Durban is on the radar of the California-based global cyberspace authority, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers |(I-CANN). It is set to become the first South African city to get its own top-level internet domain from I-CANN. Durban is also set to host the authority’s first forum in the country. Dubbed the 47th I-CANN Public Meeting, the event takes place at Durban’s International Convention Centre between 14-18 July, following the Africa Domain Name System (DNS) Forum on July 12-13.
The events bring together experts and policy makers in the global internet domain industry.
I-CANN is a co-host of the Africa forum with tech foundation Internet Society and AfTLD.
The ZA Domain Name Authority (Zadna), custodians of “dot-co-dot-za”, announced last week that their application for a top-level domain (TLD) for Durban had passed the initial evaluation phase.
“I-CANN could approve the ‘dot-durban’ domain by September this year. This means that Durban websites could have the suffix ‘dot-durban’ instead of ‘dot-co-dot-za’… This makes it likely that we will see URLs ending with ‘dot-durban’ (.durban) such as ‘tourism.durban’ and ‘police.durban’ by year end,” said the authority’s chairman, Hasmukh Gajjar.
If the future of computing lies in mobile and the fastest growth in mobile uptake will come from poor countries, Africa is where much of the action will be. Kenya, a stable country with an impressive history of investment in communications technology, has emerged as a leader in the region. This month, Nairobi became the third African city after Johannesburg and Casablanca, and the 41st globally, to become home to an IBM “innovation center,” a co-working space with high-end equipment and visiting experts. Last week, GSMA, a mobile operators’ association and standards-setting body, picked Nairobi for its first African office. They add to the growing list of large tech companies establishing a base in the city. Google’s east African headquarters can be found in Nairobi, as can Microsoft’s. IBM has operated a research center in the city since August.
The Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement, is up for a vote in the European Parliament this Wednesday, May 22. TAFTA is a free trade area proposal between the European Union and the United States. It aims to open up trade between the US's NAFTA bloc and the EU bloc (EFTA), boosting overall trade by up to 50 percent. US and EU leaders claim that the trade agreement is vital to lift their respective economic zones out of recession. However, like ACTA, SOPA and PIPA before it, the negotiations, which were held in secret, resulted in more copyright and patent trade regulation—without public stakeholder input. In other words, US and EU citizens can neither see the text of nor vote on TAFTA. Many of the trade agreement's provisions apparently derive from ACTA, Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which was voted down last year in the EUP. Read more: http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/how-a-free-trade-agreement-aims-to-regulate-the-internet#ixzz2U72Lu1N0 Follow us: @motherboard on Twitter | motherboardtv on Facebook
International Data Gateway Licenses were Tuesday issued to Africell, Comium, Gamcel, Gamtel, Qcell, Unique Solutions, and Netpage by the minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure in accordance with Section 7(2) of the Information and Communication Act, CAP 74.03 Laws of The Gambia, 2009. The ceremony, which was held at the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure conference hall in Kanifing, also witnessed the award of licenses to Internet Services Providers (ISP), Unique Solutions and Netpage.
New venture Librii is seeking to set up self-sustaining libraries with internet access in poor and isolated communities. A decade ago, Brewster Kahle, philanthropist and founder of the Internet Archive, created the first digital bookmobile: a complete printing press in the back of a car. With a power source, satellite internet connection, printer and binder, the vehicle and its descendants subsequently printed thousands of public-domain books where they were needed most, such as in rural areas without internet connection, including schools and refugee camps across Africa.
A non-profit technology company based in Kenya has created a wireless Internet router that it says will help people living in places where electricity is spotty and Internet service is unreliable. Founded in early 2008, Ushahidi is known primarily for its open-source software applications, but is now launching its first piece of hardware, called the BRCK. One of the BRCK's designers says the "backup generator for the Internet" was created for anyone looking for reliable Internet use and will be particularly useful in Africa and other underdeveloped places.
66 applications for new top level domain names have been withdrawn as of today. For budgeting purposes, ICANN projects that number will explode to 646 before everything is said and done. The number was disclosed in ICANN’s proposed operating plan and budget for the 2014 financial year, which begins in July 2013. The number is up from a previously budgeted 545 applications withdrawn.
Africa is unique and home to seven of the ten fastest growing economies globally and, from a mobile point of view, exhibits the second fastest growth outside of Asia. Decision makers across ICT businesses on the continent have gathered on the first day of ITNewsAfrica’s Tech Demo Africa 2013 to endorse the message that Africa’s growth will reach a level to rival that of Europe.
South African mobile operator MTN has topped the list as the highest ranked African brand in the prestigious Millward-Brown Brandz Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2013 survey, released today. This year’s listing shows that MTN moved up an impressive nine places to position 79th, with an overall increase in brand value of 23%. MTN debuted at position 88 in the survey last year.
A leading emerging market mobile operator, and one of the world’s largest, MTN is again the only African brand in the 2013 survey. “The Millward-Brown BrandZ Top 100 Global Brands 2013 listing is particularly exciting and timely, as we embark on our new vision to lead the delivery of a bold, new Digital World to our customers,” says Jennifer Forrester, Executive for Group Marketing, MTN.
The dotDurban domain is expected to be launched before the end of the year, after it passed the initial evaluation phase of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The dotDurban Top Level Domain (TLD) project is one of the recent collaboration efforts between the .ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA), ZA Central Registry (ZACR) and the Department of Communications (DOC). Other collaborations include the dotCapeTown and dotJoburg TLDs. Funding comes from ZACR using revenue generated over time from .co.za operations and other investments.
Related news snippets:
"dotDurban domain one step closer"
MyBroadband, 15 May 2013
"Durban's domain name a step closer to reality"
BDLive / Business Day, 16 May 2013
"dotDurban passes first ICANN hurdle"
Bizcommunity, 16 May 2013