Sunday, September 11, 2011

Registering .NA Namibian Domain Names: Trouble Brewing in .NA namespace

The Nambian ccTLD namespace is one of the better functioning ccTLDs in Africa in terms of technical operations however, the administration of the namespace leaves much to be desired.  The Omadhina Internet Services (cc) runs the co.na Namibian domain registry. They are the sole source of Namibian domains. Namibian domains are sponsored by Namibian Network Information Centre (cc) (NA-NiC).Namibian domains are intended for Entities connected with Namibia.

Registry/Registrar Separation has been implemented in the .NA namespace whereby Namibian and Foreign Registrars have been accredited to register .NA Domains. The Registry supports a Web/GUI interface and EPP.

Registrations are taken at the second level and at the third level beneath various second-level labels.

The .NA ccTLD is run by Gynecologist
Controversy has surruonded the .NA ccTLD for many years on the management of the .NA ccTLD registry, currently managed privately by three individuals on a profit basis. In Namibia, Dr Eberhard Lisse(a gynaecologist), Dr Bennet Fuller and a third partner allegedly control the .na domain through their own close corporation for private profit.

 The extent of this control  can be seen on Dr. Lisse' website lisse.na where he explicitly states:  "Sending business or DNS related communications to my private or practice email or fax may be considered SPAM, and may inter alia result in suspension of services, and/or legal action. By sending a business or DNS related fax to my private or practice fax number you agree to the payment of a nuisance fee, in the amounts of 500 NAD for Namibian orginators, and 500 Euro for foreign originators."


He will suspend domain services to clients or charge them "nuisance fees" of up to 500 EUR if they contact him via private mail. The Namibian internet Community want a broad-based management for their ccTLD resources based on a non-profit like in many countries. I can feel a redelegation battle brewing here.

Reports Balancingact-africa, "In the early days of the Internet in Namibia, Dr Lisse apparently saw a gap in the market and registered the .na domain in his own name. He is a gynaecologist by profession, but became interested in the Internet at its dawn and has since acquired considerable expertise in the field. The partners run the domain through the private company Ondis Internet Services cc., with information on the company available at www.ondis.co.na. Some industry sources however complain that the manner in which Ondis runs the domain has reduced the appeal of the .na domain for both service providers and the Namibian public. Sources New Era spoke to complained about the allegedly comparatively high cost of registering a site on Namibia's top-level domain. "

Dr Lisse and Partners run Omadhina Internet Services which runs the Namibian ccTLD registry. The partners also own Ondis Internet Services which is a NA-NIC accredited registrar providing registration of .na domain names.

.NA Domain Name Registration Fees for Namibians
.com.na (Commercial Sites, more popular)   $120
.org.na (Organizations, NGO's)                           $120
.co.na (Commercial, alternate commercial)  $165
.na (ccTLD)  (Pricing updated at NA-NIC registry level on 25 March 2011) $590

Domain Registration Fees for Foreigners
.com.na     $1164
.org.na       $1164
.co.na         $162
.na              $7000

.NA must be the most expensive domain name for a foreign registrant, the crowning glory of ccTLD Domain names. I am yet to find a hand registered domain name that costs $7000!!

Some of the .NA Accredited Domain Name Registrars Include the following:
IN.NA
INFO.NA                                   Email talktous[at]info.na
NAMIBIA DNS
NAMIWEB
NOMINATE

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