Public Interest Registry has started vetting potential registry service provider replacements for Identity Digital, ahead of a formal request for proposals later this year.
The company said this week that in order to run .org’s back-end, which would have to support almost 11 million domains, an RSP would have to hit a list of high-end criteria.
Candidates will have to have seven years experience running an RSP across multiple TLDs, with at least three registry clients, over 500,000 domains, and at least 25 ICANN-accredited registrars on its books, among other items.
That narrows the field down to probably fewer than a dozen companies. The likes of GoDaddy, CentralNic, Verisign, ZDNS, Tucows and Nominet would all presumably qualify, along with Identity Digital itself.
If a transition to a new RSP were to happen, it would be the largest TLD back-end migration in history by a considerable margin. The largest to date was the 3.1 million names that moved from Neustar (now GoDaddy) to Afilias (now Identity Digital) in 2018.
The .org migration from Verisign to PIR in 2003 was when .org was substantially smaller, at 2.7 million names.
According to PIR’s most-recent tax return, Afilias was paid $15.6 million in 2021 for registry services.
PIR said in 2021 that it expects to issue the RFP in the second half of 2023.