BY GERARD BEST
The things you take for granted. You punch in a web address, and the page you’re looking for just pops up. Just like that.
You probably never stop to think about what really happens when you type in that something dot something. And you shouldn’t have to, because “they” take care to that for you.
That second ‘something’—the part AFTER the dot—is called a top-level domain or TLD. And “they” are at the centre of a lucrative, global business of TLDs. You probably already know the popular ones like .com, .org and .net but the full list of TLDs is much more impressive.
Albert Daniels says entrepreneurially minded Caribbean folks should be tapping into the streams of revenue flowing around TLD registration and operation. He should know. He’s one of the “they”.
Daniels is the Stakeholder Engagement Senior Manager for the Caribbean at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an organisation that promotes the expansion of the global Internet. For ICANN, a non-profit, business is booming globally. But when it comes to the Caribbean region, Daniels sees room for greater expansion. And expansion could mean significant business opportunities for Caribbean citizens with the savvy (and the capital) to step up to the challenge.
In a May 5 interview at the 25th meeting of the Latin American and Caribbean Internet Registry (LACNIC) in Havana, Cuba, Daniels said there’s plenty encouraging evidence of potential for growth but some challenges remain.
And a recent report by the Latin America and the Caribbean TLD Association (LACTLD) stated that nearly all the country code TLDs in the LACTLD region showed positive annual growth rates, in spite of a general downward trend in the growth rate of domain names across all TLD groups. The report gave further insight into how country code TLDs like Anguilla (.ai), Aruba (.aw), Cuba (.cu), Curacao (.cw), Guyana (.gy), Haiti (.ht), Puerto Rico (.pr) and the Dominica Republic (.do) are all working steadily to overcome their unique challenges.
“The closure of 2015 shows a positive growth rate for ccTLD domains in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a balance of 8.3 million registered domain names. This figure represents an absolute growth of over 400,000 domains with respect to the endow 2014,” the report said.
From August 22-25, the Dominican Republic will be marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of its .do TLD as part of a four-day event called Internet Week. The event is organised by LACNIC, alongside ICANN, LACTLD, the Dominican Republic telecommunications regulator (INDOTEL) and the .do administrator, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra.
Kevon Swift, Head of Strategic Relations and Integration at LACNIC, announced the event at the second Caribbean Peering and Interconnection Forum, in Willemstad, Curacao on June 9.
“We are very pleased to be going to the Dominican Republic for what promises to be a very productive week. We have a full agenda planned, with sessions covering a range of topics including cybersecurity and other technical areas related to the development of the regional Internet,” Swift said.
Next time you’re pasting a link into your browser, it’s cool to think that “they” are out there working together to keep the Internet working, and to strengthen the networks of the Caribbean.