MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY

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1 GOVERNMENT OF UGANDA MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY POLICY POLICY FRAMEWORK FRAMEWORK FOR MANAGEMENT FOR MANAGEMENT OF.UG OF country.ug code Top country Level Domain code Top) (cctld) (DRAFT) April 2011 Page 1 of 18

2 Table of Contents SUMMARY... 4 ACRONYMS... 4 DEFINITIONS BACKGROUND PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES OF THIS DOCUMENT PURPOSE OBJECTIVES EXPECTED OUTPUTS EXPECTED OUTCOMES RATIONALE/JUSTIFICATION FOR REVIEW OF MANAGEMENT OF.UG cctld ASSESSING THE CURRENT MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE FROM OTHER COUNTRIES AND LESSONS FOR UGANDA INTERNATIONAL SCENARIO TANZANIA KENYA MAURITIUS LESSONS FOR UGANDA ISSUES TO CONSIDER IN ADOPTING A MANAGEMENT STYLE SITUATION ANALYSIS OF THE CURRENT STATE FOR UGANDA POLICY STATEMENT, OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES POLICY STATEMENT POLICY OBJECTIVE STRATEGIES DIRECT GOVERNMENT INTERVETIONS ROAD MAP TO ESTABLISHMENT OF UGNIC INSTUTIONAL FRAMEWORK MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY UGANDA COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Page 2 of 18

3 7.5 TRUSTEES OF.UgNIC COMPOSITION OF ugnic BOARD ROLES OF THE ugnic BOARD ugnic Technical Advisory Committee and the ugnic Policy Advisory Committee SUSTAINIBILITY PLAN CONCLUSION ANNEXES ANNEX 1: Technical Expert Report ANNEX II: Page 3 of 18

4 SUMMARY ACRONYMS cctld ARP DNS.Ug gtld IANA ICANN ICT IP ISC ISOC ISP IT IXP Country Code Top Level Domain Address Resolution Protocol Domain Name System Dot UG (Uganda s country code Top Level Domain) Generic Top Level Domain Internet Assigned Number Authority Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers Information Communication Technology Internet Protocol Internet Software Consortium, Inc. (ISC) Internet Society Internet Service Provider Information Technology Internet Exchange Point Page 4 of 18

5 DEFINITIONS Domain Technical identifiers containing alphanumeric characters, used instead of Internet addresses indispensable for the communication through the Internet, due primarily to their easy-to-remember nature Whois Servers The process of retrieving information from the database registry ISO 3166 Two letter codes for representation of country names Domain hosting of.ug cctld Servers that hold the registry database of.ug Registry An entity which registers, maintains and manages records domain names Registrar Internet Community An entity responsible for adding, deleting or modifying information in the registry Database A society comprising of internet users, network operators, internet services, providers, civil society, researchers, academic institution and the government with interest in internet Page 5 of 18

6 1.0 BACKGROUND It is recognised that although the Internet started in Uganda at around the same time as the mobile telephony market, growth in the former has been comparatively slower. Key constraints to the growth of the Internet market have been identified to include inadequate infrastructure, unavailability of relevant or appropriate content and high internet costs in Uganda. Associated with the presence of local content and local entity on the internet are domain names and the management of the.ug. Whereas there are two types of domain names under the domain name system, that is, country top level domains (cctld) and generic top level domains (gtld), registration for a cctld is often restricted to individuals or organisations located in the particular country (or region) and as such promotes the visibility of the country on the Internet. The system of registration of Internet domain names can facilitate the proliferation of Internet in a country. The number of registrations of Internet domain names in a country is also a measure of its popularity in the Internet space. Many countries have therefore adopted liberal and market friendly policies to register large number of Internet domain names under their country code, broadly consistent with global policy and procedures of domain registration. Recently, some countries have brought significant changes to their registration policies and procedures, which has led to a substantial increase in the number of domains registered in a short period of time.ug The administration of gtld rests with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an internationally organized non profit corporation, with membership from different countries and experts in the field. The responsibility for administration of cctld, on the other hand, has been entrusted to the individual countries who in general follow the guidelines provided by ICANN. These Internet domain names are used by the Page 6 of 18

7 user entities to identify them in the networked Internet space. In the gtld category,.com and.net domains are the most popular, and have registered in largest numbers. 1.2 PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES OF THIS DOCUMENT PURPOSE The purpose of this policy is: (i) To formalize the administration of the country code Top Level Domain of Uganda (.Ug cctld) (ii) To develop and present a set of guidelines and recommendations for cctld management OBJECTIVES The major objective of this policy is to formalize management of.ug Country Code Top Level Domain Name and come up with a management framework that will ensure transparency and greater accountability towards the Internet community of Uganda and the rest of the Global Internet Community 1.3 EXPECTED OUTPUTS The key outputs of the policy are: i. A cctld administration framework ii. Awareness on re-delegation and transition to a new.ug administration iii. A representation of Uganda Internet Community at local and international fora 1.4 EXPECTED OUTCOMES i. Promotion of utilization of.ug name space ii. A Secure cctld iii. Improved communication between Uganda and the rest of the world; Page 7 of 18

8 iv. Improved service delivery and; v. Development of e-services industry 1.5 RATIONALE/JUSTIFICATION FOR REVIEW OF MANAGEMENT OF.UG cctld Internet domain names have assumed greater significance in the recent times with Internet increasingly being used as an effective medium for commerce, education, governance and communication. In order to have a larger presence in the Internet space, a forward looking policy for registration under country code Top Level Domain (cctld) will help in its proliferation as all Ugandan residents, government entities, public service organizations and businesses will be able to establish their Ugandan identity in the Internet space with a unique domain name. Countries and territories around the world are assigned a unique country code top-level domain name (cctld). For each cctld, there is a designated manager. In a number of cases, the cctld manager is a for-profit entity located outside of the country to which the domain name relates. In these cases, it may be desirable to re-delegate management of the cctld to a local entity, to bring the management of the cctld inside the territory of the country involved and to make the administration of the domain name more responsive to the public interest. Since domain names in the cctlds have become very popular, globally, their management is now an important policy issue. There are several benefits that accrue equitable management of the Top Level Domain Name for a country like Uganda. Key ones include; Managing and operating the domain name Promote the utilisation of the.ug name space Promote growth and development of ICTs across the country Page 8 of 18

9 Facilitate articulation of the views relating to internet use, at both local and international fora It is, therefore, necessary for the Uganda Internet Community to be effectively represented in the management of the country s top-level domain in view of its impact at the national and international levels. Administration of cctld within the country is vital because the regulation, renewal, suspension of domain names and the disputes that may arise under the cctld, will be governed by the Uganda laws. 2.0 EXPERIENCE FROM OTHER COUNTRIES AND LESSONS FOR UGANDA 2.1 INTERNATIONAL SCENARIO There are many different models for structuring domain administration in the various parts of the world as summarised below: (i) Regulatory authority (ii) Internet Society (iii) Government ministry or organ (iv) Not for profit organisation (Government with private sector) (v) Not for profit organisation (private sector only) (vi) Commercially operating private company (vii) Academic/research institution (viii) Telecommunications operators Many countries have adopted liberal and market friendly policies to register large number of Internet domain names under their country code, broadly consistent with global policy and procedures of domain registration. Recently, some of the countries have brought about significant changes to their registration policies & procedures, Page 9 of 18

10 which have led to a substantial increase in the number of domains registered in a short period of time. 2.2 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (USA) In the United States the government through the Department of Commerce has delegated the technical and operational responsibilities to a private not for Profit Company while the policy, procedures and governance functions remain with advisory body that is made up of US internet community. 2.3 CHINA In China, the government created a non-profit entity to manage the cctld, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) under the Ministry of Information and Industry (MII). The responsibility of technical and administrative management is entrusted to the Chinese Academy of Sciences 2.4 TANZANIA Tanzania having examined the experience from other countries and based on their context, proposed to establish a non-profit company limited by guarantee with no shares and with members rather than shareholders. The proposed name for this company is the Tanzania Network Information Centre (tznic) whose purpose would be to control, manage and operate the.tz country code Top Level Domain and provide complementary registry services in the interests of the relevant stakeholder communities. 2.5 KENYA KENIC was borne through a broad based consultative process of the "Local Internet Community" with an aim of instituting a local non-profit organization to manage and operate the.ke cctld. Page 10 of 18

11 The responsibility of cctld has been re-delegated to a private non-profit company with the regulator having a permanent membership and ability to over-rule any policy or practice that goes against original stated responsibilities. 2.6 MAURITIUS After a wider consultation, Mauritius noted that the management model opted for should have a wider representation from the Internet Community. This led to formation of the Internet Management Committee whose purpose was to formulate policy and setting direction for new registry within the country. Like most countries, a not for profit model was opted with the Internet Management Committee as the overseer. These are all based on one approach. These cases could give different perspective (Finland or Singapore, Niue, Argentina, Nigeria, Korea, Malaysia etc) There is no one domain name management style that has been adopted by all countries. Different countries have adopted different approaches. 3.1 LESSONS FOR UGANDA 3.2 ISSUES TO CONSIDER IN ADOPTING A MANAGEMENT STYLE The following are the issues that Uganda should consider in adopting future management style: Need to involve stakeholders so as to cater for the needs and interests of the entire local Internet community Priority as well as the perceived value attached to Internet, or more specifically,.ug by government in national development plans Funding and sustainability of the registry (.Ug) Oversight of the activities of the registry. Cyber security in general and the domain names related business. Page 11 of 18

12 In addressing the above issues, and moving forward to implement the model of choice for Uganda, the following additional issues shall be taken into consideration:- (i) The need to create and define policy, regulatory and operational roles of managing the.ug. (ii) Relevant guidelines by ICANN on re-delegation of cctlds (iii) Ensuring availability of financial resources and sustainability of the.ug (iv) The existing legal framework relating to internet use in Uganda 4.0 SITUATION ANALYSIS OF THE CURRENT STATE FOR UGANDA 4.1 The Current.Ug management arrangement In Uganda,.Ug is currently administered by a privately owned company, Computer Frontiers International. This includes the setting of the policies on.ug as well as the day to day technical and administrative functions of a cctld registrar and sponsor. This arrangement emanates from a historical set of events in which the owners of the Computer Frontiers, worked very hard to shift the management of the.ug from a volunteer manager (Mr. Randy Bush) located in United States of America. This had come into the responsibility of Mr. Randy Bush when he had previously volunteered to manage many countries domain names as at the time when the domain names were assigned; many countries (mainly on the African continent) were not ready to manage their own domain names. Some countries are still under this arrangement, although many countries are working very hard to move the management of their country s domain name to an arrangement where the management is done from within their country and by a body which is multi stakeholder s interest Page 12 of 18

13 4.2 The 2003 Internet study A survey conducted by Uganda Communications Commission around the four regions of Uganda towards Internet development in Uganda indicated that the majority of respondents were satisfied with the current arrangements of administration with 11 of the 30 respondents not satisfied due to the following reasons. i. Registration and renewal is too expensive ii. Appears to be monopolised by a single agent iii. Since it is a national resource, it should not be managed privately unless under outsourcing arrangements 5.0 POLICY STATEMENT, OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES 5.1 POLICY STATEMENT i. The.Ug cctld management policy aims at creating liberal, efficient and market friendly processes and a distributed organizational structure to facilitate the operation and use of.ug in support of sustainable socioeconomic development of the country. ii. It will also provide guidelines to ensure a smooth re-delegation of.ug cctld. iii. The policy provides for the creation of the Uganda National Information Centre (ugnic), a not-for-profit company comprising of representatives from government, association of internet service providers, NGO/Civil society, consumers, infrastructure providers, academia and the business community. Page 13 of 18

14 5.2 POLICY OBJECTIVE The policy hinges on the following objectives: i. To effectively manage and operate the domain name ii. To Promote the utilisation of the.ug name space iii. To Promote growth and development of ICTs in rural and low income areas iv. To Facilitate articulation of the views of Uganda relating to internet use, at both local and international fora v. To promote access to the internet across all marginalised groups. 5.3 STRATEGIES i. The proposed institutional framework for management of.ug cctld is to take into consideration the needs of the local and global Internet Community ii. The management of Internet resources are of national interest, to promote levels of development as it is the mandate of the government through Internet. iii. iv. Provide efficient and effective registry services to the Internet Community. Ensure that users are able to register, add, delete or modify domains without delays, unclear or undefined procedures. The responsible entity should be accountable to the users it is serving Page 14 of 18

15 6.0 DIRECT GOVERNMENT INTERVETION 6.1 ROAD MAP TO ESTABLISHMENT OF UGNIC On the basis of analysis of the possible options for re-delegation of cctld and taking into account pertinent ICANN guidelines, the following roadmap shall guide the establishment of UGNIC to assume the responsibility of administering.ug from Computer Frontiers Limited. i. Establish a non profit making company which should be charged with the management of Uganda s top level domain names (.Ug). ii. Establish a Board for this company which should have multi-stakeholder representation. iii. Establish advisory committees, on Technical and Policy matters iv. Designate the Ministry of ICT as the Sponsor of the.ug while the created company will be the Technical Manager v. Designate Uganda Communications Commission as the financier for the start up of UGNIC vi. Unlimited generic.ug registration to be open to public at 2 nd and 3 rd level 7.0 INSTUTIONAL FRAMEWORK 7.1 MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY Ministry of ICT will be the Sponsor who will present the case for re-delegation of.ug cctld to ICANN. The Ministry will also ensure that a conducive policy, legal and regulatory environment is in place for the smooth operation of ugnic. Page 15 of 18

16 7.2 UGANDA COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION UCC will ensure that the.ugnic is well facilitated to carry out its obligations, nationally and internationally. Specifically in the initial stage and when the.ugnic requires financial assistance, UCC will be expected to provide the requisite support. 7.3 NATIONAL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AUTHORITY UGANDA NITA-U will facilitate ugnic by ensuring that there is always adequate security of the.ug data, resources and appropriate recovery plans in place. 7.4 UGANDA NATIONAL INFORMATION CENTRE (UGNIC) The Uganda National Information Centre (ugnic) shall manage operations of ug. It shall have the following key functions: i. Carry out the day to day technical management of.ug domain name space in accordance with the guidelines issued by the ugnic Board; ii. Comply with international best practice in the administration of the.ug domain name space; iii. Register Domain Name Registrars in accordance with set guidelines. iv. Monitor the operations of registrars to ensure that they abide by the governing regulations and guidelines v. Provide any technical assistance to anybody using the.ug vi. Provide technical inputs to the Board and The Technical Advisory Committee to enable them to do their work 7.5 TRUSTEES OF.UgNIC The Minister responsible for ICT and the Executive Director of Uganda Communications Commission shall be the Trustees of ugnic, on behalf of all the stakeholders. Page 16 of 18

17 7.6 COMPOSITION OF ugnic BOARD The ugnic Board will be composed of representation from the following; a) Ministry of ICT b) Uganda Communications Commission c) NITA-U d) Service Providers e) Infrastructure providers f) Academia ( Tertiary Institutions) g) Business Community h) NGO/Civil society i) Consumers 7.7 ROLES OF THE ugnic BOARD The ugnic Board shall have the following roles for the overall management of.ug: a) Set policies which will guide the technical, administrative and operational management of the.ug, as well as provide oversight over the same b) Approve the ugnic operational plans ( budgets, strategic plan and Business Plan) c) Approve rules, regulation and procedures etc, regarding the use of.ug d) Receive and consider inputs from the Technical and Policy Advisory Committees e) Provide information to stakeholders on the overall management of the.ug. f) To ensure appropriate representation at local, regional and international fora and meetings concerning domain name management. Page 17 of 18

18 7. 8 ugnic Technical Advisory Committee and the ugnic Policy Advisory Committee Each of the two Committees is expected to provide advice to the Board on matters that fall under their speciality, voluntarily and when requested by the Board. There will be instances when the Board will specifically ask for advice from the Committee and also the Committees may find needful to volunteer advice to the Board. Committees will be composed of the Chairman, Vice Chair and Publicity and Mobilization Secretary, who shall be elected for a term of two years renewable only once. The Secretarial services will be provided by the.ugnic Management Team. The meetings of the Advisory Committees shall be financed from the budget of the.ugnic. 7.9 SUSTAINIBILITY PLAN Initially, the Uganda Communication Commission will fund the start-up activities. Thereafter, UgNIC will raise funds through domain registration fees as determined by the UgNIC board from time to time. In Transitioning from current management, UgNIC Board will work with the existing registry to develop a roadmap for smooth transitioning for re-delegation. 8.0 CONCLUSION Today, national governments recognize cctlds as a component of their sovereignty and a vital national interest. Realizing that cctlds may denote the brand of the country, most governments have openly embraced cctlds as a platform for national socio-economic growth. As cctlds become increasingly important, national governments are beginning to assert control over the administration of their cctlds. It is very ideal that Uganda joins the rest of the world and takes control of its cctld. Page 18 of 18

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