by Duncan Martin
The document below was first published on 4 June 2001 with the subtitle "Invitation to Comment". The invitation was drawn to the attention of all domain name holders by email and closed on 21 June 2001. Comments received contained no objections to, or even doubts about, the proposed policies. One institution requested an extension to the eligibility criteria that would permit the provisional registration of a domain name in anticipation of an envisaged change of name of the requesting institution. Such a provision will be made.
The proposed eligibility criteria were presented to the Committee of Technikon Principals on 8 June 2001 and the SA University Vice-Chancellors Association on 28 June 2001.
The proposed policy was formally adopted by the Board of TENET on 23 July 2001.
[ AC.ZA Home Page ] [ TENET Home Page ] [ .ZA Domain Name Authority ]
Traditionally, ac.za has been a moderated domain that has provided a distinctive name space for public higher educational and related research and support institutions that are domiciled in the Republic of South Africa. With the passage of the Higher Education Act, and with TENET's appointment as the new Administrator for the domain from 1 March 2001, TENET is re-examining the purpose and eligibility criteria for domain name holders. In particular, the Higher Education Act no. 101 of 1997 makes specific provision for private providers of higher education to register under the Act as private higher education institutions.
The Department of Education maintains a list of registered higher education institutions.
The eligibility criteria proposed below are aligned with the Higher Education Act , as amended in 1999 and amended in 2000, in that they make the ac.za name space accessible to registered private higher education institutions in addition to the public ones and other institutions that are currently accepted.
TENET commissioned Des Duxbury to make a brief study of the eligibility criteria that are applied in some other countries to determine which institutions are eligible to hold ".ac" or equivalent domain names. While the report itself is not available for distribution, the material in this section is based closely upon it.
Only two countries, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have made separate provision for a second level domain (.ac) for tertiary education institutions. New Zealand 's ac.nz domain is unmoderated. There is a set of quite general guidelines but there is, deliberately, no enforcement. By contrast, the United Kingdom is moderated and there is a comprehensive set of eligibility guidelines for the allocation of names in the .ac.uk domain. Australia has a single second level domain (2LD), called edu.au, for all education-related institutions, and has no separate domain for higher education. Canada has no 2LDs at all, in the sense that the organisation level, which forms the 3LD in most other countries, forms the 2LD in Canada - e.g. uottawa.ca.
None of the above domain administrations make any distinctions between public or private institutions, or between non-profit and for-profit institutions.
You can click on any country name below to see a relevant extract from the Duxbury report.
[Australia] [Canada] [New Zealand] [United Kingdom] [ United States of America ]
Eligibility criteria for ac.za name holders
The ac.za domain will continue to be moderated. Institutions that satisfy the three Eligibility Criteria spelt out below may apply to register sub-domains of ac.za.
The Administrator may require applicants to submit certified copies of the Institution's Certificate of Registration, Articles of Association, Constitution or other documentation of the Organisation's status and/or purpose.
Applications for the creation of a new sub-domain name should be made directly to TENET by the Principal, Registrar, Director of Public Affairs, Director of Information Technology or other officer that represents the entire Institution as a juristic person, and who will serve as the Administrative Contact Person for the Institution in respect of all sub domains that it holds. Applications will not be considered that are made directly by faculties, departments or other units that are not juristic persons in their own right, or by Internet Service Providers or other agents on behalf of the Institution.
In accordance with established Internet practice, TENET operates a Whois Service for the ac.za domain, the purpose of which is to make the contact details of all Domain Name Holders readily available at any time to any interested party. The Registrant undertakes to review the Contact Details as published in the Whois Service, to alter and/or augment them as may be necessary to ensure that they remain true and accurate for the duration of the period within which the Domain Name is in use. Registrants are required to authorise TENET to publish the Registrant's Contact Details, as recorded in the Whois database, and to make these Contact Details available to any third party through the Whois Service or by any other means.
At the time of writing name holders of ac.za sub-domains pay no fees. However TENET envisages introducing a registration fee and an annual fee per sub-domain name in order to cover the operational cost of administration and of providing the domain name service (DNS) for the AC.ZA domain. Invoices in respect of all sub-domains held by an Institution will be addressed to the Institution's Administrative Contact. The registration fee and the annual service fee are both expected to be of the order of R200 per sub-domain and to be introduced from 1 January 2002.
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