[AFRI-Discuss] ICANN DNS Study
khaled.koubaa at gmail.com
Fri Sep 9 15:01:17 UTC 2016
I highly encourage all of you to take part of this survey.
Please share it widely through your networks to make sure we have better
image of the DNS industry in our continent.
Twitter : @koubaak <https://twitter.com/koubaak>
LinkedIn : http://lnked.in/kkoubaa
Assessing domain name management systems in Africa: Take part in the survey!
Southern African Communications Forum
An in-depth study of the DNS ecosystem in Africa has been commissioned
by ICANN, and the project implementation team, led by the Southern
African Communications Forum (SACF), is appealing to the technical
community in Africa to make the study a success by completing the online
survey at http://dnsafrica.study. The study aims to identify the
strengths and weaknesses in the domain name system (DNS) in every
country in Africa, and will develop recommendations on how to advance
the industry and bring it closer to the opportunities available. To
support the project, the SACF has assembled a team with deep experience
of the African internet environment, including a number of members of
the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), as well as Mark
Elkins, who initially operated the successful .co.za domain, and William
Stucke, who has been involved in the South African internet industry
since its inception.
What is this study for?
The study aims to verify the commonly held assumption that there are
about 1.5 million domain names registered under the 58 African top-level
domains (TLDs), and will unpack this figure to gain a clearer picture of
the distribution of domain registrations around the continent. African
countries have had widely varying degrees of success in selling their
own domains to their citizens and others, many of whom are also
registering under the generic domains (gTLDs) such as .com and .org.
ICANN believes that an opportunity exists to boost the domain name
industry in Africa, to the benefit of all role players in the industry,
as well as the citizens and governments of African countries.
What is the study’s scope?
The DNS study will entail:
1. Conducting a survey to gather relevant information about the African
DNS market. In the case of country code top-level domains (ccTLDs),
collected information includes governance models and registry models.
This is the main body of work – to encourage as many people as possible
from the different stakeholder groups to answer the questionnaire.
2. Developing a regional and country-based breakdown of domain name
registrations, including ccTLD versus gTLD registrations, and
registrations by businesses, governments, non-governmental entities,
research and academic institutions, individuals, etc. The proportion of
active domains will also be assessed.
3. Looking at the type of content hosted by the domains and the share of
the sites that offer e-commerce services. Identifying whether this
content is hosted within the country or outside will also be an
important part of the assessment.
4. Measuring the growth rate of domain name registrations in the past
five years, including internationalized domain names (IDNs), and looking
at the current market of local registrars and resellers for ccTLDs and
5. Where possible, looking at the current market of global registrars
and resellers for African ccTLDs and gTLDs. This will include the user
experience at local registrars and resellers (e.g. support for local
languages, payment gateways, IDN support, and level of automation).
Other issues that will be taken note of include: the factors that are
holding back take-up of domain names (e.g. awareness, infrastructure,
policy and/or regulation, payment gateway); the current understanding of
the concept of premium domain names and how to develop this market; the
best practices that have made an impact in domain name market growth,
including those related to business models, regulatory and governance
mechanisms, consumer awareness, among others; the broader ecosystem of
the internet infrastructure and online services and the impact of such
elements on the overall evolution of the domain name industry; and
mechanisms to increase African participation in ICANN activities. The
study will also provide information on how to set up a DNS observatory
Online survey tools and your participation
The team has developed an online survey tool for each stakeholder type
in four languages: English, French, Arabic and Portuguese. In addition,
a DNS Zone File Analysis Tool has been developed that is able to analyse
a DNS zone file and return details on the number of active websites in
the zone, where they are hosted and what languages they use.
The main effort currently is to encourage the different role players to
complete the survey, as well as to request the relevant agencies to make
zone files available for analysis.
The six key role players that the study is focusing on are:
Registries: A registry is an organisation operating a database
containing domain name details, typically the designated operator of the
ccTLD (which is accredited by ICANN) and second level and perhaps lower
level domains for that country. These may be operated by the same or
Registrars: Organisations that register domain names on behalf of
others, often officially accredited by a registry.
Resellers: Organisations who register domain names on behalf of
registrars or registries.
Registrants: People or companies with a domain name registered in
their own name.
Regulators: Those who have a legally mandated role to play in
determining the policy and rules around domain name registration.
IXP managers: Those who manage one or more internet exchange points
in a country. These are a useful contact point for finding out important
data, including contact details of all those above.
The survey tool is available for anyone who is involved in the DNS
industry or has registered a domain name.
The team is hoping that this blog post will encourage readers to fill in
the relevant questionnaire. Having recruited a respondent, the
responsible team members will follow up and help ensure that the
respondent completes the relevant questionnaires. All respondents will
be provided with access to the final report.
The team carrying out the study calls for your assistance to make this
initiative a success, in order to improve domain name management in Africa.
To participate in the survey, go to https://dnsafrica.study/
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