Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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MAJOR PLAYERS IN THE DOMAIN NAME INDUSTRY

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DOMAIN NAME SYSTEM

The Domain Name System (DNS) provides basic information for navigating the Internet. Every computer on the Internet has a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address. IP addresses are a string of numbers that are not easy to remember so the DNS makes it easier to use the Internet by allowing a familiar string of letters ("domain name") to be used instead of IP addresses. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit organization that manages the Domain Name System worldwide.

In the 3R model of registry business, when you register a domain name, there are three key players in the Domain Name System Ecosystem, namely the Registry, Registrar and Registrant. Of course for some registrars, there are domain resellers in the business chain but it is always the registrar’s platform that connects to the registry platform/system.

The Registry is the organization responsible for maintaining the records of domain names registered under each top-level domain (TLD). The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) is the registry for the .ng country code Top Level Domain (.ng ccTLD). Like other registries for their TLDs, NiRA sets the rules for registration of .ng domain names under the .ng ccTLD by developing the relevant policies that govern the business under the .ng ccTLD. The responsibilities of the .ng Registry includes accepting domain name registration requests from NiRA Accredited Registrars, maintaining the database of the necessary data associated with the registration of .ng domain names and providing name servers to publish the zone file data. This is the list of all the .ng domain names and their associated IP addresses throughout the Internet.

The  Registrar is the company/organisation that can be contacted/contracted to register a domain name. The terms of the domain name registration, including fees, transfers, and renewals are governed by the registration agreement between the registrant and the registrar. ICANN-accredited registrars have agreements with ICANN and registry operators to offer domain name registration services. The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), the Manager, Registry  of the .ng country code Top Level Domain (.ng ccTLD), has the NiRA Registrar Agreement signed with its Accredited Registrars to govern the relationship between NiRA and the NiRA Accredited Registrars.

 

Domain name registrars can register/sell domain names, manage its records, renewals and transfers to other registrars. The NiRA Accredited Registers are accredited by NiRA to offer these services on the .ng ccTLD. Additional services such as privacy and proxy services are frequently offered by the registrars.

The Registrant is the entity that has registered a domain name for a fee. This entity that registers a domain name can be an individual name or an organisation/company. Domain names are usually registered for a minimum of one year and can be registered for up to ten years at a stretch depending on the rules governing the registration of domain names for a registry. For the .ng Registry, a domain name can be registered for a maximum of five years depending on the guiding rules for domain name registration. NiRA has a NiRA Registrant Agreement which provides the necessary guide for the registration of a .ng domain name. It is deemed that every Registrant has consented to abide by the NiRA Registrant Agreement with the registration of a .ng domain. As long as the Registrant abides by the NiRA Registrant Agreement, other NiRA Domain Policies and pays the necessary registration/renewal fees, the registrant can use that .ng domain name for its website and email for the duration of the registration.

It is always important that all parties in the chain fulfil their obligations for smooth operations. The Registry is not allowed to bring up arbitrary policies and there is a domain name policy development process for the benefit of all, which the Registry abides by. The Registry ensures protection of the data of the Registrants based on the Registrant Agreement. The Registrars must abide by both the Registry Agreement and its contract with the registrants. The registrants must abide by all the rules that govern the registration/renewal/transfer of a domain name. In case of disputes, there is always the Dispute Resolution Agreement which the registry provides.

We wish all harmonious relationships as all abide by the rules of domain name registration.