Renewal Costs Bite Cybersquatters

Despite economic downturn, particularly among dotcom businesses, renewals of domain names, the Internet's directional sign-posts remain high.

Domain names, which can be registered either by going to a Registry direct or through one of hundreds of registrars based in the UK, last for a period of two years, after which another payment is required for a further two year period.

The huge rise in the domain name market in 1999, up 10,000% in one registry, is coming back to haunt cybersquatters and domain name warehousers as the two-year renewal bills start to kick in.

Chancers who hoped to make a huge profit on good names are being stung as the 'Pay up or lose it' demands arrive.

Registry CentralNic reports a significant increase in registration 'whois' checks as victims of cyber-piracy keep looking to see if their preferred name has been abandoned by a hard-up cybersquatter.

A spokesperson for CentralNic said "We are keeping a careful eye on the 'whois' volume which has been climbing steadily all this year. The second year anniversary of the domain name registration boom may be a bit stressful. The uk.com and eu.com domain name spaces both had huge peaks in demand two years ago."

"Despite the woes of cybersquatters legitimate businesses are keeping their names and we are seeing renewal levels in excess of our expectations."

"This surprisingly high level of domain name renewals demonstrates that British businesses are showing confidence in the long-term use of the Internet and also confounds pundits who predicted a severe downturn in the domain name market."