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SA Net domain closer to re-delegation

Paul Vecchiatto
By Paul Vecchiatto
Cape Town, 29 Oct 2004

The .za Domain Name Authority is hoping the re-delegation of responsibility for SA`s Internet domain will be a done deal at the upcoming Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) meeting.

The Department of Communications said yesterday that the .za Domain Name Authority is applying to ICANN. It has also called for more public comment on the issue.

Mike Silber, .za Domain Name Authority board member, says the application for re-delegation was made in terms of the Electronic Communications and Transaction Act that was passed two years ago.

"It has been a lengthy process and the current .za domain name administrator, Mike Lawrie, has been behind the process all the way," he says.

The communications department says Lawrie served on the selection panel, which recommended the board of directors of the .za Domain Name Authority, and serves on the authority`s technical committee and remains a vital and important contributor to the authority on technical and policy matters.

The .za Domain Name Authority believes its re-delegation application enjoys the support of the local community, says the department.

In December, ICANN is also expected to approve the establishment of Africa`s own regional Internet domain name registrar - AfriNIC.

This is a separate issue to the .za domain name, but reflects the move by regions and countries to have some control over their own country code top-level domain names, many of which are controlled by foreign private organisations.

Silber says there was some nervousness about the government`s role in the .za Domain Name Authority, but a public/private partnership model is slowly emerging.

"This is a model that may well work in other countries too," he says.

The .za Domain Name Authority only administers those Internet addresses that end with .za, such as .co.za and .org.za. Other variations, such as za.com, are administered by other Internet registration organisations such as CentralNIC.

ICANN`s next meeting will take place in Cape Town in December and it is hoped the re-delegation request will be finalised before the meeting.

Comment on the impending re-delegation can be sent to delegation@zadna.org.za.