Registering domain names in a country code top level domain often has benefits to that country’s local internet community. In the case of Canada’s ccTLD, Byron Holland, President and CEO of CIRA who manages .ca, recently explained how in a post on the company blog.
In his post, Holland explains how “CIRA invests its resources into our aspirational goal of building a better online Canada. In fact, we believe so much in this goal that we've invested C$6 million (US$4.64m) dollars over the last five years toward this goal, outside of the investment in our core mandate of bringing .CA to more Canadians and operating a safe, secure and trusted top level domain.”
CIRA is not alone as, writes Holland, “many of our ccTLD peers contribute to the internet ecosystem as well. While each organisation's program is a little bit different, the intent is the same: to invest in a purpose greater than profit with a return on investment that benefits the communities we serve.”
“With the exception of a handful of gTLDs, you won't find this from our more profit-driven peers.”
Holland writes of several examples how the revenue is funnelled back into the Canadian internet community. These include:
- investing in internet exchange points (IXPs) that provide greater resiliency, data sovereignty and a higher-performing internet in our country
- through a Community Investment Program providing $5.45 million over five years to 130 projects grants to organisations across Canada working on the frontlines of the internet including one underway now through an organisation called Compucorps that will work with Indigenous women to increase their knowledge of website building and online branding to help them engage more in e-commerce
- developing and investing in innovative products and services that secure the internet for its users, including cybersecurity services (D-Zone suite of products) that keep Canadian schoolchildren safe and add layers of protection to critical healthcare and municipal infrastructure
- encouraging Canadians to learn more about their internet by testing its speed and performance through CIRA's Internet Performance Test
funding, organising and participating in events and forums in Canada and globally where important topics are discussed, which influence internet policy, including an upcoming Canadian Internet Forum, a multistakeholder event being organised for early 2019.
But the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, or CIRA, isn’t alone. There are numerous examples of ccTLDs around the world investing in their local communities and Holland writes of 4:
- Sweden : The Internet Foundation in Sweden, IIS invests funds to improve the stability of internet infrastructure in Sweden and to promote internet-focused research, training and education.
- Brazil: The Brazilian Internet Steering Committee – a multi-sectoral configuration of 21 members from civil society, the government, the business sector and the academic community – guides the healthy growth of the network in Brazil.
- The Netherlands: SIDN not only operates .nl, it also provides funding support to ideas and projects that aim to make the internet stronger or that use the internet in innovative ways.
- United Kingdom: Nominet funded a granting program for 10 years under the name Nominet Trust. In 2017, that fund began independent operation as the Social Tech Trust and Nominet is now focusing funding on connection, inclusivity and security.
The full post from Byron Holland, President and CEO of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), with more detail is available from the CIRA blog here.