Telecoms service providers seek to take over Kenyan Internet domain


A lobby group has offered to guarantee a Kenya specific Internet domain (.ke), which the sector regulator wants to commercialise.

Telecommunications Service Providers of Kenya (Tespok) said that it was capable of sponsoring the Kenya Network Information Centre (Kenic) if the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) formerly Communications Commission of Kenya, pulls out.

“If CAK attempts to take the commercialisation approach without due consideration of Tespok, we will have no choice but put ICANN on notice that any attempt at re-delegation does not have the support of the industry or any of the stakeholders,” said chairman Kris Senanu.

CAK has given the public up to February 10 to comment on how best the domain can be commercialised. The agency had indicated last year that the domain would be given to the highest bidder to manage.

Senanu said CAK did not consult Tespok over the matter despite the two being partners in the domain’s management.

The lobby group wants to be given an opportunity to deliver on targets that have been missed over the last five years, leading to consolidation of  shared resources within the Internet technical community.

Kenic was created in 2002 to manage Kenya’s unique and globally recognised identity on the Internet.

The regulator delinked itself from Kenic last year because of a conflict of interest as a board member of Kenic as well as being the oversight authority.

Senanu said that a smooth transition was needed so as not to compromise service delivery.

“We have no problem with CAK proposing another entity to take up the government involvement but will not support commercialisation,” he said.

The lobby also alleged that the high turnover of both board and staff at Kenic in the last five years was due to interference by the regulator.