Since 2003, the Switch foundation has had a monopoly over the reservation of domain names with the “.ch” extension in Switzerland. OFCOM had at the time assigned it two main tasks:

  • The “register” (or registry) function, for coordinating “.ch” Internet addresses with the global Domain Name System (DNS).
  • The “registrar” function, to sell the reservation of a domain name with the “.ch” extension.

However, the centralization of the second function in the hands of a single public law entity hinders the establishment of healthy competition on the market for the registration of domain names in Switzerland. IN 2012, OFCOM launched a draft review of the regulatory framework for the management of “.ch” Internet domain names.

Migration of 1,200,000 “.ch” domain names in 2015

Starting in 2015, OFCOM has imposed on Switch the obligation to limit its function of “register” for the “.ch” domain and banned it from performing its role of “registrar.” Switch must therefore ensure a fair and transparent transfer of existing customers to “registrars” active on the Swiss market. Thus, owners of “.ch” Internet addresses, currently Switch customers, will be asked to choose a new partner at the end of their normal subscription period (between January 1 and December 31, 2015.).

By offering the cheapest domain names in Switzerland (reservation of “.ch”domain names for CHF 8.90 instead of CHF 15.50 with Switch), Infomaniak thus demonstrates the advantage of a competition-based model for the customer.

More information on the OFCOM website