The InternetNZ working group reviewing the future of New Zealand's second level domain (2LD) has heard that a quarter of the respondents would prefer not to have a second level at all.
The domain name commissioner Debbie Monahan, who is part of the review team, reported back on the findings of a survey conducted of the general public into views on domain names in general and the 2LD in particular.
The survey found that while 29.8% of respondents would chose "yourname.co.nz" as a personal domain name, 25.3% would prefer "yourname.nz". However group member Steven Heath says he personally expected the non-2LD preference to be much higher.
"People don't understand why the '.co' is there. It's an extra bit and people tend to think 'why is that bit there, why can't I just have 'steven.nz?'"
Heath says most non-industry people don't understand the need for the 2LD or whether it is easy to drop or not.
"The survey was conducted to see what level of knowledge [about the 2LD] there was out there and to see if there was any pent-up demand for dropping 2LDs and my own interpretation is it's not there."
Awareness of the various 2LDs was high for the more widely-used names with .co.nz most recognised with 93.1% of respondents having heard of it. However the less common names, such as .ac.nz and .school.nz, were only recognised by 42% and 36.5% respectively. The lowest ranked, .cri.nz, was recognised by only 9% of respondents. One of the dangers modification to the existing 2LD structure has, according to Monahan's presentation to the group, is that opening up the 2LD with a lesser threshold to new entrants could increase the number of "insignificant 2LDs" making life harder for users.
When asked if their work has a domain name nearly half of the respondents said it did not. Of those that do have a domain name, 39.1% have a .nz while only 5.8% have some other form of domain name, such as .com. Less than 1% claim to have both.
Heath says the 2LD working group is expected to report back to InternetNZ by the end of the year.
Monahan is currently overseas and was not immediately available for comment.