After five years the ZA Central Registry will finally begin delegating .africa top level domains on 4th April.
At the weekend a Californian judge told the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that it can proceed with delegation of the generic Top Level Domain (gTLD).
The body had previously awarded ZACR the rights to distribute the gTLD but DotConnectAfrica Trust challenged this decision.
.Africa gTLD’s will be distributed through Registry Africa, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ZACR. Distribution will tentatively start on 4th April with a Sunrise and Landrush phase.
The Sunrise phase will be open to intellectual property rights holders such as MTN who will be able to apply for MTN.africa for instance.
The Landrush phase will see premium name applicants able to apply for .africa domains. These two phases should help prevent domain squatters from getting google.africa for example.
For the rest of the world applications for .africa domains should commence on 4th July.
“All attempts to stall the public availability of the .Africa geographic Top Level Domain have failed and it’s now time to create the next chapter in the .Africa story,” ZACR chief executive officer Lucky Masilela said in a statement.
As you might have guessed we are terribly excited about this. As our editor-in-chief Adam Oxford has mentioned previously we have a vested interest in this story, especially since we thought our URL would be htxt.africa by now.
While it’s unlikely, we hope that the process can now move forward without any more hitches. Can you tell we really want this domain?
While the registration process is set to begin in April ZACR has told us that it is likely we will only start seeing .africa domains in the public realm from 4th July should the process go ahead unabated.
[Image – CC BY 2.0 Nicolas Raymond]