South African hosting provider and ISP, Diamatrix, is the only customer-facing ISP in the country that is ICANN approved. This means that it’s also the only ISP in the country that now offers users the ability to preregister their generic top level domain (gTLD).
The new domains, which include .africa, .joburg, .durban, and .capetown, will be made available starting in the third quarter of this year, as part of around 1 300 new domains being introduced. When they go live, users will also be able to buy the new gTLDs directly from Domains.co.za, Diamatrix’s portal for buying hosting and domains.
Currently-offered domains include:
Asked whether more of the generic domains will be added, Diamatrix MD Wayne Diamond, said, “At this point in time in South Africa [yes]; there will be other international registrars that will also sell these gTLDs”.
South African consumers are free to buy domains from any international registrar, but Diamatrix offers the convenience of a local host, along with pricing in rands – useful when the currency starts to fluctuate.
Asked whether Domains will offer some of the other 1 300 gTLDs, Diamond confirmed that they’ll be adding those based on popularity. Domains will also offer gTLDs only sold by other registries. For instance, should an American registry have exclusivity for selling the .app or .gay domains, Domains can partner with the American registry to given South Africans a convenient means of purchasing those domains.
As for costs, prepare to pay more when the new domains hit. Diamond predicts that the city-based gTLDs could go for between R200 and R250, far higher than the R75 a .co.za domain commands. Pricing details for the new domains will be released later this year.