MPs Approve $60 Fee For Bermuda Domains

March 14, 2015

[Updated] MPs approved an amendment to the Electronic Communications Act in the House of Assembly last night [Mar 13], which paves the way for a $60 annual fee for Bermuda domains.

The policy is set to come into effect on 1 April 2015, with the annual fee for  ”.bm” websites to be due on the anniversary of the domain’s registration.

The bill passed with support from both sides of the aisle, and during the debate on the matter the Opposition recommended the process be streamlined with domain owners allowed to pay online, and also questioned whether there would — as is standard practice for “.com” domains — be the ability to register a domain for a multi-year period.

The bill amends the Government Fees Regulations 1976 to prescribe a fee of $60 for the first registration of a domain name, and an annual registration fee of $60 per domain name.

The amendment to the Electronic Communications Act, as tabled in the House, follows below [PDF here]:

Update Mar 15, 11.45am: The information below was taken from the Ministry of Home Affairs Budget Brief. and states “that already on our Register are over 9,300 .BM domain names.”

An extract is below and you can read the whole brief here [PDF] the section on domains starts on page 25

At the forefront of the IP Section’s agenda is to acquire a new domain name registration system and introduce registration fees for .BM domain names.

The current system is fragile and inadequate, and has limited searching capability. The existing system needs to be replaced with a streamlined, fully integrated and automated system which allows for a smoother registration process of the .BM Country Code Top Level Domain names [CCTLD].

Benefits of a new system are a) improve the level of service to clients; b) improve job satisfaction for staff; and c) the IP Section can charge registration/renewal fees therefore create a new revenue stream.

In the fiscal year 2014/2015 funds in the amount of $70,000 were carried forwarded from the 2013/14 budget for a new replacement system. A RFP for the new system was published in November 2014 and a vendor has been selected. It is anticipated that the new system will be installed by June of this year.

Further, the IP Section would like to fully exploit the potential of the .BM domain name by relaxing the requirements and expanding eligibility for registration to include individuals who live in Bermuda, and allow for the use of .BM to no longer be restricted to commercial use. Also, market the .BM as the domain name of choice for entrepreneurs and international businesses in Bermuda.

A successful marketing drive will serve not only to ensure that Government’s plan of business development will be fulfilled, but more importantly to promote .BM as a national resource that can contribute to Government revenue. I am pleased to advise that already on our Register are over 9,300 .BM domain names

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Comments (25)

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  1. Chaos Theory says:

    Go Daddy – get a .com address for $10-$15 per annum. Why would you even want a .bm address unless the .com is already taken.

    • steve says:

      If you’re a bermuda company why not? Country specific domains help with SEO.

  2. Stunned says:

    Absolutely ridiculous, I think this will just about kill the local domain name business, apart from the Government and maybe high profile businesses who will pay $60 for a .bm name when thay can get a style domain name for around $10 a year.

    If this is an attempt to make domain registration pay for itself it will fail miserably, a better cost saving could be made by handing domain registration of to a group of local volunteers.

    Already changing our domains to a more cost effective registration, oh and wouldn’t it be nice to have had more than a couple of weeks notice!

    • Raw Onion says:

      $60 is nothing for a company or person to pay per year for a domain name. Consider how much it costs to build a website and maintain it, $60 isn’t much. Besides, for many websites money is being made from selling advertising space.

      • Onion says:

        You need to get cooked.

        I’m actually in the web business and this removes every incentive to use a .bm

        Add in the overhead of making that payment through Bermuda bureaucracy and you’re looking at having to charge clients $100 a year vs. $12.

      • 1minute says:

        How much is it going to cost us now to maintain the infrastructure to take the payments?

    • steve says:

      What? $60 per year for a domain isn’t going to break the bank. If you’re looking to save money try your hosting or website development costs.

      • steve says:

        I suggest how to save money and I get dislikes. If you think $60 a year for a domain is high then I can only presume your site is cheap and you don’t spend any money on seo or promotion. In which case you’re doomed anyhow and I wouldn’t bother wasting money buying a domain in the first place.

    • Why Oh Why says:

      I don’t mind paying, I never understood why this service was free to begin with. However, I would have liked so see a higher one time registration fee and lower annual fee.

  3. Thanks but no thanks says:

    Good luck with that, I’ll be switching to a .com for $13 a year

    • steve says:

      $13? If you’re that tight for money go with name cheap and save $2

      • steve says:

        Duh, I recommend how to save 15% on a domain name and I get dislikes.

        • james says:

          No, you insulted the individual and then lay claim to being victimized. So your simply an immature troll.

  4. somuchless says:

    Dumb idea

  5. steve says:

    If you’re looking for a professional website and seo I will throw the price of the domain in there for free!

  6. Stunned says:

    Steve, you’re right $60 a year is not going to break the bank and it is a drop in the ocean when compared to the cost of having a professional website designed. What bothers me is the value for that $60 that I will receive, there hasn’t been any announcement that the new fee will allow registrants to manage their own domains, no increase in service levels or response times. All in all pretty poor value for money

  7. steve says:

    Seems most of you are clueless. Dot Com isn’t the be all and end all. There are a host of domain extensions now. Many surpassing $60 per year. At the end of the day you can rank any domain name with the proper seo.

  8. Rock says:

    Does this mean anyone can make a .bm website now? I don’t have a business but I still want a .bm. I am Bermudian and I should have the right to a .bm

    • Stunned ] says:

      From the Bermudanic domain registration rules:

      1. PURPOSE
      The purpose of this document is to describe the rules for the registration of Domain Names within the .BM domain. The BermudaNIC Registrar is responsible for the administration of the .BM Domain.

      The following rules apply to all requests for the registration of Domain Names in the .BM Domain and all sub-domains of .BM except where differing rules exist for a sub-domain.

      2.1 Only the following entities (with an address in Bermuda) will be permitted to apply to the BermudaNIC Registrar for the registration of, and to hold and maintain the registration of a .BM ccTLD Domain Name:
      (a) Corporation: A corporation, entity or organization that is
      incorporated in Bermuda under the provisions of the Companies Act and any subsequent amendment thereto.

      (b) Registered Charity: An unincorporated organization,
      association, or club registered under the Charities Act; and any
      subsequent amendment thereto.

      So the short answer Rock, is no you can’t have a .bm :-(

    • Varied says:

      I think you still need to be a registered business, charity or church, to be allowed a .BM name

    • dream big says:

      That’s the only way this can make sense. Right now I’d say there are about 500 registered .bm domains for a grans total of $30,000 a year. That’s not even enough to pat for 1 admin.

      We’re one of the only countries that doesn’t allow individuals to purchase a domain.

      We need to update the registration process before talking about charging anyone.

      • bobs your uncle says:

        Gov should call up Godaddy and have them take over the .bm registration process.

  9. Your joking says:

    @bernews….do we know the total amount of registered .bm websites so we can see how many less there are in a year??

    • Bernews says:

      @Your joking, we just updated, according to the Budget Brief, there are 9,300 on the register, and we just asked the Ministry to double confirm that number!

  10. bluebird says:

    Bermuda is too small to keep increasing TAXES,here $60.00 plus 3.3%,
    Our ecconomy is still going down and we are still borrowing 100′s of Millions of dollars and still cannot pay back the $2Billion rhat se owe.
    And agoverment retired employees will still want there very generous pensions for the rest of there lives which all they did was to stay in the job and produce nothing..
    I hope the younger generation will be willing to pay more Taxes in the future to fund these pensions which they think they are entiteled to.good luck to you.