheapest by far in our region!
    The founder of Uniregstry may have made a fortune in the domain name business but chastising his company for running a better .ky name is like ridiculing Dart for CamanaBay

  3. Anonymous says:

    I already made US $2,000.00 for the $40 I spent. Apparently, some good sites are still left. Every kiss begins with K. Muah 🙂

    Shame I have to wait until September to cash in.

  4. anonymous says:

    It was clearly stated in an editorial article in the “other” news outlet on February 5, 2015 that Schilling would NOT build in Cayman for his business, preferring to rent in Governor’s Square because of the banana republic that is Cayman’s government. He really sounds like someone with a BIG love for Cayman who respects it and her people greatly. Discuss amongst yourselves…

  5. E. Rection says:

    Anyone want to buy Its been a hard sell so far, the market seems a little dry. I won’t stiff you though.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Is it true that Hillary has used up all of the available dot-ky domains?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Only 10,000 .ky domain names at present so with lack of demand and a higher price one can expect that to drop to 5000 half of which will be the government.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a farce! Is this the poster child for the rich get richer and the poor get poorer or what?
    Frank Schilling dot com millionaire will make an undisclosed percentage of this fee increase!? Why is the percentage undisclosed? Is it THAT high that people will revolt if they find out? A fractional amount? Means what? 9/10ths? 99/100ths? 7/8ths?…

    Cayman – GET UP! STAND UP!!

    Further, before anyone goes headlong into this little venture, let me ask how often do you see a .bs or .im domain? Perhaps, because they have priced themselves right out of the picture? Or perhaps an weird extension is not recognized by most people as a reputable website. I wouldn’t go to one for the chance that my computer might get a virus. How often do you see any of Schillings other obsure domain extensions?

    Bottom line, stand up for yourselves. Put Schilling to the wall and make the millionaire give his service fee of $20k for free for the year. If he’s willing to “Give Back” to Cayman. It seems he is fixing to make a bundle in the fee increase. Freedom of Information. Transparency. Let’s level the playing field. Let’s really see who is putting dosh in their silk purse and how much dosh they are putting in that purse.

  9. Aan says:


    I respect the ICTA & Mr. Shilling but can anyone not see a huge conflict of interest here? Mr. Shillings services are been used for 6 months to help the ICTA and then the “registration process” will be tendered. Mr. Shilling makes funds by buying and selling domains names. The most sought after domain names. Now he has control of a registrar to register domain names and access to these registrations/dormant domains and will hold back domain names for premium sales. Sorry Cayman but were is the free market in that since you can now register as many .ky domain names as you like now as long as you pay for it. Total Control and a conflict. A

  10. Anonymous says:

    smells a bit
    any anti-dandruff firms want
    how about

    all a bit

  11. Anonymous says:

    Top level single name domain names are long gone, and can go for >$40k on secondary market or leased to highest bidder in a dot com extension. This is how Frank makes his fortune in several languages, and he has been given the keys to the front door for *.ky for $20k. Surely someone can see the obvious conflict of interest?

  12. Anonymous says:

    The way financial services are going in this country, the rising crime, the absolute hatred of expats, the alienation of our driftwood brethren and the cronyism means makes a ky domain unattractive. Just saying!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Does ICTA have the power to set its own fees? Odd given that all fees are usually set by Cabinet. Where is the check and balance? How can ICTA decide these policy issues without Cabinet approval?

  14. Anonymous says:

    I can’t wait to see the comments on this rip-off.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Price seems quite high considering you can get a much more known .com for $10.00 USD a year.

    • Anonymous says:

      $10 inclussive of $0.18 ICANN fee, with free domain hosting, and email for a year! Good luck ICTA!

  16. Anonymous says:

    This is to let the general public know that I James Brown owns and anyone messing with it is likely to get kicked in their

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