My first task was not very simple — deciding which meetings to skip! The problem here is not where to be, and when, because there are too many things going on around the WSIS. And maybe that is only descriptive of the Information Society itself. Combing through special leaflets (announcing meetings) and the civil society draft (of meeting plans — really helpful!), I was able to come up with a “Personal WSIS Timetable” along my lines of interest and work — at the Lagos Digital Village, PIN, AYIN, NYIN and more…
The first meeting (having only arrived and fully registered at 12 noon on Monday, September 26) was the Workshop on Country Code TLDs that held from 1300 in Hall 9. Emily Taylor led the .uk (driven by Nominet.uk) discussion, and highlighted major issues as the Root/IANA services; competitive environment; business and technical continuity; and industry self-regultion. Nominet has an annual turnover of â‚¤12mn, compared to the ISPs in the UK that make over â‚¤1 bn, and the eCommerce industry grosses over â‚¤40bn annually. She ended her presentation by emphasizing the important roles of industry self-regulation; local soloutions for stakeholders; application of offline laws; and informal/cooperative patnership between private sector and government. Peter Kim of the National Internet Development Agency of Korea (NIDA) led the discussions on .kr, and he started by introducing NIDA (a non-profit organisation founded on June 29 1999), which performs the function of the TLD manager, along with other roles that help with Internet development in Korea — along with networking with Internet-related international organisations. He also explained Korea’s “Act on Internet Address Resources”.
Margarita Valdes from Chile led the .cl discussions. She hinted that .cl was delegated to the department of Computer Science, University of Chile in 1987. There were about 1,000 registered domains by 1997, and formalisation of the TLD process was in September 1997. She hinted that the .cl TLD management process included the need for proper identification of domain name owners, introduction of low registration fees, request for the re-registration of existing domain names, establishment of a dispute resolution mechanism (which later involved mediation before arbitration).
She stated that there are over 130,000 .cl domain names, and about 10,000 .com, .net (and other domains) in Chile. She didn’t end her presentation until she stated that .cl is so popular because of freedom on who or what can be registerd, minimal bureacracy, and low registration fees (among others). The National Council of Domain Names and IP Addresses was created in June 2003, and met for the first time in April 2004. Members are representatives of indusrtry, business, ISPs, academics — and government. An interesting aspect of her presentation was the introduction of 7 new characters within the .cl domain name system! Local languages are included in domain names… Can you imagine my blog registered as “www.oro.com.ng” with all the necessary accents? That’s what she was talking about.
Mohammed El Bashir Ahmed of the Sudan Internet Society led discussions on the .sd experience. He hinted that in 1996, the .sd was delegated to a private company, Sudan On-Line — operated by a Sudanese based in the United States. The .sd was inactve since then, but in early 2001, the Sudanese Internet Society (SiS) was formed as an NGO with technical orientation and as a professional body. SiS works around the need to increase local awareness, policy development, internet techologies, and regulaton suggestion. Stakeholders include government (Ministry of ICT, National Information Centre) for Policy Oversight; private sector (Telcos, ISPs) who provide funds; and the civil society (SiS) for .sd registry management. The .sd model restricts .gov, .edu and .org registrations, and the manager’s website is in Arabic and English. Income is used in local internet penetration — social awareness and professional development. They are also strongly involved in post conflict work in Sudan, by developing local content. Giovanni Seppia spoke on the role of regional organisations, explaining that each region has its own TLD registry, with Council of Europian TLD Registries (CENTR) for Europe. The session ended with questions and comments, and did I remember to say that it started with lots of food, water, juice and wine — how I wished I saved that CHF 20 I spent on breakfast 😉