Consultation 2014 on the draft amendment to the LTC Ordinances - Fact Sheet 2 (as of March 2014): what differences between .ch and .swiss?

At the global level, top level domains are assigned by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a non-profit international corporation. Each country has been assigned its own code, a ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain), which it can manage independently. This is why Switzerland has already provided in its legislation for the rules that apply to the .ch domain.

As for generic domains (gTLD, generic Top Level Domain), these are awarded by ICANN to legal persons who apply for them and who comply with the rules laid down by this corporation. Some, such as .biz, .com, .edu and .gov, are already in use. New ones are currently making their appearance, such as .swiss for which the Confederation applied.

Essential differences between .ch:

  • is open: no requirement is imposed regarding the possible link of the holder of a domain name with Switzerland
  • essentially works on the basis of the principle "first come, first served", without prior verification of the legitimacy of the client to hold a domain name; abuses are dealt with on the basis of suspicions or after notification in accordance with Swiss law
  • is intended for individuals and businesses
  • can be obtained for an annual sum of approximately CHF 15, i.e. a price comparable to that of the most popular generic extensions such as ".com"

and .swiss:

  • requires a candidate to have a direct and specific link with Switzerland
  • is assigned only after a 'qualitative' assessment of the candidatures, i.e. after verification; abuses are dealt with in accordance with the rules implemented at the international level
  • is intended predominantly for businesses or central organisations, for example
  • will be priced fairly highly because of the significant costs involved in its operation
These two top level domains managed by the Confederation are thus complementary and should hardly be in competition in the market for domain names.

Specialist staff
Last modification 13.02.2014

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