Friday, February 3, 2012

Kenyan ccTLD: .CO.KE Two Letter Domains Registration Analysis

A TLD namespace, especially one that has been subdivided into small second level namespaces is so huge that analysis of registration patterns can be quite hectic if done manually, and no TLD registry would like their WHOIS servers being hammered with requests.

Analysing the registration of two letter domains in Kenya's ccTLD namespace, the focus was on .CO.KE as this is the SLD space that accounts for almost 96% of domain registrations in the entire .KE domain namespace.

The namespace, like any other domain namespace that utilizes ASCII character domain names, can accommodate upto 676 possible two letter combinations of domains from to, unless of course KENIC decides to enable IDN domains for French, German and maybe Kikuyu letters which contain diacritics.

 While most of the African languages use Latin characters since Africa does not have a native alphabet(apart from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt), many African languages are written in diacritically marked Latin characters to bring out the unique accents just like French, German, Czech, Polish or Turkish. Some of the African languages with diacritics include Kikuyu in Kenya, Chiwewa in Malawi(Chinyanja), Afrikaans in South Africa, Sotho in Southern Africa, Tshivenda in Zimbabwe and many more in West Africa.

However many Africans who use the internet speak and write very impeccable English, like the Dutch :). So I don't think the question of enabling IDNs is a pressing issue for many African ccTLD registries South of the Sahara. However countries like Ethiopia may need IDN domains as more of its offline population get online.

So for now, since Kenya is not creating IDNs, the number of two letter domains are strictly 676 per SLD namespace. Of course if you include all the SLDs in the .KE namespace which include:
  • - for Companies
  • - for Not-for-Profit-Making Organisations or NGO's
  • - for Network Devices
  • - for Government Entities(Requires Supporting Documents)
  • - for Institutions of Higher Educations.( Requires Supporting Documents)
  • - for Lower and Middle Institutes of Learning. (Requires Supporting Documents)
  • - for Personal names
  • - for Mobile content
  • - for Information
makes a total of 9 SLDs. Excluding and which are highly specialized, we are left with 6 open SLDs which can accommodate 676*6= 4,056 pool of two letter domain names that are available. However, i will concentrate on the crown jewel, the .CO.KE namespace:

 From research, here is how the two letter .CO.KE domains have been utilized/not utilized:

From the pie chart, you can see that a huge number, 564(rep 83.4%) domain names have not yet been registered; some 47(6.95%) two letter domain names including have been registered but do not contain anything, probably defensive registrations or for upcoming projects while some 25 domains have been registered and are mostly parked with Sedo.  Only 8.3% of the two letter domains in the domain zone are being used either as parked domains(on Sedo) or active websites. For more detail on the data, drop me an email.

Next month, I will share some stats on how three letter domain names have been used in the namespace. If you are after two letter domains, the space is wide open for exploration.

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