Web.za is back, back again

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If you’ve ever had your heart set on the perfect .co.za domain name for your new website only to have your heart broken by someone who managed to nab it first for their holiday lodge or flower shop then this news is for you. The ZA Central Registry (ZACR) has been given the go ahead by the ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) to relaunch the second level domain web.za for those who prefer it to a co.za or org.za and so on.

Although it was launched in the early 2000s, it has been locked down when it comes to accepting new applications for domain names for the last decade.

Writing in a press announcement about the refreshed domain, ZADNA CEO Vika Mpisane said that: “The re-launch of web.za has been in the pipeline for a while, and that is why ZADNA ran a public consultation over web.za’s charter to determine how the local community saw web.za fit in relation to the other second level domains. The feedback from the public consultation showed that there was strong support behind re-launching web.za as an unrestricted domain along the same lines as co.za. Accordingly, parties interested in web.za need not satisfy any eligibility requirements.”

Before you get too excited and rush off to the nearest purveyor of internet landscape expecting to see the web.za domains for sale there is still some admin required from the ZACR before commercial availability is opened to the public.

Starting on the 1st of May the first sunrise phase will allow those with trademarks to reserve their corresponding domain names first. Following the sunrise phase will be a land rush phase that will allow for applications on domain names that are considered premium, something like www.cellphones.web.za for instance.

Following yet another sunrise and land rush phase all of the remaining web.za domains will become available on a first-come-first-served basis which the ZACR anticipates will take place some time around August to September 2014.

The availability of the web.za domains will give South Africans, and in particular South African companies, another conundrum when registering domains as the trio of .joburg, .capetown and .durban gTLDs will mean five possible choices when registering domains. Large companies who will want to own their trademarks will shortly be in for a five-fold increase in the amount of administration and fees that they will have to fork out to be in control of their web identities.

These completely new domains – and .africa too – will no doubt be in much higher demand when similar sunrise periods kick off soon.

[Image: Shutterstock]

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