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Now South Africa looks to second-level domain sales

Kevin Murphy, March 13, 2018, 11:35:30 (UTC), Domain Registries

South Africa looks to be the next country to start letting people register domains directly at the second level of its ccTLD.

Local registry authority ZADNA this week opened a policy consultation on allowing registrants access to direct, second-level .za names.

Currently, if you want a .za you have to register at the third level under the likes of .co.za or .net.za.

But ZADNA says second-level names will help it continue to compete in a market now populated by hundreds of new gTLDs.

The company said it has been “inundated” by calls for such a move.

The policy shift would see South Africa follow the the path beaten in recent years by UK, New Zealand, Kenya and (probably) Australia, which have all changed policy to allow second-level names.

But these things are never without controversy.

Domain investors are typically resistant to such moves, fearing dilution and the possible devaluing of their portfolios.

There are often also intellectual property concerns, and concerns about priority “grandfathering” rights when matching .co.za and .org.za names, for example, have different owners.

ZADNA is floating the possibility of auctions to resolve these kinds of conflicts.

The proposal (pdf) is open for comment until April 16.

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Comments (9)

  1. I thought Nominet handle the “grandfathering” issue pretty responsibly – so probably a good model to start from.

  2. Snoopy says:

    “The company said it has been “inundated” by calls for such a move.”

    LOL Were the calls from registrars?

  3. Eric Lyon says:

    This should be interesting. Does .za have enough top-level registrations to justify second levels?

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