For anyone freaking out about .IO going away, you can (probably) relax…and here’s why

News has rippled through the domain name world about a change of ownership for .IO. I wrote about this last week when I covered a critical vote that went massively in favor of the UK losing control of .IO.

Since then, I’ve read a lot of different stories, many painting a picture of doom and gloom for .IO and hypothesizing that the domain extension could just go away.

Sorry but while this might make for a catchy headline…it’s just not realistic. It’s actually incredibly simple IMO so it won’t take me too long to break this down. Here’s the scoop.

.IO has become very popular in the startup world, there are companies that have received tens of millions of dollars in funding that use .IO as their primary domain. People are continuing to buy and brand on .IO domains, and whether you love them or hate them, it doesn’t change the fact that there are a lot of .IO names registered and in-use.

With both a higher registration cost and renewal price than .COM, .IO also brings in a pretty penny. So why do you think if the UK were to lose control of the extension, that the new owner wouldn’t want all the money that is pouring in? Honestly, that would be ridiculous.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that .IO is in the clear completely. Things like registration and renewal costs could change, and yes – there could be some other bumps along the road that we can’t see yet. All that being said, the sky is not falling and I don’t think you need to worry about .IO going away.

What do you think? Could you see a scenario where the new owner of .IO decides to just say no to all that revenue…because I sure don’t! I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard.

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Snoopy June 3, 2019, 4:09 pm

    The big risk is repricing. The extension owner could easily do a uniregistry on it, and the backend registry could likely be easily dumped since they’d probably have no agreement at all with the new owner. It is a very unusual circumstance.

    It would probably make financial sense to increase prices to given there is a decent amount of usage. This is why extensions need price protections in my view.

    • June 3, 2019, 7:22 pm

      i have to agree with snoopdog here…
      the risk is in the re-pricing.

  • Fred June 3, 2019, 5:33 pm

    dotio is a garbage extension. Useless period.

  • Mark Thorpe June 3, 2019, 6:21 pm

    Hate to say i told you so, but…
    .IO was/is too much risk and not enough reward IMO.

    • John Colascione June 3, 2019, 7:23 pm

      I’m glad I just let my remaining .io domain names drop; 3 of them recently (RPW.IO, AUP.IO, GWP.IO). IMO, any domain that isn’t a .com was/is too much risk for a variety of reasons, this just ads another example. I believe a small increase in registration fees is likely, and warranted; that’s just the way it goes. The buyer should be able to make a modification to re-coop their investment, that’s business. Just like Verisign will inevitably and eventually get their increase, even if it is very little. To believe things which are highly desirable will not increase in cost, is unrealistic.

  • Kevin Murphy June 4, 2019, 12:31 am

    It doesn’t really matter what the registry wants.

    If BIOT ceases to be a separate territory recognized by the UN, then it will most likely lose its ISO 3166 listings.

    That would mean IO would no longer be reserved and .io would no longer qualify for a ccTLD under ICANN rules.

    ICANN would be kinda obliged to treat it the same way it treats all dead territories (for example, the Netherlands Antilles or East Timor) and retire the ccTLD.

    It would take years, but it definitely could happen.

    I blogged about the process in a little more detail back in February.

    • Frank Michlick June 4, 2019, 8:32 pm

      I agree with Kevin here, it’s not really a question of ownership (and pricing), but, it might just go away.

      But then again, .SU is still around (as Kevin also wrote in his article).

  • Kevin Murphy June 4, 2019, 12:37 am

    Also worth pointing out that the UK does not control .io any more than it controls .uk

    Both are in private hands — .io is actually controlled by an American company, Afilias.


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