Vanuatu considers next ccTLD move

Discussions are continuing about the future of Vanuatu’s country code top-level domain (ccTLD).

The .vu domain name is currently owned by Television Vanuatu Ltd (TVL), but a public consultation was launched in October of last year by Telecommunication & Radiocommunication Regulator (TRR) as it seeks to gain control of the suffix.

According to Island Business, a number of potential arrangements have been outlined by TRR to show how the management of .vu can progress.

“The regulation is intended to provide a transparent view of the .vu ccTLD management and administration role that TRR is now responsible for under the TRR Act,” TRR observed in its paper on the matter.

This includes information on the roles, responsibilities and liabilities of all parties involved in the operation of the domain name. The main issues arises from the fact that TVL has a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to manage .vu and the only way to change this is to get approval from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority – a subsidiary of ICANN.

As a result of this, cooperation from TVL and the agreement of the minister responsible for telecommunications in Vanuatu is required if a common ground is to be reached. TRR hopes the public consultation will be the first step in the process of “determining future arrangements for .vu ccTLD management that best fits Vanuatu’s needs”.

TRR has looked at how operations are run in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Canada in an effort to get an idea of the best way forward.

Proposals are also being considered that would clamp down on the cases of cybersquatting in the Pacific Island nation. The creation of a reserved list for domain names to protect the .vu domain would mean that people or firms looking to act in bad faith would struggle to register a web address.

The case highlights how important the issue of brand protection is across the world.