Consultation 2014 on the draft amendment to the LTC Ordinances - Fact Sheet 3 (as of March 2014): what changes for the .ch internet domain?

Switzerland has sovereign authority to manage the domain .ch. Since 2003, the Confederation has assigned two tasks to the SWITCH Foundation: to assign .ch internet domain names and to maintain the database of all .ch domain names so that they are accessible to internet users throughout the world. The new Ordinance on Internet Domains (OID) plans to separate out these two activities.


The Registry function involves compiling a centralised database of the registration information for .ch domain names and integrating them into the international system so that they are accessible worldwide.

The Registrar function is performed by official domain name providers who offer their services to end customers who wish to obtain a .ch domain name.

Separation of Registry and Registrar: new features in the OID

  • The Registry function, regulated in the OID, will be delegated by OFCOM to a provider who may not, however, at the same time exercise the function of Registrar and will therefore have no contact with end customers
  • The Registrar function will be open to competition. Any service provider will be able to offer its customers .ch domain names, provided that it has concluded a contract under private law with the Registry
  • Under the current legislation, the SWITCH Foundation can perform both functions. The OID therefore provides for the modalities for the transition from one system to the other. A transition period will allow holders of domain names that are currently SWITCH customers to freely choose their new provider (Registrar)

Price fixing and monitoring

  • The price paid by the holder of internet domain name is no longer regulated but complies with the rules of competition
  • Providers must propose to their final customers an offer which relates only to registration of a .ch domain name for one year. In this way the consumer will be able to compare the prices charged by Registrars
  • The wholesale price, charged by the Registry or the Registrar for the maintenance of the database of .ch domain names, will continue to be regulated. The details will be laid down in the invitation to tender which will enable the future Register to be designated once the current contract with SWITCH has expired
  • The rules for monitoring costs and for approval of the prices by OFCOM, as well as the obligations arising therefrom, are being simplified

Specialist staff
Last modification 13.02.2014

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