ICT Africa Headline News

Kenya Telecommunication Industry Opposes Proposed Changes to ".ke" Domain Management

30 January, 2014
CIO East Africa

Telecoms industry players have taken issue with the manner in which the Kenyan government is proposing to handle the Commission Authority of Kenya's (CAK) transition of KENIC, the body which manages the country's ".ke" domain.

As currently constituted, the Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC) has two guarantor shareholders - the industry lobby Telecommunications Service Providers Association of Kenya (TESPOK) and Communications Authority of Kenya formerly CCK (now CAK).

TESPOK, while lauding the move to have the regulator step down from the board of the domain manager, has said that there is a need to ensure smooth institutional transition and service delivery.

Through the chair Kris Senanu, TESPOK says that the CAK "should not feel that it can proceed to change the operations of KENIC without due consultations," stating that the official proposed structure is currently open for public input and consultations which are expected to close on February 10, 2014.

Senanu adds that at no point in time has the CAK communicated to TESPOK the other partner in this arrangement on the proposal to commercialise ".ke" as reported in the media recently.

"If CAK attempts to take the commercialization approach without due consideration of TESPOK, we will have no choice but put ICANN on notice that any attempt at re-delegation does not have the support of the industry or any of the stakeholders," warned Senanu on behalf of TESPOK, adding: "We have no problem with CAK proposing another government entity to take up the government involvement but will not support commercialization."

Commenting on the issue during the CIO East Africa Year Ahead event today, former PS in the Ministry of Information and Communication Dr Bitange Ndemo said: "I am in support of TESPOK. They are right in fighting the commercialization of the ".ke" domain. It is too early to commercialize the ".ke" domain as there are currently less than 50,0000 domains and this calls for subsidised rates of the domains first. We need to build capacity first to ensure that locals are fed with enough domains."

The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (the ICANN), as part of the administrative functions associated with management of the domain-name system root, is responsible for receiving requests for delegation and re-delegation of top-level domains, investigating the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and reporting on the requests.

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