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Tiered release of .org domains at drop

Labeled as information in Domain Expiration and Domain Drop Catching, started by twiki, Oct 26, 2020

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  1. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    I was just watching closely, the drop of a couple .org domains today. And finally realized that something I have observed before is actually consistent.

    Unlike .coms and .nets, .org drop seems to be accessible to registrars in a tiered fashion. Not all hands are equal. Was watching whois info as well as the release of few .org domains across several registrars, big and small.

    First, DropCatch gets it share. Whatever is flagged on DC, gets taken.

    The "public" release of the other domains happens 5 minutes later. Edit: This delay always seems to be there.

    Then, the big registrars get their chance at the drop. About a couple minutes later, the smallest ones also get access. By then, whatever is valuable might be already taken via any backorders at the bigger ones. (Edit: I wonder if this is based on the .org price at the registrar cause it seems to respect the pricing order)

    During all this time, direct whois calls to the registry always show "Not found" for all domains in the drop, indifferent of them being already in pending delete OR free to register. You can only see which ones have been taken.

    So this is process looks definitely capitalism-based, not communism.

    (Edit: from a business perspective, it makes sense. We're just probably expecting that anyone gets a fair chance at it for some reason (I did... for a bit), but we live in a capitalist society where pocket depth always makes the difference and the last ones to the feast get scraps).

    I'll be watching more, (and would want to see additional confirmation from others) but anyway this went quite surprising. I thought everyone gets a fair chance at the same time, such as for .coms. It appears right now that it's not.

    If you had similar observation or there is an article about this, please share. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  2. evil

    evil Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I don't undestand why you talk of minutes. The release of a pending delete domain is random and every registrar has the same chance to register one domain. The difference is that company like DC has multiple channels (hundred or thousand in comparison to the smallest registrar). A whois query is realtime (if not cached from some providers).
     
  3. xyo

    xyo Established Member

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    No, actually he is right. .ORG domains don't drop directly like .COM.
    There are different stages:

    At 01:00 UTC domains are release from PENDING DELETE to a so-called "dropzone"
    This can be seen if a registrar does an EPP request to the registry, status of the domain will still be not availabe with the following additional message "Name held in the dropzone"

    Domains won't be available for registration until about 14:30 UTC.
    Then, only the registrars which have a special EPP access to this dropzone will be able to register those dropped domains. For "normal" registrars, domains will still be unavailable to register during this phase.

    From my observation there are probably only a handful or so registars which do have this access, most prominent DropCatch with all their 1000 registars. A few others I observed are: Different Snapnames/Web.com Registrars, Dynadots Dropcatch Registrars (Dynadot1 to 12 or so), Godaddy and a few others.
    I don't think there is any difference for the registrars which have this access, just DropCatch with its over 1000 registrars do outmatch everyone else which I suppose is the reason they get like any .org domain

    This state will last for about 3 to 4 minutes. After that, all domains left are released to general availability and can be registered by any registrar.

    I already tried finding more information about this ominous "dropzone" and how it exactly works or what registrars need to do to get access but there seems to be hardly any public information that can be found.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020
  4. twiki

    twiki Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Maybe they do this for certain valid reasons such as preventing overload by everyone hitting at the same time the registry. Or some "round robin" connection-based activation where obviously registrars who have more connections get it faster simply due to the number. Looking for a valid reason as to why.
     
  5. xyo

    xyo Established Member

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    ah, after some more googeling I found a rather new document describing the dropzone: https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/rsep-2020005-mobi-request-17jan20-en.pdf

    It seems like Afilias made a request to ICANN to use the dropzone also for .MOBI domains
    That's actually the most elaborate information on the subject I have ever seen.

    Seems like the keypoint is, all domains dropping that day are available at the exact same point of time in the dropzone.Not sure if this makes things better or more fair to all competitors.
    At least it makes it impossible for "normal" users using API access to compete.

    It is not 100% clear what registrars have to do to get dropzone access, but it seems like there are no special requirements or fees involved and the registrar just needs to implement it technically.
    That would explain why DropCatch uses all their registrars for .ORG and prices start at $15
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2020

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