The May 2014 commercial launch of the .africa top-level domain is now a certainty after the final outstanding paperwork was signed at the 49th meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (Icann) in Singapore this week, the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) said.
The registry agreement was signed by representatives from Icann and ZACR. The ZACR and African Union Commission are partners in launching the top-level domain.
The agreement outlines the contractual terms according to which the ZACR will launch and administer .africa, starting as early as May this year. The drive to establish Africa’s own space on the World Wide Web began many years ago, but officially commenced with the submission of a formal application in February 2012. The Singapore agreement signals the morphing of the technical launch phase into a commercial launch phase.
From May, the first .africa domains will become available for application during the initial “sunrise” and “land rush” phases. The former will seek to ensure that domain names are made available to applicants who have corresponding trade mark rights, while the latter will see generic premium domain names being made available to the public. — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media