Domain Name Body Yet to Meet
Business Day (Johannesburg)
September 25, 2003
Posted to the web September 25, 2003
By Lesley Stones
MEMBERS of a new authority that was created to administer the .za internet domain are impatiently waiting for their inaugural meeting.
The Domain Name Authority was appointed to take over from Mike Lawrie, who has administered the .za domain since it was first set up 14 years ago.
He is being replaced with a nine-member board, but so far many of those members have not met each other, have no offices or administrative staff, and are yet to begin their numerous tasks.
Their duties include deciding which new second-level domains should be created, defining the rules for domain name registration, appointing registrars to submit those applications, drawing up dispute resolution procedures, and enhancing public awareness of the internet. Another decision is how SA should fund the contribution it is expected to make to the international domain name authority, ICANN.
Ideally the communications department should take the initiative and convene its inaugural meeting as a matter of urgency, said one of its members, Alan Levin. Then the board could officially begin to function. Levin, a consultant to the Western Cape provincial government, said the board may have to learn to hold virtual meetings over the internet, as its members were geographically scattered.
Another board member is Victor Wilson, an electrical engineer with Telkom. For him the pressing issues include establishing an office, setting up contracts with registrars and dealing with the authority's financial contribution to Icann.
Four of the nine board members were making their first appearance together at Internet Week, where they spoke to internet professionals about the tasks ahead. So far they have not officially taken over from Lawrie, who hopes to hand over responsibility soon. "The handover of the .za domain isn't very far away. It will come as soon as the board has had its first formal meeting and feels comfortable with handling policy issues," he said.