(Updated) The .pt top domain is marking 15 years of existence. The date is celebrated in the year in which the 100 thousand domains were reached, in a process of evolution that has been slow and guided by several changes that made the registration rules more flexible and adjusted the prices to demand.
The first major remodeling of the millennium took place in 2001 when .pt started to have a set of sub-domains that opened the way to registrations in net.pt, gov.pt, org.pt, edu.pt, int.pt, publ.pt, com.pt and nome.pt, after an investment of 150 thousand euros from the Foundation for National Scientific Computing in new software management of the domain administration service.
The change was accompanied by the introduction of more flexible registration rules and the introduction of the possibility of registrations online, as it happened with other top domains like .com, .net. or .org. In the field of .pt sub-domains – created as a simpler and less bureaucratic alternative to .pt – com.pt inaugurated the possibility of registration online.
At the same time, it is possible to use generic names with a minimum of three characters that can be just numbers. The trademark registration requirement for domain name applications is maintained and the submission fee is reintroduced.
For the registration it becomes necessary to pay 29 euros, just not applicable to com.pt and for its maintenance 58 euros charged every two years.
.Pt domain reaches the mark of 20 thousand registrations in 2001
In the second half of 2001, .pt reached the mark of 20 thousand domains, an increase of 40 percent compared to the previous year, driven by the adhesion to the com.pt sub-domain, which at the time concentrated 1700 registrations, already made online. Until 2004, com.pt accumulated 2649 registrations, half of which were carried out by foreign entities, making it the most popular of the .pt sub-domains.
The FCCN recognized that the simplicity of the registration process and the multiplicity of payment methods available were decisive factors for a growth that was not fast and remained constant. Even so, the foundation advanced during that year with a com.pt disclosure campaign, considering that many of the potential interested parties would not yet have knowledge of the simplest registration rules in force for com.pt.
Before that, the «bursting of the bubble», in the late 90s, had a negative impact on the growth rate of domain registrations, which maintained a positive index but slowed down, resenting this less positive period for Internet projects, as acknowledged Pedro Veiga, president of FCCN.
The official recalls that the fall was even more felt because it followed years of more accelerated development. Until 1995, domain registration evolved slowly, but from that date «more ISPs began to emerge that imposed faster development», reports Pedro Veiga recalling the birth of Telepac in the mid-90s.
In 2005, the FCCN signed 18 new agreements with foreign registrars to facilitate the registration in .pt and com.pt, increasing to more than a hundred the number of entities qualified to do so, another measure of disclosure and facilitation of the registration. Also last year, the possibility to register names with Portuguese characters became available.
The last change in .pt domain registrations came into force in March this year with a reduction in prices and the migration to fully registered online.
Under the new rules, the cost of maintaining the domain can be fixed for terms of one year, three and five years, the longer the contracted period being, the greater the discount.
Compared to the previous model, which allowed only two-year registration contracts, the new model implements price reductions of up to 54 percent. Payment can also be made via ATM or Visa card.
This restructuring also introduced the possibility of registering names with a geographical scope and abbreviations for company names. A new mechanism for verification of registered domains was also established, which runs within 24 hours after the registration was granted to verify its credibility or legitimacy.
The impacts of these last changes were very positive and allowed an increase from 2 to 3 thousand domain registrations per month, underlines Pedro Veiga.
For the future, the official acknowledges that the FCCN continues to study the possibility of abandoning the task of registration agent or at least changing its characteristics.
The change is expected to occur at the beginning of next year and may involve maintaining the functions of a registrar, but with a more expensive tariff model that discourages registration through the foundation and encourages the use of agents authorized by the FCCN.
The first nine domains registered in 91 are all still operational. Among the first registered entities are FCCN, INESC, LNEC and the Universities of Aveiro and Porto.
Editorial Note: The news was updated with statements by Pedro Veiga, president of the FCCN.
2006-08-09 – FCCN anticipates goal of 100 thousand registered domains
2006-02-22 – Domain registration rules in .pt change from March
2005-04-19 – FCCN expands agreements with international registrars for Portuguese domains
2004-12-20 – .pt domains registration extended to Portuguese characters ~ 2004-04-28 – FCCN promotes campaign to motivate greater adhesion to .com.pt domain
2001-09-24 – Domains registered under «.pt» exceed 20 thousand
2001-02-20 – New «.pt» subdomains with low membership
2001-02-01 – New registration rules .pt on February 5th