The Top Level Domain ecosystem has gone through many changes and challenges during the past 20 years. Local community support, relations with the governmental authorities, management of the IANA service by ICANN including the delegation and re-delegation processes, de-regulating internal policies and procedures to allow registrations from registrants based not only in the ccTLD country, security concerns and the solution to respond to most of them by implementing the DNSSEC protocol, , alternative dispute resolution processes, multilingualism and the introduction of the ICANN IDN ccTLD Fast Track: Those as well as many others are the topics which characterized the life of the TLDs in the past years. Most of the ccTLDs operators have matured and grown. They have reached stakeholder consensus at multiple levels and improved the dialogue both with ICANN and also with other international bodies and organizations which over the years have started to get involved in the internet management. They have found great channels to profile themselves and to share industry best practices.
But what is next? What are the challenges of the years to come? How can developing regions benefit from the lessons learned? How will TLDs cope with new internet forces and scenarios like the new gTLD round ICANN is about to launch, the social networks, the security issues and at the same time the scarce end-user awareness of the attacks that may impact the domain world, the role of governments when internet is perceived as a threat and, on the other hand, the usefulness of the network when contingencies arise? Which developments and opportunities should African ccTLDs prepare for?
The workshop aims to present several TLD approaches to the next decade changes and challenges to point out the variety of the ccTLD scenario. At the same time, it will highlight that sharing industry best practices – mainly via the ccTLD regional organizations and dedicated TLD sites – is a key factor in determining the further development of TLDs from emerging countries.
The five presenters were Hiro Hotta (JPRS), “.jp registry experience on recent distaster", Paulos Nyirenda "The African TLD community challenges", Soulemayne Oumtanga (NIC.CI) (Capacity Building at work: Collège International), Richard Allan (Facebook) "The social networks and the TLD development" and Carolina Aguerre on behalf of LACTLD "Trends and challenges in the ccTLD ecosystem in LAC".
The structure and workshop coordination was managed by Emily Taylor (independent consultant for ccTLD and gTLD).
The main discussion topics were centered round the new TLDs and African regulation of ccTLD. The backdrop was Africa’s imminent new TLD .africa and the organizations involved in its launch.
Carolina provided the audience with an overview of the evolution in the uptake of social networks and ccTLDs across the LAC region. She also refelcted on the impact of future new gTLDs on the current domain name system.
Richard Allan’s (Facebook) presentation addressed the generation of synergies between social network platforms and users’ websites. His main point was that he did not see competition between domain names and social networks when it comes to addressing and naming. According to Richard, they are complementary as social networks are more agregators of content that is available in ccTLD and gTLD webspace.
Hiro shared the lessons learned by the operator of the Japanese .JP domain in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. His detailed account of the practical impact on daily operations has turned into a practical guide for other registries to verify their own resillience and security measures.
Paulos addressed the challenges of the african internet community and how .AFRICA could address these.
Souleymane gave us an overview of the Collège International, the capacity building initiative from AFNIC and how it contributed to building a stronger ccTLD network across Africa.
The workshop was well attended (60) and interaction was good. Main discussion focussed on new gTLDs (.AFRICA in particular), the impact of Facebook on ccTLDs and (to a lesser extent) how to handle domains that infringed third parties rights.