[AfrICANN-discuss] ICANN to host panel in Nairobi

Mark Elkins mje at posix.co.za
Mon Aug 25 15:20:06 SAST 2014

On Mon, 2014-08-25 at 02:27 -0700, SM wrote:
> Hi Becky,
> At 22:42 24-08-2014, Rebecca Wanjiku wrote:
> >ICANN set to host a panel that doesn't address the issues affecting the region
> I read the following:
>    "First, that IANA website can be a maze."
> Are you referring to the ICANN or IANA web site in that comment?  I 
> went to the web site and I found a link on the main page about the "Root Zone".
>    "It is no contest that when it comes to tech, Africa adopts last.
>     That is why the domain name business is still lagging behind."
> A few months ago, I did a comparison of the domain cost and I found 
> that it was six times cheaper to get a gTLD.  Wouldn't that be a 
> better explanation about why the domain name business is still lagging behind?

Which ccTLD and which gTLD????

Speaking for myself...
I pay R39.90 (Inc 14% VAT) for a co.za and I sell it for R70.00 inc VAT.
Thats via an EPP Interface. If a person comes to me, it takes about 10
minutes to type in the persons details. The registration time is a
simple button push and waiting for the EPP to work - the refresh of a
Second time around - the same person can probably get a domain in 10 or
so seconds (assuming the same details).

Even before EPP, it wasn't much slower. The E-Mail system worked pretty

The current US$ to ZAR conversion rate is about 1 : 10.70 at the moment
- call it about R10 to the US$

To buy a gTLD (.COM), I'm looking at $11 a year (from OpenSRS). That's
before any markup/profit. So South African domains are much cheaper.

So in my opinion, what magic made the South Africa Domain Name business

Low prices: We've always had reasonable pricing. Used to be R200... then
stepped down to R50. The pricing was then split down to R35.00 (+VAT)
for EPP accredited registrars (which cost R5000 - R6000 (or similar) for
accreditation) -and- R75 (inc VAT) for the e-mail based legacy system -
for anyone who has the technical ability to run their own Nameservers.
Low prices can only come with numbers if the fees collected are to pay
for the running of the system. Initially, we had one employee in a half
day job plus my (initially) voluntary time. Today, there are 35 or so
people. I believe a small registry (under 10,000 names) can be run by a
small team - maybe three people. They may not need to be full time.

Automation: COZA has been automated for the best part of the last 20
years. I know, I wrote the (legacy) code. This meant that a good idea
could be turned into a domain in an hour or so. Transfers and updates
took 24 hours. Whether via e-mail or EPP - its been automated -
therefore deterministic. It wasn't difficult.

The Organisation: has only ever spent within its means (ie - look at our
initial employees). The people (I'm one of them) always tried to be fair
and honest with respect to the business. We travelled to ICANN and other
associated meeting to measure ourselves against who we came across and
changed how we worked to better the organisation. We supported our local
industry and community, assisting with funding appropriate conferences,

Policy: This essentially allowed anyone to obtain a domain - whether a
resident or not. The same policy was applied to everyone. We do have our
"strange" rules (nameservers must be operational before the associated
domain is added to the Zone).

Trust & Respect: I believe we have the trust and respect of our
community. That is why we manage almost a million domains, that is,
950000 CO.ZA Domains and other SLD's following... We might not please
everybody, all of the time, but the majority most of the time.

The Magic Mix? - a mix of all the above perhaps?
Mark James ELKINS  -  Posix Systems - (South) Africa
mje at posix.co.za       Tel: +27.128070590  Cell: +27.826010496
For fast, reliable, low cost Internet in ZA: https://ftth.posix.co.za
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