The domain registration in Austria started in 1988 when the Top Level Domain .at was delegated to the University of Vienna. During the next 10 years, the University also served as .at registry. The initially severe delegation rules were liberealised in 1997 - this fact explains the abrupt rise of delegation numbers. One year later, nic.at took over the registration and administration of .at-domains.
• There is always a great demand for the .AT domain name. By the year 2000 there were already 160,000 .AT domain names registered
• .AT enables you to protect your business online and is easy to memorize
• It helps you reach and communicate with your audiences in Austria as well as the rest of the world
• Since its inception, the .at domain registration has been based on a common system in Austria called “continuing obligation”, which is similar to telephone, electricity or gas contracts: You register for a telephone, electricity or gas connection and it remains active until you terminate the contract. Thus, you won’t lose your connection just because you forgot to renew it in time (exception: you don’t pay your invoice)
• On the other hand, in a fixed-term contract, like with the .com and the .net (or any other generic) domain, they expire automatically and must be renewed actively
.at: active cancellation with fixed period of notice
The clear advantage of an active cancellation is that the domain holder can’t lose his domain unintentionally. Moreover, people in Austria are used to cancelling contracts within a certain period of notice (e.g. mobile phone, insurance, flat etc.). The cancellation period of 28 days, as it is defined in the nic.at General Terms and Conditions, is based upon the Austrian Consumer Protection Law. Generic TLDs, in contrast, do not require a cancellation as they expire automatically.
In summer 2000, Richard Wein was appointed as the CEO responsible for finance, administration, organisation and IT. In September 2003, Robert Schischka joined nic.at as a second CEO, who is primarily responsible for the technical operation.