Report on the Transfer of the .CM (Cameroon) top-level domain to Agence Nationale des Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication
21 January 2024
This report is a summary of the materials reviewed as part of the process for the transfer of the .CM (Cameroon) 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 “CM” ISO 3166-1 code from which the application’s eligibility derives, is designated for use to represent Cameroon.
Chronology of Events
The .CM top-level domain was initially delegated in the mid-1990s to INTELCAM.
Cameroon Telecommunications (CAMTEL) succeeded INTELCAM as the .CM Manager due to a governmental restructuring under Law No. 98/014 of 14 July 1998.
On 8 April 2002, Agence Nationale des Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication (ANTIC) was created by Decree No. 2002/092 to “promote and monitor government action in the field of information and communication technologies.”
On 26 January 2006, Ebot Ebot Enaw was appointed the Director General of ANTIC by Decree No. 2006/026. He is the proposed administrative contact for .CM.
In 2009, CAMTEL and ANTIC reportedly reached an agreement to transfer the technical, administrative, and financial management of the .CM top-level domain, and ANTIC took over its operations. Between then and 2016, ANTIC submitted several transfer requests to IANA. Those requests were either withdrawn or administratively closed due to technical issues and pending the submission of supporting documents. ANTIC submitted a fully documented application in 2023.
On 21 December 2010, the government of Cameroon passed Law No. 2010/013, which governs electronic communications in Cameroon. Article 96 of this law lists ANTIC’s mission, which includes “the registration of ‘.cm’ domain names” and “drafting the policy and procedure for the registration of ‘.cm’ domain names, hosting and administration of root servers, and granting of Registrar approval for ‘.cm’.” This was renewed in 2012 by Article 5 of Decree No. 2012/180 and in 2019 by Article 4 of Decree No. 2019/150.
In July and August 2023, ANTIC reportedly held several consultations with members of the local Internet community regarding the transfer of the .CM top-level domain.
On 14 September 2023, ANTIC submitted a transfer request to IANA.
Proposed Manager and Contacts
The proposed manager is Agence Nationale des Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication, a Public Administrative Establishment with legal personality and financial autonomy under the technical supervision of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and the financial supervision of the Ministry of Finance.
The proposed administrative contact is Ebot Ebot Enaw, Director General of ANTIC.
Evaluation of the Request
The top-level domain is eligible for transfer as the string for Cameroon is presently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.
The incumbent manager is CAMTEL. Informed consent for the transfer of the .CM top-level domain to ANTIC was provided by Judith Yah Sunday épouse Achidi, the CEO and General Director of CAMTEL.
Support for the application has been provided by Libom Li Likeng née Mendomo Minette, the Republic of Cameroon’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications.
Statements of support were also provided by the following significantly interested parties:
- Olivier Leloustre, President of Cameron Internet Exchange Point (CAMIX), an association under Cameroonian law, responsible for the management of two Internet exchange points in Cameroon. CAMIX has 12 members representing the largest Internet service and access providers in Cameroon.
- Michel Tchonang Linze, General Coordinator of CAPDA, an association in Cameroon that is working toward the development of an inclusive Internet.
- Balbine Manga, President of @JURIS.TIC, a civil society organization that works to promote digital rights.
- Saya Kaigama Moustapha, CEO of Netcom, a Cameroonian company specializing in website creation, hosting, and domain name registration.
- Durand Nana, Deputy General Director, Matrix Telecoms, an Internet Service Provider in Cameroon and a registrar of .CM domain names.
- Njimi Ndamzo Achille Frankie, CEO of CAMOO SARL, a Cameroonian company specializing in creating and hosting websites and registering domain names.
- Charlie Martial Ngounou, President of AfroLeadership, a civil society organization headquartered in Cameroon that empowers citizens and communities to commit and engage actively in the development of Africa.
- Olivier Nana Nzepa, Regional Coordinator of ANAIS_AC, an association under Cameroonian Law, dedicated to advocating and improving ICT policies and usage in the sub Central Africa region.
- Clovis Tchokonte, President of the Collective of National Operators in the Telecommunications Sector, an association committed to researching and jointly implementing more efficient telecommunications systems, as well as negotiating operating conditions in the telecommunications sector.
The application is consistent with known applicable laws in Cameroon. 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 Yaoundé, Cameroon.
The proposed administrative contact is a resident of Cameroon.
The application is not known to be contested.
We have not identified any stability issues with this request.
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 functions 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, 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.