Last February, we wrote a post about the most-recent ccTLD to be added to the root zone:  .ss (South Sudan).  Now a little over a year later, the registry has announced the rules and schedule for launch.

  • Sunrise  /  June 1 – July 15
  • Landrush  /  July 17 – August 17
  • EAP  /  August 19-29
  • GA  /  September 1

After reviewing the registry’s policies, we can confirm that this TLD will be unrestricted and no documentation will be requested to register domains.

The launch process is straightforward and consistent with industry standards:  Sunrise is only from trademark holders, whereas the remainder of the stages are open to all applicants.  Multiple requests during Landrish will be settled by auction, not order of submission.  EAP is a chance to acquire desirable domains for a lower price than in Landrush, but higher than in GA.

The last time that .ss was in the news, several outlets called attention to the fact that .ss was a problematic domain name extension, as SS refers to the Nazi military organization.  That concern appears to have been resolved by not allowing registration at the second level.  The extensions available will be:

  • UNRESTRICTED: .com.ss / .net.ss / .biz.ss / .me.ss
  • RESTRICTED: .org.ss  /  .edu.ss  /  .gov.ss

Even after this week’s announcement, there are several unanswered questions.  The registry indicates that registration will be through accredited registrars, but doesn’t list any such registrars.  For the time being, accreditation is restricted to local entities, although the registry website makes a note that they will post criteria for accreditation by international registrars when (not if) they begin receving applications from abroad.

After some Google searching to try and locate a registrar, we came up empty.  In fact, we find only one company in the domain/hosting business that listed a South Sudan address on their website: Al Afdal Web Solutions

We also failed to find any information on the backend software to be used by this registry.  DNS support is being provided by Gransy s.r.o. of the Czech Republic, which offers a registry solution based on the FRED backend.  Additional DNS support is provided by Tanzania’s TZNIC, which uses FRED.  This would suggest that South Sudan’s registry personnel has been exposed to the FRED and Gransy software, but we have no evidence that they will use it.

Our aim is to offer .com.ss domain name registration starting with GA on September 1, as well as providing assistance with Sunrise/Landrush/GA on case-by-case basis.  This is still dependent on finding a supplier, so expect this post to be updated once we can confirm that this extension will be offered and for what price.

 

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