A message from CIRA’s president and CEO:
Fiscal year 2019 (FY19) was a landmark year for CIRA. While our core responsibility has always been to manage the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians, CIRA does so much more. This fiscal year we continued to grow .CA, the core business of the organization, we continued to diversify and expand our product offerings and increased the reach of our Community Investment Program, while protecting more users against cyberattacks than ever before.
For the first time ever, we exceeded 2.8 million .CA domains under management after registering 517,431 new domains. While this was a great year for CIRA, growth continues to slow for ccTLDs around the world. Despite our best wishes, we are not immune to industry-wide trends, but our marketing and advertising strategy has helped us stay ahead of the curve for the past few years. Going forward we will continue to watch shifts in the global marketplace and fine tune our strategy in the face of a maturing market.
Of course, CIRA is a lot more than .CA. Over the past few years we have begun to diversify our offerings. By leveraging and extending our DNS infrastructure, we’ve expanded the range of the products and services we offer to organizations around the world. Stepping out of your comfort zone to do something new is never easy, but after several years of executing on a thoughtful, deliberate strategy, our hard work is paying off.
Let’s start with our cloud based cybersecurity solution, D-Zone DNS Firewall. In FY19 Firewall experienced rapid growth as we made headway into the MUSH market: municipalities, universities, schools, and hospitals. CIRA members can sleep well knowing that that over 400,000 children in 65 kindergarten to grade 12 schools across the country are protected from malware, ransomware, and phishing – and this is just the beginning. In late FY19 the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education made a bulk purchase of DNS Firewall for all K-12 schools in the province, which they will be rolling out over the coming year.
Another product is our D-Zone Anycast DNS which continues to show year-on-year growth while supplying world class DNS infrastructure services for over 2.8 million .CA domains, more than 37,000 second level domains, and 50 top-level domains including .SE, .NU, .NL, and .CH. By extending our global DNS infrastructure, Anycast makes .CA more resilient, strengthens the global DNS, and generates new revenue for CIRA.
Then there’s our top-of-line registry platform, Fury, which celebrated a major milestone in FY19. On February 5th,2019, we successfully transitioned the .CA domain to Fury following a careful, two-year transition plan. We updated over 200 million records in the course of eight hours, and, after the migration was finished, we immediately resumed regular operations. This is an astonishing accomplishment and I couldn’t be prouder of how our team managed it.
Looking ahead, the CIRA Labs team is hard at work on innovative new cybersecurity initiatives designed to help make home networks and the public internet more secure from malware, phishing, ransomware, and other cyberattacks.
Stewarding the .CA domain and providing enterprise quality cybersecurity solutions isn’t the only way CIRA is helping build a better online Canada. We also make significant investments in projects that help make Canada’s internet more stable, safe, and secure, through our Community Investment Program. The program gives back in two ways: first, through our flagship granting initiative, which, as of FY19, has invested $5.45 million into 130 projects across the country; and second, by contributing governance and financial resources to key initiatives that aim to improve the health of Canada’s internet.
Take a look at our FY19 grant recipients and you’ll quickly see the value this program brings. Last year we distributed $1.25 million to 28 different projects. For example, we invested in Connected North, which delivers e-learning services in remote Indigenous communities. We also supported CompuCorps for their women’s Indige-preneurs program, which aims to increase the number of Indigenous women in our growing e-commerce sector. While these are just a two of the 28 projects CIRA funded this past fiscal year, it’s easy to see how proceeds from every .CA sold are being reinvested to improve the health of Canada’s internet.
The second part of the Community Investment Program focuses on initiatives to support the growth and governance of Canada’s internet. For example, we continue to support the development of Canada’s IXPs. There are currently nine IXPs operating across the country, with several more in the development phase, including Iqaluit’s ArcticIX. In FY20 we will dedicate additional staff capacity to manage our IXP portfolio and encourage network operators of all types to peer at local exchange points.
We also supported the Canadian Internet Governance Forum, a one-day conference that brought together government, civil society, and business stakeholders from across the country to discuss internet governance issues at home and abroad.
We now find ourselves in the final year of previous corporate strategic plan, which has set the stage for what comes next. In FY20, we will work diligently to expand our business and services, create a more diverse and inclusive workplace, and establish a new corporate strategy to make sure CIRA stays an industry leader for years to come.
Success doesn’t just happen. It takes innovation, hard work, and thoughtful strategy to make it happen. I’m very proud of what CIRA has accomplished over the past year. Our business continues to grow and our corporate culture, one of being purpose driven and always striving forward, continues to deepen throughout the organization.
As we say goodbye to FY19, I’d like to thank the members of CIRA’s board, and in particular, our board chair Helen McDonald, for her steadfast leadership. I’d also like to thank all CIRA members, leaders, and staff for everything they’ve done to help make FY19 a success.
With less than one year to go in our current corporate strategic plan, I look forward to sharing what comes next in our mission to build a better online Canada.
Byron Holland, President and chief executive officer
Canadian Internet Registration Authority