By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
The Botswana Communication Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) has launched the Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) or .bw campaign to Batswana in an effort to encourage greater uptake of a proudly Botswana platform. The launch saw guests given the opportunity to appreciate the significance of ccTLD, the typically two-letter domain name extension, such as .uk or .de, which corresponds to a country, territory or geographic location.
According to the BOCRA CEO Thari Pheko; “The Country Code Top Level Domain or ccTLD is typically a two letter extension, such as .bw, .za, .uk that corresponds to a country and is used to identify the country on the internet. The Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA), in collaboration with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has been working on a project to transfer the management of the .bw from the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) to the BOCRA.”
Pheko explained further about the launch saying “This is an incredibly momentous occasion as we launch what is not simply another campaign, but a platform Batswana can be proud of and which itself shows a sense of unencumbered national pride. “.bw,” these simple letters, stand for what is in essence a national resource representing our country, our pride and our identity in cyberspace.”
The .bw address registration system has previously fallen under the purview of the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC). The transition of responsibility of the system to BOCRA will see the regulator responsible for the management of the .bw registration while the Value Added Network Service Providers (VANS) will be responsible for the allocation of local Internet addresses to all customers
“This is a great tool for our economic advancement. We hope after deliberations and consultations with the relevant parties in this space Batswana will take the time to understand its significance and implement it in their businesses and in the personal capacities respectively. BOCRA will continue to engage all stakeholders to encourage Batswana to embrace this platform for national advancement and national pride.” said Pheko.
The Minister of Transport and Communications Nonofo Molefhi, who was the guest of honour explained that “In 2010, prior to the enactment of the CRA Act, the then Ministry of Communications Science and Technology gave the then BTA a mandate to take over the management of the ccTLD from the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) in pursuit of fair market competition and international best practice. The assignment involved Domain name system set up, re-delegation from BTC, development of policies to run ccTLD and issues of awareness creation for the ccTLD. Today marks the culmination of over three years of work to take over this mandate.”
“I would like to highlight some fundamental difference between the .bw and the most popular .com for the benefit of non-ICT invitees among us tonight. DOT COM is part of generic TLDs which are run by specialised organisations with varied interests.
As such, TLDs do not bear any national identity and should inevitably be less appealing to the local clientele. By comparison, ccTLDs allow for targeted local audience and therefore inherently carry with them national identity and national pride. It stands to reason therefore, that our efforts to develop local Botswana internet content will benefit greatly from the use of the .bw. In this vein, the .bw speaks directly to the pillar of our vision that – A United and Proud Nation,” said Molefhi.