Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Why Guinea's .GN is amongst the least popular ccTLD Domains

From its dry and dreary webpage that looks more like a Word Document rather than a web page to its technical procedures and stringent conditions for registration of domain names, the domain name of the Western African Republic of Guinea is one of the least populated domains on the world wide web.

Registration in the Guinea country domain, GN, is done via email using a simple ASCII form ,a form that was probably last edited in 2004. Then what follows are set of rules and terms that reminds one of Soviet era bureaucracy. Registrations are sent to one person whom am told also manages the ccTLD for Liberia. He could be doubling as both Administrative and technical contact for the .GN registry.

Users filling the application form for domain names are advised not to modify or reformat the form in any way as the form is processed by scripts. Registrations also must be from organizations "with a real presence in the country and with a demonstrable intent to use the domain name on a regular basis on the internet. I.e. vanity, placemark, ... name registration is not appropriate. For trademark registration, see the trademark office."

Users wishing to acquire .GN domain names have to answer over 12 questions, half of them technical questions that could only be answered DNS service providers or nameserver engineers. In addition, the users have to wait for 10 days for processing. Besides, the instructions are in English for a French Speaking Country!!! For those complaining of delays or poor services, there's a reminder at the bottom that clearly shows you the casual attitude that Randy Bush takes towards the management of the .GN domain name, I will quote it here for the benefit of my readers:

Remember, this is a volunteer service and the
registrars and nameserver engineers have real
 lives too. Read Here
 
 Does it mean that the whole country of Guinea cannot produce nameserver engineers to manage this ccTLD for the benefit of its citizens?

There are many internet organizations and nonprofits committed to solving digital divide issues in Africa who could do a much better job managing the .GN ccTLD!!! Just a simple proposal would revive this national resource that's being taken for granted. I am shocked . It's no surprise therefore that on Google, only 10 websites have .GN extensions, from their names am assuming half of them are government websites, about four of them are parked by Sitelutions probably on behalf os some organizations intending to use those domains. Sitelutions is a leading provider of DNS and hosting services.