Posts Tagged NASK

600,000 .CZ Domains in Czech Republic

CZ NICThe CZ.NIC Association, administrator of the .CZ domain, announced the registration of .cz domain number 600,000. Since registration of the first half million domains, less than 10 months have passed. Domains have started to accrue at this rate since the introduction of the new system for domain management, FRED, in October 2007, which has speeded up and simplified the registration process significantly and allowed .CZ domains to become cheaper.

“The .CZ domain has held the position of most requested domain for a long time with Czech registrars, which essentially confirms the global trend for the preference of national domains. On average, this year we have recorded around 10,000 new .CZ names every month” said Ondřej Filip, Executive Director of the CZ.NIC association.

CZ.NIC, z. s. p. o. is an open non-profit association with the main mission of operating a reliable internet register in the Czech Republic while respecting the principles of the international situation, and developing generally beneficial services for the local internet community. The association currently has 63 members. CZ Top-Level Domain is part of the national wealth of the Czech Republic and a critical element from the perspective of the Czech economy. The main priority regarding the CZ domain administration is organizational and operational priority.

Small comparison of Czech and Polish domain markets:

.CZ .PL
Number of domains 603 000 1 534 000
Domains per 1000 residents     57,5 40,2
Registration fee 7,50 EUR net 2,50 EUR net
Renewal fee 7,50 EUR net     10,00 EUR net    

Source: CZ.NIC, NASK – October 8th, 2009

Daniel Dryzek

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NASK (.pl registry) will receive new management

The Minister of Science and Higher Education in Poland has announced competition for the post of the director of the research and development unit under the name of Scientific and Academic Computer Network (NASK – Naukowa i Akademicka Sieć Komputerowa) in Warsaw. I would like to remind all, that NASK is responsible for .pl domain registry. The application deadline was subject to be extinct on the 7th of August 2009.

The fact that is striking is that the character of the organisation is constantly underlined as a research and development organisation, despite the fact that in Poland it is mostly known as the organisation which provides technical services and manages .pl domain registry. I believe that it would be proper to separate this function from the scientific function of the organisation. Should it not be achieved, the operation of NASK will never be fully transparent.

The announced competition for the director of NASK is connected to the latest revelations of Dziennik about which I wrote in the previous articleNASK lost 14 million PLN (3,5M EUR) in connection to the risky financial operations. What is more – it did not have the right to invest with application of such method. The aforementioned 14 million PLN, which came from the fees connected to the process of registration and .pl domain upkeep (which are the sort of national treasure), have been lost by NASK. Barbara Kudrycka, the Minister of Education notified the prosecutor’s office with respect to the issue, considering the seriousness of the issue. She also added: “The operations undertaken in connection to the finances of the aforementioned institution are intolerable. This was completely careless, it is forbidden to blow public money like that”Read more about assets lost by NASK.

The document prepared by the Ministry presents the requirements with respect to the candidates for NASK director as well as in connection to the main tasks placed before the new director. Amongst others these include: planning of activity, personnel policy management, property management, representing NASK, financial reports, decision making processes.

Some of the candidate requirements:

– higher education,

– at least five years of professional experience,

– clean criminal record,

– the ability to organise scientific and research work,

– the knowledge of the IT industry,

– fluent command of a foreign language.

Additional advantages:

– academic degree,

– professional experience obtained in scientific institutions,

– the ability for the conveyance of negotiations,

– the knowledge of other foreign languages.

The document prepared by the Ministry also includes the following information: “Individuals who meet the stipulated conditions may be summoned by the Recruitment Committee to submit, within a stipulated deadline, the concept of further development of NASK (with consideration of its economical situation).”

Let’s only hope that the new director does not come to a conclusion that income subject to .pl domain fees shall finance the whole remaining activity of NASK, which does not generate any profit (including the covering of losses with the unrighteous investment of assets into currency exchange options).

Why do domain owners have to finance NASK academic research? Even if the research and development unit conveys these important and valuable research activities, let them be financed from all taxpayers money and not only those who want to purchase and own their own domain.

Moreover, NASK could make money with relation to its scientific and academic activity, if the results of the conveyed research were of value and if someone was wiling to pay for them. Unless the research is a meaningless addition to NASK commercial activity, which is based on collecting fees for domain registration and upkeep with application of highest possible prices and then doing all that can be done to spend all that heap of money.

The moment the new director of the Polish domain registry is chosen, I shall inform of this fact via my internet blog.

Daniel Dryzek

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NASK lost millions of EUR which were the property of domain owners

As the Polish „Dziennik” informed in July – NASK – the institution which services the .pl domain registry on the territory of Poland, lost 14 millions of PLN (3,5 millions of EUR) in connection to risky financial operations, the amount which constitutes 15% of its annual budget, which amounts to 93 million PLN (23 million EUR). The Minister of Education, Barbara Kudrycka, to whom the institution is subordinate, recalled Maciej Kozłowski who was the head of NASK. “I’m shocked that such an important institution not only had lost huge amounts of money but had also done it breaking the law.” – reports “Dziennik”.

Dziennik refers to NASK as a company and in fact, it is correct. Although that NASK should be perceived as a research and a development unit. In reality, NASK activity focuses of consumption of income generated by the domain department, which in is a hen laying golden eggs. As the .pl domain registry, NASK generates huge profits subject to that fact, with considerably low costs which are connected to the upkeep of this activity.

Despite the growing number of .pl domains, NASK does not intend to lower domain prices. Although registration fees are currently at the low level of (10 PLN net ~ 2,5 EUR), and the extension fee has been lowered to 40 PLN a year ~ 10 EUR (earlier 60 PLN net ~ 15 EUR), nevertheless, domain prices are still a few times higher in comparison to the level of fees obligatory within the developed countries such as Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands or Spain – where a domain costs just a few euro per year.

Why are domains still so expensive in Poland? Now we know, what NASK spends the money earned from domain fees on. NASK invests domain owners’ money into the so-called “currency options” the fact which is controversial enough bearing in mind that law forbids all public institutions to convey this kind of activity. This fact constitutes a serious infringement of the public finances act, by NASK. In addition NASK does not settle transactions with its partners with application of foreign currency that is why the fact of securing its operation with application of currency options is not supported at all. In this case we are dealing with plain gambling, which was financed from the fee for .pl domain upkeep. The costs of recklessness of NASK acting director has to be borne by hundreds of thousands of domain owners, who every year pay for their upkeep with domain registars.

What is interesting, is the fact that already in 2006, the Highest Control Chamber (Najwyższa Izba Kontroli) criticised NASK accusing the institution that only “a very small portion of resources is used towards research and development works”, and the whole institution is too much business oriented. It is then that the first warnings appeared that NASK finances strange stock exchange investments with application of profits generated from telecommunication services and from domain upkeep activity. Unfortunately at that time no actions had been undertaken, the fact which now raises substantial doubts and questions.

From 2006 NASK profits substantially increased, especially subject to domain upkeep but at the same time no one put much interest in the type of activity conveyed by the institution. Let’s hope that this time NASK activity shall be thoroughly reviewed. Barbara Kudrycka the Minister of Education has already notified the prosecutor’s office considering the seriousness of the matter. She also added: “The operations undertaken in connection to the finances of the aforementioned institution are intolerable. This was completely careless, it is forbidden to blow public money like that”. I will continue to follow the issue closely and will inform of all of the news, which shall be brought to light.

The internet edition of Gazeta Wyborcza (the most popular Polish daily newspaper) quoted Anna Maj from NASK Public Relations department, who claims that, indeed the institution lost assets in connection to financial transactions but this fact stems from breach of authority “by one of the former NASK employees”. Moreover, the institution argues that the suffered losses shall bear no weight in connection to the running operation as well as to the financial condition of the institution. Anna Maj adds that all of the costs of misplaced transactions have been covered only with assets from economical activity of the institution, without the engagement of any of the National Treasury assets.

Unfortunately Ms. Anna Maj forgets to add that the money does not come from the standard economical activity, as it would be in case of every market company. The main source of NASK income is constituted by revenues generated from registration and .pl domain validity extension. Had it not been for that source, domain registry would not have any assets available for the financing of its investments into currency options. NASK is a monopolist – this is the only location where the registar may purchase .pl domains for his clients. The fact that NASK may dictate prices for .pl domains at its discretion and later may cover the costs of its misplaced operations from this type of activity, is surely no the right thing to do.

In countries where domains are cheapest and which have their largest number, the national domain registry is managed by the non profit organisation. That is why domains are cheap and the operation of such institution is clear and transparent. There are no situations when, high domain income, is used to financed the activity which is no respect related to the issue domains. In Poland it is not only NASK which does not want to lower the price of domains – the fees are increased by the introduction of additional fees for the improper registration attempt or extension of the domain after the period of its expiration, when the domain owner still has fifteen days to settle the payment.

The fact of the lost millions of PLN by NASK was communicated by all important Polish websites and magazines: Dziennik.pl, gazeta.pl, onet.pl, Wprost.pl, WP.pl, Interia.pl, interaktywnie.com or Internet Standard. The information also appeared of a foreign blog. The ill operation of NASK is also discussed by internet users on various forums. Join the discussion – write what you think of NASK activity in Poland.

Daniel Dryzek

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Poland Has More Domains Than France

Based on statistics delivered by NASK (Polish domain registry) and AFNIC (.fr registry) as from December 1st 2008 there are more .PL domain names (including .com.pl and few other extensions) than .FR domains. This gives Polish .pl ccTLD 6th place in Europe with 1.29 million domain names registered.

Top 10 ccTLDs in Europe

.de (Germany) – 12.4 mln
.co.uk (United Kingdom) – 7.2 mln
.nl (Netherlands) – 3.16 mln
.ru (Russia) – 1.8 mln
.it (Italy) – 1.61 mln
.pl (Poland) – 1.29 mln
.fr (France) – 1.28 mln
.ch (Switzerland) – 1.17 mln
.es (Spain) – 1.1 mln
.dk (Denmark) – 0.96 mln

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.eu (European Union) – 2.96 mln – this TLD should be treated more like .com or maybe .asia but not like ccTLD (Country Code Top Level Domain).

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Distribution of different extensions among .pl ccTLD

.pl – 865.000 domains – 67%
.com.pl – 244.000 domains – 19%
.net.pl – 27.000 domains – 2%
.waw.pl – 20.000 domains – 1.5%
.org.pl – 19.000 domains – 1.4%
others – 115.000 domains – 9%

Source: www.dns.pl

Polish ccTLD is one of the fastest growing TLDs in the world – growth rate in the last 12 months – 66.7%.

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