NIRA sets July 8 deadline for renewal of Nigerian Internet domain names
The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA) has announced that all domains registered under the nation's .ng internet name prior to January 1, this year will expire by July 8, 2009 following the recent automation of domain registration flagged off by the group representing the nation's internet community.
President, NIRA, Ndukwe Kalu said that with the commencement of automated registration of .ng internet names, it will now be a paid service carried out by 29 registrars that have been appointed by NIRA to ease acquisition. Nigeria's virtual domain in cyberspace had only about 4000 registered domains before the process of automation started.
According to Kalu, "all domains registered before January 1, 2009 would expire by July 8, 2009. There would then be a further grace period up to July 31, 2009. By August 1, 2009 any such domains not registered would be suspended and deleted in 7 days thereafter."
Following the NIRA announcement to domain name holders, registrars have also followed up with notices to people holding .ng domain names to ensure they are in compliance ahead of the expiration deadline.
"Registrations can no longer be done directly and are no longer free but would be at a cost determined by the various registrars. With the wide variety of registrars we believe we are living in interesting times as concerns domain pricing and service", said Ndukwe in an email sent out to technical and administrative contacts for .ng domain names.
Ndukwe added that the automatic deletion of domain names will not apply to gov.ng and edu.ng used by government agencies and educational institutions respectively but said that they will remain suspended.
NIRA is also reviewing the entire structure and framework on the nation's internet name system that will result in a shift of some levels of registration, auction of some premium names and creation of new domains within the period.
"For the gov.ng domains we would be undertaking further reviews within the period. In line with the new policies State Government MDA and local governments have to move to the fourth level of registration under state zones. Only the Federal Government and state executives can be on the gov.ng domain", Ndukwe added.
According to him, "new domains have been introduced like sch.ng (registrations is only under state zones as well), mobi.ng, name.ng" while also adding that, "certain domains under the NIRA policy have been designated Premium domains which would be auctioned directly by NIRA to subsidize the low registry fees charged registrars. All owners of such domains would be notified by close of work Tuesday June 9, 2009."
Under the plan, he added that "registrants of designated premium domains registered before June 1, 2008 would have the opportunity to pay a First Right Price to retain the domains or forfeit them as they would not be renewed."
NIRA said that under its management, the process has now been fully automated and built on a robust infrastructure such that the simplified registration and domain management system can now be registered instantly and visible within one hour.
Additionally, NIRA said that the registry now operates a Registry/Registrar model to ensure that domain users receive optimal care and attention adding that, "we have accredited 29 Registrars already and from this month new accreditation would be monthly. We want to ensure that you have a choice from a wide variety of talented and competent Registrars. Therefore all domain transaction would have to be through any of the accredited registrars."