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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

NiRA unveils .ng third level domains

Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), managers of the Nigeria’s country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), .ng, has unveiled the third level domains otherwise called premium domains.

Vice President of the association, Mrs. Mary Uduma, in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online, weekend, said the list became effective from March 1, 2010.

She said that NiRA board has approved the release of the third level premium domains based on the auction’s committee recommendation.

“The Board of Directors of Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) has approved the list of Third Level Premium domains, and has endorsed the recommendations of the Auction Committee regarding the categorization and the pricing,” she said in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online by the Chairman, Publicity Committee, Mrs. Ufuoma Daro, at the weekend.

According to Mrs. Uduma, in considering the list of premium domains, the paramount objective was to populate the .ng registry.

“The list is subject to NiRA’s existing policies and procedures, and NiRA reserves the right to review the list and shall monitor the trend of uptake of the .ng domain name space from time to time, but not for periods earlier than six month-intervals. NiRA would abide by its policy on premium domains,” she noted.

On the categorisation, Mrs. Uduma pointed out that the step was taken on the third level premium domain names to avoid any ambiguity.

These, she said, includes registered domains and non-registered domains, stressing that each of these categories has been further classified into two sub-categories, such as A1, which are names that are of corporate identity or trademark duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria and are on the list of registered .ng third level domains prior to the re-delegation of the .ng registry to NiRA.

On a A2, this include names that are single words or compound words duly registered as third level domains in the .ng registry prior to the re-delegation of the .ng registry.

While on B1 names, NIRA said that these are corporate identity or trademark but not registered as third level domain in the .ng registry prior to the re-delegation of .ng registry and B2 names are single words or compound words not registered as third level domains in the .ng registry before the re-delegation took place.

Further, she explained that all premium third level domain names are to be sold by auction, however, the pricing for domains in sub-categories A1 and A2 are fixed in accordance with the pricing for the list of Third Level Premium Domain names.

On other hand, domains in sub-categories B1 and B2 are to be purchased in accordance with NiRA’s Auction process for Third Level Premium Domain names.

The pricing, she said that a concessionary capped price of N50,000.00 would be charged for domains in sub-category A1.

“This concessionary pricing shall be effective from March 1, 2010, but shall not be retroactive as there would be no refunds of monies paid previously for any registrations or renewals of such domains,” she said.

Mrs. Uduma said that a capped price of N100,000.00 for a corporate identity or trademark duly registered in the .ng registry as well as with CAC before March 1, 2010, but after the re-delegation of the .ng registry.

For a single generic word domain in sub-category A2, she said, it would cost N200,000.00, just as compound word-generic-word domain in sub-category A2.
These pricing for categories A1 and A2, she said, are for limited period not beyond four weeks from the effective date.

“The prices will revert to the conditions for domains in sub-categories B1 and B2 after the four-week period,” NIRA president said, even as the owners of the corporate identity or trademark would be given the “First Offer of Refusal” in sub-category B1, whereas the “Buy Now” price has been offer for any domain in sub-categories B1 and B2 for about N500,000.00

Mrs. Uduma explained further that this exercise was in tune with the best practices in the industry whereby registries of Top Level Domains (TLDs) delineate some names as “premium”.

She also explained that the desire to quickly populate the .ng registry and to make it affordable necessitated placing a maximum price cap on the cost of some of such domains, even as the list consists mainly of generic words.

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