Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ reports on domain industry’s performance in 2018


On December 13, the 12th annual conference, Runet 2018: Year in Review, was held at Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, where representatives of internet-related sectors came together to share insights on their performance in 2018 and their vision for Runet’s future. Sergey Plugotarenko, Director at the Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC), and his colleague Karen Kazaryan opened the first session with a performance overview across all sectors, and invited speakers to share more information on the ongoing developments in the Russian segment of the internet and the results achieved by the end of 2018.

Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ Director Andrey Vorobyev spoke about the state of the domain industry. Russia’s largest national domain .RU has more than 5 million domain names, while .РФ has over 800,000. In 2018, more than 1.4 million domain names have been registered so far in these two Russian zones by 46 accredited registrars. Interestingly, the share of domains registered by Russians in the new TLDs declined. In 2017, domains of this kind accounted for 5.7 percent of total registrations, while in 2018 they made up for only 0.4 percent. At the same time, the share of national domains against all the domains used in Russia increased from 78.3 to 80.9 percent.

“While country-code domains are showing modest growth rates or even witnessing a decline around the world, Russia’s national domains .RU and .РФ retained their standing in the international rankings as the fifth most popular country-code TLD by the number of registered domains. In addition to this, .RU and .РФ national domains accounted for 80.9 percent of all domains registered by Russians in 2018, up 2.6 percentage points compared to 2017, which means that Russian national domains remain popular and trusted by Russian users,” Andrey Vorobyev said.

The Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ views the security within .RU and .РФ domain zones as one of its main priorities and is proactive in ensuring it. Andrey Vorobyev shared the performance indicators of the Netoscope project for 2018, saying that its database includes over four million domain names (of the second and third levels and below) that were suspected of undesirable activities, and 760,054 domain names were added since the beginning of the year. The database mostly consists of domains containing malicious code, also known as malware. Malware domains account for 95.8 percent of third-level listed domains, and 83.8 percent of second-level domains in the database.

Andrey Vorobyev also updated the audience on a study by the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ in cooperation with the Higher School of Economics that is in its second year. The study, titled Comprehensive Review of Development Trends for the Russian Internet Segment, is based on statistical data obtained from the Federal Agency for State Registration, Cadaster and Cartography, the Federal Tax Service, the Economic Development Ministry and a number of other major agencies and organizations. The initiative is designed to explore the internet both in Russia and abroad in all its complexity in order to deliver an objective view on the state of the online economy. “With the study now into its second year, we are beginning to see specific trends in various spheres, from internet penetration to human resources in the IT industry, enabling us to come up with forecasts and projections,” the speaker said, adding that more information was available on the Coordination Center’s website.

Promoting international activities and contributing to the work of international internet organizations was another major priority for the Coordination Center. Andrey Vorobyev presented the main international events that took place in 2018 with direct input from the Coordination Center. In May 2018, the Coordination Center organized a meeting between ICANN CEO and President Goran Marby and Chief Technology Officer David Conrad with the Russian domain community. In June, Moscow hosted CENTR Jamboree 2018, a conference of the Council of European National TLD Registries, and the Third East European DNS Forum in December 2018. Andrey Vorobyev invited the audience to take part in the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) to be hosted by the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ in Vladivostok in July 2019. Russia won the right to host the forum in 2018 in an uphill battle with a number of other contenders, including China.

“We strive to make Russia an integral part of the global internet governance and addressing agendas. In addition to this, we represent the Russian internet community at international forums and do everything to make sure that Russia is heard,” concluded Vorobyev.