South Africa will host Africa's first top-level domain name (TLD) server as part of a strategy by domain name server manager UltraDNS to mitigate denial-of-service attacks. UltraDNS is a US company that manages domain name servers on behalf of organisations that are responsible for various TLDs. It supplies the back-end support to .uk, .info and .org among the 25 other TLDs it supports.

UltraDNS chairman and CTO Rodney Joffe made this announcement at the conclusion of the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) meeting held in Cape Town during the past five days. According to Joffe, this will be the ninth server UltraDNS is to deploy worldwide, with others already located in Asia, the US and Europe.

“No decision has been made yet on where to locate the South African server, but that will be done with the Internet Service Providers Association of SA. The cost of installing the server will be about R1 million and it should be working by the end of December.”

Joffe adds that the access speed experienced by South African Internet users should also be improved by the installation of the server. It will also help to contain some of the access costs, as local users will be able to find some of the TLDs in the country, rather than making an overseas call, he says. “Our system encourages a user's machine to go to the nearest server, rather than merely a randomly selected one as is the normal case,” he says.

Joffe says security and stability for South African Internet users will be enhanced as placing such a server in the country allows for local Internet access, even if it has been disrupted elsewhere in the world.