After years of legal battles, the domain name .Africa will be available to the general public to apply for domain names from 4 July according to reports by News24.
Worldwide web administrator, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), awarded the .Africa domain to South Africa’s ZA Central Registry in 2014 after a bidding process. The move to implement the domain name was blocked when the only other bidder for the name, DotConnectedAfrica (DCA), challenged ICANN’s decision in a US Court according to The Register.
This resulted in delays which finally came to an end in December after the DCA lost a second motion in a Californian court for a preliminary injunction to stop ICANN’s delegation of the domain name to ZACR, this ended the legal process.
This will see the registration of new domain names such as “itnewsafrica.africa” available in the not so distant future.
There will be three phases in the launch of the domain; sunrise, landrush and general. The ‘sunrise’ phase will see intellectual property rights holders applying for their respective names. ‘Landrush’ applications follow and are usually for premium or sought-after domain names.
“All attempts to stall the public availability of the .africa gTLD have failed and it’s now time to create the next chapter in the .africa story,” said ZACR CEO Masilela.
The move from ZACR comes after opening up city domain names .capetown, .joburg and .durban to the public in late 2014, the .Africa domain is the next step in the ZACR evolution.