, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30 – Players in the telecommunications service industry have opposed plans by the Communications Commissions of Kenya (CCK) to commercialise the country’s Internet addresses system, the .ke domain.
CCK has also relinquished its position from the board of the domain manager Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC), giving way for changes to an independent commercial entity.
But while lauding the move to have the regulator step down from the board, Telecommunications Service Providers Association of Kenya Associations (TESPOK) insists that the domain should not be changed from a non-profit organisation to a commercial entity.
TESPOK Chairman Kris Senanu says CCK should not proceed to change the operations of the organisation without due consultations arguing that the proposed changes are currently open for public input and consultations until February 10 this year.
He says commercialisation was not a solution to meeting the identified and agreed industry gaps within the local Internet community.
“We have no problem with CCK proposing another government entity to take up the government involvement but will not support commercialisation,” Senanu affirmed.
However CCK which is relying on section 83F of the Kenya Information and Communications Act wants the commercialisation of the entity for its growth while moving out of the board would help the commission to properly play its regulatory roles.
Despite KENIC being in place for more than a decade, there are about 30,000 registered .ke domain names, and the continued growth of the Internet.
“If CCK attempt to take the commercialisation approach without due consideration of TESPOK, we will have no choice but put Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on notice that any attempt at re-delegation does not have the support of the industry or any of the stakeholders,” he added.
ICANN, as part of the administrative functions associated with management of the domain-name system root, is responsible for receiving requests for delegation and re-delegation of top-level domains, investigating the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and reporting on the requests.
Other than CCK and Tespok, other KENIC’s board members are drawn from the Computer Society of Kenya, Kenya Information Society, Kenya Education Network (KENET), the Nationwide Taskforce on Electronic Commerce and the government.