Report on the Transfer of the .LS (Lesotho) top-level domain to Lesotho Network Information Centre Proprietary (LSNIC)
5 June 2018
This report is a summary of the materials reviewed as part of the process for the transfer of the .LS (Lesotho) top-level domain. It includes details regarding the proposed transfer, evaluation of the documentation pertinent to the request, and actions undertaken in connection with processing the transfer.
The “LS” ISO 3166-1 code from which the application’s eligibility derives, is designated for use to represent Lesotho.
Chronology of events
On 13 January 1993, the .LS top-level domain was delegated to the National University of Lesotho. As part of the initial delegation, the National University of Lesotho was the designated domain manager and administrative contact while Rhodes University in South Africa was designated as the technical contact.
After the initial delegation, several name server and contact change requests were completed, but the listed organizations stayed the same until 2012.
In 2012, The Parliament of Lesotho enacted Communications Act No. 4 of 2012 which established regulations for the telecommunications, broadcasting and postal sectors in Lesotho. Under this Act, the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) was assigned several tasks in relation to the communications sector, including the designation of an entity to administer Internet domain names.
On 9 August 2012, the National University of Lesotho authorized a change to update the administrative contact organization from the National University of Lesotho to LCA.
On 14 January 2016, LCA established the Lesotho Network Information Centre Proprietary (LSNIC) and designated LSNIC as the manager of the .LS top-level domain. LSNIC was incorporated as a nonprofit organization under the Companies Act 2011.
On 31 March 2017, .LS completed a request to change the technical contact for the .LS top-level domain from Rhodes University to LSNIC.
From 10 January 2018 to 7 February 2018, LCA held public consultations through newspapers and websites seeking community input on the transfer of the .LS top-level domain from the National University of Lesotho to LSNIC. No objection was received during this period.
On 15 March 2018, LSNIC commenced a request to PTI to transfer the management of the .LS top-level domain to Lesotho Network Information Centre Proprietary (LSNIC).
Proposed Manager and Contacts
The proposed manager is Lesotho Network Information Centre Proprietary (LSNIC). It is based in Lesotho.
The administrative contact is Nthabiseng Pule, ICT Manager of LCA. The administrative contact will remain the same post the transfer of .LS top-level domain to LSNIC.
The administrative contact is understood to be based in Lesotho.
The technical contact is Mamothokoane Tlali, System Manager of LSNIC.
Evaluation of the Request
The top-level domain is eligible for transfer as the string for Lesotho is presently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.
The incumbent manager is National University of Lesotho. Informed consent for the transfer of .LS top-level domain to Lesotho Network Information Centre Proprietary (LSNIC) was provided by Liteboho Maqalika-Lerotholi, the Registrar of the National University of Lesotho.
Government support was provided through a letter from Mr. Thesele ‘Maseribane, Minister of Communications, Science and Technology. Additional support letters from significantly interested parties were provided by the following:
- Vodacom Lesotho (Pty) Limited, a telecommunication service provider
- LEC Communications (Pty) Limited, a wholesale Internet service provider
- LEO (Pty) Limited, an Internet service provider
- Internet Association of Lesotho, an association formed under the National University of Lesotho
The application is consistent with known applicable laws in Lesotho. The proposed manager undertakes the responsibility to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.
Based In Country
The proposed manager is constituted in Lesotho. The administrative contact is understood to be a resident of Lesotho. The registry is to be operated in Lesotho.
The proposed domain manager, LSNIC, is acquiring all existing registry infrastructure and domain management staff from the National University of Lesotho. Only administrative changes related to the domain manager are included in this transfer request, therefore stability aspects relating to registry transfer have been evaluated with the view that there are no technical changes to the domain.
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 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 significantly interested parties 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 proposed and incumbent managers should provide informed consent.
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, PTI 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.