The .name TLD, run by the Global Name Registry (GNR) is somewhat abnormal in that they accept both 3rd level and 2nd level domain registrations in the same TLD. When they first opened up the .name TLD, only 3rd level registrations were available, and I registered ali.ebrahim.name. At the same time, anybody else could register foo.ebrahim.name. This was to make sure that the maximum number of people got domain names related to their name. Fast forward two years, and the 2nd level gets opened up on those domains that don’t have any 3rd level registrations.
At this point, I’m left with ali.ebrahim.name, and I have a hunch that nobody else has any other registrations on *.ebrahim.name. So I want to try and “convert” my 3rd level ali.ebrahim.name into the 2nd level ebrahim.name domain. I don’t know how to go about handling it, and there is no information online on this topic at all. It goes on the back burner. Fast forward another few months, and I get an email from Register.com asking for $30 to extend my ali.ebrahim.name registration for another year. As I balk at being extorted for this amount, I decide to once and for all see if I can put this matter to rest.
I email GNR at info [@] gnr.com asking what the procedure is for converting a 3rd level domain to a 2nd level domain. They reply and say that if I tell them what 3rd level domains I own on any given 2nd level, they can check if there are any other registrations on that 2nd level, and if there aren’t, they’ll let me know how to proceed. So I let them know that I only have ali.ebrahim.name. I get the following reply, which has full instructions on how the process works:
I can confirm that the only registrations on ebrahim.name are:
This means that you can “convert” to using ebrahim.name, thought it would mean that you would be without a working domain name and email address for 5-6 days. The only way of “converting” third level registrations to a second level registration is by doing the following:
1) Issue deletion of third level registrations. The names will go into serverHold/pendingDelete status and will remain so for five days. On the sixth day they will be explicitly deleted by a batch process running at 4am UTC/GMT.
2) On the sixth day after issuing the delete commands, register the second level domain name (through the same or a different registrar).
A few comments on the above:
If someone meanwhile register another third level registration on ebrahim.name, you will unfortunately not be able to register the second level domain name ebrahim.name. Also, you have to make sure you are the first one to try and register ebrahim.name after the third levels have been explicitly deleted.
If you choose to go through this process, after you notify your
registrar that you want to delete the domain name and email forwarding, please let me know. Then I can tell you exactly when the two registrations will be explicitly deleted and thus when you should be able to register the domain name ebrahim.name.
So I went through the process as stated, and lo and behold, ebrahim.name is now mine. Currently there are no domain backorder services for the .name TLD, so as long as you know when your 3rd level domains are scheduled to expire, you should be able to be the first one to grab the 2nd level. I registered ebrahim.name with Gandi for €12/year.
Finally, kudos should go to the people at GNR for always replying to emails in a timely fashion, and being a big help all around. Special thanks goes to Asbjorn Steira, who personally handled my case. I’m so glad I didn’t have to deal with Verisign to get this done.
Hope that somebody out there finds this information of some use. I figured I could write the first HOWTO on this topic. 🙂