For many years, CentralNic operated second level domain names like gb.com as registries, offering registrations to domain owners at the third level. From this month though, several such domains no longer work with CentralNic having told customers those domains have been “sunset”.
Sunsetting means that new registrations and renewals will not be permitted. These include users of domains such as .ar.com, .gb.com, .hu.com, .kr.com, .gc.com, .no.com, .se.com, and .uy.com.
CentralNic said in a letter to its customers:
There are no plans to sunset any other domains managed by CentralNic. Although there are only a very small number of domains (and an even smaller number of active websites) using these extensions, we realise the inconvenience this causes you and your clients, and so we will do everything in our power to make this a smooth process.
The company says that by way of compensation, it will provide affected customers with a free two-year registration – including a .xyz and .co.com registration of any available domain – on a substitute extension.
CentralNic manages the registry operations for 60 domains including over 20 second level domain registries. It said in a statement.
CentralNic cannot comment on the reasons that the owners of eight second level domain registries decided to sunset them.
However, it is relevant to point out that these registries had sold small numbers of domains (whereas the more popular domains on the CentralNic platform enjoy sales in the ten of thousands to the millions), and no secondary market exists for domains using these extensions.
It has been speculated that with prices of two-character domain names skyrocketing, selling these domains might be more commercially attractive to the company.