Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban hope to soon join the new crop of generic top level domains (gTLDs), with application made for .joburg, .capetown and .durban submitted to the international authority.
The .ZA Central Registry (also known as Uniforum) has made application to ICANN on behalf of the three cities under the new gTLD application process currently drawing to a close.
Neil Dundas, a director of Uniforum, sees no reason why the organisation shouldn’t be successful, and hopes that the new domains will be available by early next year.
Municipal and regional government would find benefit in using the new city domain extensions, says Dundas, which companies would probably consider a city domain name in addition to their .co.za or .org.za domains.
The new domains will be marketed to companies and individuals via licensed registrars, which would handle the process on behalf of their customers.
There are currently about 80 licensed registrars, with about 100 being tested and applications from about 60 more in the pipeline. Dundas expects there to be about 300 licenced registrars by the time the new gTLDs launch – hopefully in February or March next year if the ICANN application process goes smoothly.
There are currently about 820 000 .za domains registered, with about 700 000 of these being .co.za. This number is showing healthy growth, with about 200 000 new domains registered each year against a fall-off of 60 000 to 80 000.