Report on the Delegation of the .SS (South Sudan) country-code top-level domain to the National Communication Authority (NCA)
8 January 2019
This report is a summary of the materials reviewed as part of the process for the delegation of the .SS (South Sudan) country-code top-level domain. It includes details regarding the proposed delegation, evaluation of the documentation pertinent to the request, and actions undertaken in connection with processing the delegation.
The “SS” ISO 3166-1 code is designated for use to represent South Sudan.
Chronology of events
In July 2011, South Sudan seceded from Sudan. This was the result of an independence referendum that took place in January of the same year.
In August 2011, the “SS” two-letter country code was assigned for South Sudan in the ISO 3166-1 standard. The two-letter country code for Sudan remains unchanged as “SD”.
The National Communication Authority (NCA) was established under Section 7 of the South Sudan National Communication Act of 2012. The Authority is answerable to the President of the Republic of South Sudan and under the direct supervision of the Competent Minister. The functions and powers of the Authority include regulating Internet domain names in South Sudan.
In 2017 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between NCA and the Kenya Network Information Center (KeNIC), the manager of the .KE (Kenya) country-code top-level domain. The MOU tasks KeNIC to provide technical support to the .SS country-code top-level domain registry for a period of one year. At the end of the year, the MOU provides for potential renewal following a review, or NCA will fully take over management of the registry.
From 21-25 August 2017 KeNIC provided registry training for two engineers from NCA, including the proposed technical contact, Unguec Stephen Kang Ilario.
On 7 May 2018, a meeting between NCA and significantly interested parties was held to seek their input on the .SS (South Sudan) country-code top-level domain operations.
On 23 July 2018, a second meeting was held with significantly interested parties. At this meeting, the policies governing the .SS (South Sudan) country-code top-level domain were revised and reviewed by the attendees, and were accepted by consensus.
On 21 August 2018, NCA commenced a request for the delegation of .SS (South Sudan) country-code top-level domain.
Proposed Manager and Contacts
The proposed manager is National Communication Authority (NCA). It is based in South Sudan.
The proposed administrative contact is Eng. Virginio Kenyi Lomena, Director of Admin and Finance at NCA. The administrative contact is understood to be based in South Sudan.
The proposed technical contact is Unguec Stephen Kang Ilario, Network Engineer at NCA.
Evaluation of the Request
The top-level domain is eligible for delegation as the string for South Sudan is presently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.
Government support was provided by:
- Hon. Justin Alier, Undersecretary of Information, Ministry of ICT & Postal Services, the Republic of South Sudan.
Additional support letters were provided by the following:
- Kamrul Hasan Sagar, Managing Director of IPTEC Limited, an ISP in South Sudan.
- Bahaeldin Ahmed Zayed, Managing Director of Talia Limited, an ISP in South Sudan.
The application is consistent with known applicable laws in South Sudan. The proposed manager undertakes responsibilities to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.
Based In Country
The proposed manager organization is constituted in South Sudan. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be a resident of South Sudan. The registry is to be operated in South Sudan.
The application does not involve a transfer of domain operations from an existing domain registry, and therefore stability aspects relating to registry transfer are not relevant.
The application is not known to be contested.
The application has provided information on the technical and operational infrastructures and expertise that will be used to operate the proposed new domain.
Proposed policies for management of the domain have also been tendered.
PTI is tasked with coordinating the Domain Name System root zone as part of a set of functions governed by a contract with ICANN. This includes accepting and evaluating requests for delegation and transfer of top-level domains.
A subset of top-level domains are designated for the local Internet communities in countries to operate in a way that best suits their local needs. These are known as country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs), and are assigned to responsible managers that meet a number of public-interest criteria for eligibility. These criteria largely relate to the level of support the manager has from its local Internet community, its capacity to ensure stable operation of the domain, and its applicability under any relevant local laws.
Through the IANA Services performed by PTI, requests are received for delegating new ccTLDs, and transferring or revoking existing ccTLDs. An investigation is performed on the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and, the requests are implemented where they are found to meet the criteria.
Purpose of evaluations
The evaluation of eligibility for ccTLDs, and of evaluating responsible managers charged with operating them, is guided by a number of principles. The objective of the assessment is that the action enhances the secure and stable operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems.
In considering requests to delegate or transfer ccTLDs, input is sought regarding the proposed new manager, as well as from persons and organizations that may be significantly affected by the change, particularly those within the nation or territory to which the ccTLD is designated. The assessment is focused on the capacity for the proposed manager to meet the following criteria:
The domain should be operated within the country, including having its manager and administrative contact based in the country.
The domain should be operated in a way that is fair and equitable to all groups in the local Internet community.
Significantly interested parties in the domain should agree that the prospective manager is the appropriate party to be responsible for the domain, with the desires of the national government taken very seriously.
The domain must be operated competently, both technically and operationally. Management of the domain should adhere to relevant technical standards and community best practices.
Risks to the stability of the Internet addressing system must be adequately considered and addressed, particularly with regard to how existing identifiers will continue to function.
Method of evaluation
To assess these criteria, information is requested from the applicant regarding the proposed manager and method of operation. In summary, a request template is sought specifying the exact details of the delegation being sought in the root zone. In addition, various documentation is sought describing: the views of the local internet community on the application; the competencies and skills of the manager to operate the domain; the legal authenticity, status and character of the proposed manager; and the nature of government support for the proposal.
After receiving this documentation and input, it is analyzed in relation to existing root zone management procedures, seeking input from parties both related to as well as independent of the proposed manager should the information provided in the original application be deficient. The applicant is given the opportunity to cure any deficiencies before a final assessment is made.
Once all the documentation has been received, various technical checks are performed on the proposed manager’s DNS infrastructure to ensure name servers are properly configured and are able to respond to queries correctly. Should any anomalies be detected, the IANA Services staff will work with the applicant to address the issues.
Assuming all issues are resolved, an assessment is compiled providing all relevant details regarding the proposed manager and its suitability to operate the relevant top-level domain.