The second in a series of workshops designed to share industry knowledge on domain names is being held this week. The workshops are part of ICANN’s DNS Entrepreneurial Center (DNS-EC) initiative created to support the DNS ecosystem in Africa and the Middle East.
While the Internet’s namespace is being transformed by a wealth of innovative new gTLDs, most investment and initiatives have so far come from developed countries. Helping developing countries benefit from this, the greatest expansion of the domain name system since the Internet was created, is a core objective of DNS-EC.
First port of call in this latest series of workshops was Tunisia. Hosted in partnership with the Tunisian Internet Agency ATI, the manager of the country’s ccTLD, the 2-day workshop focussed on strategic analysis of a TLD’s strengths and weaknesses through TOWS (Threats, Opportunities, Weaknesses and Strengths) matrices.
Working in partnership with ICANN, Thomas Barrett (EnCirca registrar) and Stéphane Van Gelder (StartingDot registry) served as the instructors for the workshops, guiding participants through a practical TOWS analysis by using the new gTLD .bio and the ccTLD .tn as examples.
Tunisia has over 28,000 domain names registered in its national space. Having first used second level domains like .com.tn, the country opened its top level .tn to registrants a couple of years ago. The top level is now by far the most popular, with over 18,000 registrations, or more than 64% market share.
Workshop participants discussed issues such as price, user awareness (of both the national suffix and new gTLDs), rules and contractual challenges as they used the SWOT-based TOWS system to determine how best to develop .tn for the country and the local community.
Straight after Tunisia, the DNS-EC workshop team left for Doha, Qatar, for a second training session being organised in partnership with the country’s Communication Regulatory Authority, regulatory body in charge of the .qa ccTLD.
In total, over 50 participants including registries, registrars and ISPs registered for these two sessions.