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Latest update: dotAfrica Launch Plan approved, Sunrise Phase commences on 4 April, 2017

dotJoburg, dotCapeTown, dotDurban pricing

From today, 4 November 2014, any individual or organisation may register a .joburg (‘dotJoburg’), .capetown (‘dotCapeTown’) or .durban (‘dotDurban) city Top-Level Domain (cTLD) on a first-come, first served basis.

South African city domain names now open to the public

Starting today, companies have an opportunity to gain effective branding by having a domain of the city their business is based in. This of course is a lot more effective for companies that are based in local cities and not so much for national and international companies. The ZA Central Registry (ZACR) has opened the three new domains to registration by the general public. The domains are .joburg, .durban or .capetown. Registration of names begins today 4 November 2014. Applicants are required to follow the usual process where applicants register names through their chosen accredited registrars or resellers, the ZACR said in a statement. The ZACR also operates the .co.za, .web.za, .org.za, .net.za domains.

THE ICANN NEW gTLD LANDRUSH, PREPARING FOR THE NEXT APPLICATION WINDOW

ICANN recently published a report titled “New gTLD Program Reviews and Assessments Draft Work Plan” (dated 22 September 2014), which describes the community activities currently underway to review the outcomes of the first gTLD application round and to consider the opening of subsequent application rounds. The activities and processes described in the Work Plan are intended to ensure that the next application round can take place with the added benefits of experience gained in the first round.

New methods to protect trade marks in cyber space

The internet as we know it has undergone a remarkable change in the past year as a result of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN's) introduction of over a thousand new generic top level domain names (gTLDs). These changes have led to new methods of protecting trade marks in cyber space. The terms 'new gTLds', 'trade mark clearinghouse', 'MVS', and 'sunrise periods' have become the new buzz words. But what does it all mean and how does it affect the way we protect trade marks in cyber space? This article attempts to shed some light on the new methods of protecting and enforcing trade marks after the launch of the new gTLDs.

SA domain names: co.za vs web.za, net.za, org.za

There are currently 969,190 registered domain names ending in .za, South Africa’s designation in cyberspace, and the country is set to reach the one million mark in the first quarter of 2015. This is according to Lucky Masilela, CEO of the ZA Central Registry (ZACR). Of the 969,190 .za domains, co.za accounts for 942,755 of them, while web.za, net.za, and org.za accounted for the rest.

Going global: geographic gTLDs prepare for take-off

Last week the ‘.hamburg’ string hit general availability and quickly burst into the top-25 list of new gTLDs in terms of registration numbers. In many respects, geographic strings have a competitive edge over generic strings and – with 11 currently in sunrise – we will soon be able to better assess their true impact. As we wrote previously, in terms of their ability to tap into a defined community, and also leverage local political support, geographic strings have a head start when compared to generics and therefore have an important role to play in terms of encouraging wider awareness and adoption of the gTLD programme.

The Expanding Number of Domain Names Has Benefits From .App to .Zone

The Internet is the first place a typical user will go for information about your company or organization. Not having a website for your brand is basically akin to not existing. Deciding where to set up shop online is an important step toward establishing a legitimate brand and effectively getting the word out about what you offer.

First ever co.za domain names in South Africa

On 4 June 1992 Alan Burett created the co.za zone, making it possible for people to register co.za domain names. The first ever co.za domain name registered was maybe not what many people expected – it was bksinc.co.za, registered on 25 June 1992.

SA’s biggest free Wi-Fi city

The City of Tshwane says it will lay claim to being the largest provider of free Wi-Fi in South Africa. Tshwane executive mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa will on Wednesday (30 July) announce the launch of the second phase of the city’s free Wi-Fi rollout. Phase two will deploy a capacity for one million users in public spaces around 213 schools in Soshanguve, Mamelodi and Atteridgeville, making Tshwane the largest provider of free Wi-Fi in South Africa, the city government said. Ramokgopa announced in the 2014/15 budget speech that that provision of free Wi-Fi has become a new municipal basic service, with R150 million allocated towards the roll out of additional free Wi-Fi sites. “This unprecedented intervention will juxtapose Tshwane as an e-capital of excellence and a driver of education in the country aligned to the creation of a smart city and a knowledge economy,” said Ramokgopa.

Another 213 free Wi-Fi zones for Tshwane

213 free Wi-Fi internet zones have been rolled out at schools in South Africa’s City of Tshwane (which encapsulates Pretoria), north of Johannesburg. The roll-out forms part of phase two of the city’s free Wi-Fi roll-out. Non-profit Project Isizwe has partnered with the city to help it activate the networks across all phases of the project. Last year, Project Isizwe helped the City of Tshwane activate free Wi-Fi in locations such as Church Square in the central business district (CBD), the University of Pretoria (UP) in Hatfield and a community centre in the township of Mamelodi. And phase two of the project sees the roll-out at schools in Mamelodi, Atteridgeville and Soshanguve.

Inside Africa’s biggest internet exchange

Just over a week ago, Johannesburg-based Teraco announced that it had hit an African record: thanks to some new contracts it had signed over the last few months, it said that peak traffic through its NAPAfrica internet exchange – the open peering node where different networks can interconnect – had hit a whopping 15Gbps. Even more impressive is the fact that NAPAfrica is only two years old. And Teraco itself dates back just six years. To put its achievement in some perspective, the 18-year-old Johannesburg Internet Exchange – the Rosebank-based previous holder of the title since – generally hits around 10Gbps or more peak traffic.

Top 20 African tech startups, PesaPal, mobile services providers in the lead

Africa today is said to be a mobile continent, according to CNN. As such, a lot of innovative startups concentrate on developing innovative products and systems for mobile applications. Although most of the startups in the continent had humble beginnings, there is a possibility that they will make big outside Africa. Recently, Forbes Africa released its list of the top 20 tech startups in the African nation. All twenty startups have reportedly passed specific standards to get included in the list: operational for less than a decade, has huge social media,presence, provides products and services that serves as solutions to the country's socio-economic and communication problems, and should be Pan-Africa in terms of providing services and scope.

OpenWeb: Broadband is a right not a privilege

In line with the broader vision of the National Development Plan (NDP), the 2020 Vision for broadband is that all South Africans will have access to broadband services at 2.5 percent or less of the population’s average monthly income. Is this a merely another fantasy or is Government serious about achieving its vision? OpenWeb CEO Keoma Wright says: “it is no longer a privilege but a right to have access to fast Internet. The Internet has become a basic commodity and broadband plays a crucial role in economic growth, development and job creation.” Broadband is an enabling infrastructure for building the knowledge economy and information society and for accelerating the socio-economic growth and development of South Africa. The broadband policy aims at ensuring universal access to reliable, affordable and secure broadband infrastructure and services by 2020 and stimulates sustainable uptake and usage of ICTs.

What South Africa’s mobile Internet actually looks like

Millions of people in South Africa access the Internet using their smartphones every day – visiting websites, downloading apps, and streaming online videos. To accommodate the growing demand for mobile data, Vodacom, MTN, Cell C, and Telkom Mobile are investing billions of rands in their networks. These cellular networks consist of various components, including a radio access network, transmission network, national fibre network, and international submarine cables. These networks are basically a collection of antennas, cables, routers, switches, servers, and buildings – a far cry from a sexy smartphone with rounded buttons and brushed aluminium. This is the stuff that gets techies excited. The nuts and bolts of the Internet which only skilled, technical people can work on. MyBroadband created an infographic to shed light on what the infrastructure behind South Africa’s mobile Internet looks like.

Broadband statistics for 2014

The Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services (DTPS) has stated that it is committed to focusing on the development of broadband in SA. Siyabonga Cwele, DTPS minister stated that the department agreed with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) with regards to its focus on the importance of broadband as an economic enabler. In order to bring ICTs into the hands of ordinary people, the ITU believes that it is important to measure the information society, identify gaps and track progress. ICT statistics for 2014 according to the ITU include

Wi-Fi paving the way for e-Learning

According to research conducted by Ambient Insight, South Africa is said to be one of the most dynamic e-Learning markets in Africa, where over the last two years, many countries across Africa have embarked on new initiatives to integrate learning technology into education and training. However, as the growth increases, the technology infrastructure has become key in order to lay the foundational platform for e-Learning and access. And as a result, the traditional education model is changing. This will be demonstrated at the African EduWeek, which will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, from 9 – 11 July 2014. This year the conference will be exploring strategies from pan-African governments and universities on the roll out and implementation of literacy and numeracy programmes, e-learning and the shortage of qualified teachers in Africa.

Pretoria hospital becomes first in Africa to offer free WiFi

The Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria has become the first tertiary healthcare institution in Africa to offer free WiFi. The service was officially launched yesterday, the result of a partnership between the Gauteng Department of Health and Nano Solutions and Technologies (Nano S&T). It will not only allow patients and visitors to access WiFi, but also help medical practitioners get faster access to patient’s test results from the National Health Laboratory services. The Steve Biko Academic Hospital’s emergency area, two coffee shops, pharmacy, waiting and registration facility and main boardroom will be the first areas to be marked as WiFi hotspots in the initial roll-out. Founder of Nano S&T, Sharon Tshabalala, said that the only restrictions to access will only be placed on pornographic sites.

South Africa’s high speed broadband shocker

Akamai has released its Q1 2014 State of the Internet report, which shows that South Africa is only one of two countries globally to see high speed broadband adoption rates decline year-on-year. The report further found that South Africa was only one of four countries globally which had high speed broadband adoption rates below 10%. Akamai’s State of the Internet report is based on data gathered from the company’s “Intelligent Platform”, and provides insights into global connectivity and Internet metrics. This report showed that South Africa performed dismally when looking at broadband speeds, broadband adoption rates, and mobile broadband speeds.

LAUNCH OF .AFRICA, .CAPETOWN, .JOBURG AND .DURBAN

In and amongst the launch of hundreds of domain names which have revolutionised the way we use the internet, the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) will be launching our very own, home grown .africa, .capetown, .joburg and .durban domain extensions. The capetown, .joburg and .durban domain extensions are set to launch on 1 July 2014. The launch of the .africa domain extension has been suspended by ICANN due to an on-going Independent Review Process (IRP) and there is no indication yet as to when it will be launched.

ICANN frustrated with delay in approval of .africa TLD

Approval of .africa bogged down in bureaucracy

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has expressed frustration with the Independent Review Panel for the new generic Top Level Domains, after African Union Commission complaints of delays in approving the .africa TLD and marginalization of the region's concerns.

Earlier this month, the African Union wrote a letter to ICANN president Fadi Chehade, asking why the .africa TLD had not been given a go-ahead to commence operations despite complying with ICANN requirements and signing a contract with the organization this year. The IRP process was put in place to resolve disputes with new gTLD applicants unhappy with ICANN's decisions.

"It is becoming increasingly difficult for the African Union Commission to explain to not only its member states but also other African stakeholders, why the dot Africa application has become so challenging for ICANN to expedite despite the various statements made towards the need to support developing regions," said Elham Ibrahim, the commissioner in charge of infrastructure and energy at the AU.

Management of the .africa TLD has been hotly contested between South Africa's ZA Central Registry (ZACR), which is backed by the AU, and the DCA Trust organization. The ZACR bid was approved and contracts signed, but Dot Connect Africa filed an objection with the IRP, forcing .africa launch operations to be halted.