It's all systems go for Africa's new home on the web as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) has approved the launch plan and dates for dotAf-rica. "Final and confirmed," is how the CEO of the dotAfrica gTLD (generic Top Level Domain) Registry Operator, Lucky Masilela, described the launch dates approved by ICANN this week. ICANN is the US non-profit tasked with maintaining the efficient functioning of the worldwide web.
A US court has this week granted the ZA Central Registry's (ZACR's) motion to dismiss all claims against it by DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA). This is in relation to DCA's ongoing attempts to stall the public availability of the .africa (dotAfrica) generic Top Level Domain (gTLD).
April 13 — A pan-African Internet domain remains on hold after a federal court April 12 enjoined the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers from finalizing the domain while an unsuccessful competitor's lawsuit proceeds. Judge R. Gary Klausner of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted DotConnectAfrica Trust's request to enjoin ICANN from delegating the .africa top-level domain (similar to .com or .org) to the ZA Central Registry. DotConnect and ZACR were the only two applicants for operating the domain.
There have been several new developments on the .AFRICA front over the past several weeks. We would like to set the record straight for everyone’s benefit:
In this guest post Dirk Krischenowski, CEO and founder of dotBERLIN, discusses the growing importance of place-specific, geographic domain extensions and how this trend can benefit city and destination marketing. With an estimated 1 billion websites in late 2015, you can easily get lost in the world wide web. Imagine a domain name that makes you feel at home right away: geographic domain-extensions bring local identity to the web. The new domain extensions .nyc, .london and .berlin are the three biggest of that kind, with 87,169 (.nyc), 70,131 (.london) and 57,142 (.berlin) registered domain names until today.
During the ICANN 49 meeting in Singapore, a Registry Agreement (RA) between Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) for the delegation and administration of the .africa (dotAfrica) Top Level Domain (TLD) was concluded.
Do not be surprised if you come across news that says ecommerce is dramatically spreading its wings in Africa. There is no doubt digital commerce is heading Africa’s way. According to a report, by the Hamburg-based business intelligence organisation yStats.com, ecommerce has tremendous growth potential in Africa.
Though a late entrant, Africa is seen by industry giants as one of fastest growing ecommerce markets in the world.
So what is it that’s made the African landscape ripe for ecommerce growth?
Based on its recent analysis of the web hosting market, Frost & Sullivan has recognised Hetzner with the 2014 South African Frost & Sullivan Market Leadership Award for excellence in capturing the highest market share within its industry.
Hetzner consolidated its market leadership position with a 19% share in the .co.za domain space on the strength of its mass-market hosting solutions. The company continues to build on this success by expanding its 183,000 .co.za active domains with associated hosting products, such as co-location hosting and root server hosting, to achieve its long-term growth target in the South African market.
To place Hetzner's success in context, its closest competitor only has approximately 52,000 .co.za active domains.
"While competitors diversified into consumer internet products, such as asymmetric digital subscriber line, Hetzner continued growing in the web-hosting market with associated hosting products, attracting higher investments," said Lehlohonolo Mokenela, Information and Communication Technologies Industry Analyst of Frost & Sullivan Africa. "This uncompromising business model led to market consolidation, which poised the company for long-term gains, with a 20% increase in 2014 and a projected year-on-year growth of 25% in 2015."
The business model that keeps the company focused on its core competency not only ensures internal operational efficiency, but also enables it to consistently deliver high-quality service at competitive rates.
Adopted by more than 2.5 billion people in the first 20 years of its existence, the Internet permeates through every aspect of our corporate, personal and government lives. The Internet is easily one of the most democratic and disruptive inventions of the last century; it is the epitome of free speech.
Local internet hosting is key to the development of the online ecosystem in emerging countries, according to a report by the Internet Society that used Rwanda as a case study. The report - Promoting Local Content Hosting to Develop the Internet Ecosystem - was produced in partnership with Rwanda's Ministry of Youth and ICT and the Rwanda Information and Communication Technology Association (RICTA). It found the development of locally relevant internet content that is attractive to users has a positive impact on internet adoption, with infrastructural challenges becoming less of an issue and efforts to increase adoption rates now focused on the development of such content.
With the arrival of hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), many marketers are excited that they can now get a web address that best describes their business or brand. For instance, a company in the organic business can now get a web address on .ORGANIC, or a brand that's all about passion and excitement can now get on .RED, etc. At the same time, many are also asking some important SEO related questions:
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers had a big year in 2014, as the announcement of a potential Internet Assigned Numbers Authority transfer of oversight from the U.S. to the global multistakeholder community dominated headlines at the same time the new generic top-level domain (gTLD) program passed from the application and evaluation phases to the final contention resolution stage.
More of the same is expected in 2015, as both processes continue apace while more voices continue to call for increased accountability and suggest more widespread changes in conjunction with the IANA transition.
With this brief background in mind, here are the top 15 policy development areas to watch at ICANN in 2015:
The head of the private agency that acts as gatekeeper for the internet called on Tuesday for international discussions to ensure control of the web remains decentralised. Fadi Chehade, president and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), called for the "preservation of a decentralised, transnational and not too fragmented governance" of the Internet. He told a Geneva conference that the internet should remain "polycentric" but that the private and public sectors should work together. "Only initiatives involving the private sector and governments can successfully and effectively address crucial issues like cybercrime, taxation of e-commerce, and child protection," Chehade said. Icann, which is in charge of assigning domain names, is likely to break free of US oversight late in 2015.
DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS & POSTAL SERVICES
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS AND TRANSACTIONS ACT, 2002 (ACT NO. 25 OF 2002)
PROPOSED AMENDMENT OF ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION REGULATIONS
The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services intends to amend the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Regulations (published in Government Notice No. R. 1166, Government Gazette 29405, 22 November 2006) in terms of section 69 read with section 94 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, 2002 and wishes to consult the public in this regard.
A business Web address is just as important as any business street address. With the demand of mobile and online purchasing increasing, your online address should also be carefully considered. The recent introduction of what will be over 700 new top level domains (TLDs) now offers options far past the traditional .com, .org or .net. From business industries, hobbies to professional services and more, the new domains present a large realm of new possibilities now available for business owners when registering their online address. Perhaps the most interesting category of this new domain launch is the geographical domain names. Starting with .UK in June, .London next month and continuing with .Scot and .Wales later this year, individuals will soon have the option to register a regional domain name.
Now that the initial phases have ended and the general public have started applying for their own dotCities domains, it is interesting to know which domains were registered first.
This functionality will be made available soon. Government Representatives must register first and domains must be accepted into the RNL to display data here. Please check back soon!