Policy Changes Looming for CO.ZA

Invitation to comment on proposed policy changes for .CO.ZA

August 27, 2012

Invitation to comment on proposed policy changes for .CO.ZA 

UniForum SA t/a the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) manages and administers the .co.za domain name space. Over the past two years the ZACR has taken steps to align its domain name registry operating system to international standards by implementing a registration system that is based on the Extensible Provision Protocol (EPP).

EPP is a modern XML-based protocol used to allocate objects within registries over the Internet. EPP also enhances communication between the domain name registry and registrar communities and makes real-time processing of domain names a reality.

Currently, the EPP system operates in tandem with the legacy SMTP-based domain name system Apart from technology developments arising from scalability concerns, it has become imperative to introduce competitive pricing models as well as changes within the current EPP and legacy operating systems to improve the functionality of the systems and consequently create a robust domain name industry in South Africa.

To this end the ZACR has published a number of proposed policy changes that are applicable to both the EPP and legacy systems. Briefly, the proposed policy changes on the EPP system involve increasing the new registrar accreditation fee that is payable as a once-off non-refundable amount; implementation of a closed registrar redemption process; implementation of an open redemption process which will place a non-redeemed domain name into the available pool for registration by any EPP registrar; and removal of the transfer reimbursement fee currently applicable to participating registrars in a registrar transfer process.

Proposed policy changes on the legacy system include increasing the annual domain registration fee from R50.00 to R75.00 (including VAT); non-delegation of the applied for domain name into the Co.Za zone until such time as receipt of the domain name registration fee is confirmed; implementation of a shortened expiry period of 30 days for new domain name applications; and implementation of a shortened expiry period of 60 days in total from the month on which renewal of a domain becomes due. More details on the proposed policy changes may be found at https://www.registry.net.za/policyrollout/#notification.

Stakeholders, including but not limited to registrars, businesses and the general public are urged to take note of these proposed changed and are also invited and encouraged to engage with the ZACR on the proposed changes by either recording their written submissions/comments using the prescribed template that can be found at https://www.registry.net.za/policyrollout/, and/or attending iWeek between the 10-14 September 2012 (annual meeting of stakeholders involved in the internet industry) where these policy changes will be discussed in greater detail.

Further details on where and when this session will take place may be found at http://www.iweek.org.za/iweek-2012-programme/. Participants are also encouraged to follow the policy roll-out process on Twitter: @ZA_CR. Note that written comments must be submitted on or before 21 September 2012.