.ZA Opens Discussion On Plans to Introduce Second Level Registrations

The .za Domain Name Authority (.ZADNA) has released plans to introduce second level domain names for the South African ccTLD with comments due by 16 April.

The public comment period is open to zaDNA members, za Registry Operators, .za Registrars, South African Internet Community and the South African Public who are invited to submit their comments, feedback and proposals regarding the feasibility of Second Level Registrations in .ZA and the best possible ways of implementing Second Level Registrations. Currently in South Africa’s country code top level domain registrations are only allowed at the third level in second level domains (SLDs) such as ac.za, co.za, gov.za, org.za and net.za.

zaDNA notes that in view of the growing trend wherein most top level domains (TLDs) now offer SLRs, they have for the last few years been inundated with requests for SLRs in .ZA.

Some of the leading .ZA registrars, in particular, have also been vocal in their view that SLRs will enable .ZA to stay competitive against other TLDs, especially ICANN “new” generic top level domains (gTLDs) that offer SLRs.

.zaDNA has taken sufficient time to assess the landscape regarding SLRs and has noted that several country code top level domains (ccTLDs) that traditionally offered third level registrations have now shifted towards accepting SLRs. Some of these ccTLDs include .co (Colombia), .uk, .nz and .ke. In addition, .au (Australia) is also on the verge of introducing SLRs.

zaDNA is of the view that SLRs will help improve registration options in .ZA and are likely to be more attractive than the current third level registrations as SLRs will allow for shorter domain names and URLs. At the least, SLRs are likely to offer sustainable alternatives to the current third level registration model.

In their 35 page Discussion Document, zaDNA explain the pros and cons of SLRs and the implementation options as well as a discussion as to whether foreigners should be allowed to register SLRs.

The Discussion Document is available for download here [pdf].