KENIC Reduces Cost of '.Ke' Domains

Kenya Network Information Centre (KENIC), the administrator of .ke top-level domains has reduced the cost of noncommercial domains and plans to reduce the cost of all domains within three years.

All, and domain names will cost 500 Kenyan shillings (US$7.58) per year, with other names to follow at the same price depending on the initial reaction to the discounted domains, said KENIC Chairman Anthony Mugambi.

The 2,000 shillings currently charged for the .ke domain has been identified as a major barrier to the purchase of local domain names.

The decision will require publicity so that registrars lower the charges, said Maggie Mbugua, an ISP (Internet service provider) in Thika, Kenya. Otherwise, she said, the public may continue paying higher charges.

"If we encourage local hosting, then Internet service providers can make money on the hosting," she said.

The decision to reduce the cost was made at the Annual General Meeting, where KENIC also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Telecommunications Providers Association (TESPOK) and the Kenya Internet Exchange Point (KIXP).

Though the three organizations have been working together harmoniously, Mugambi said the memorandum serves "just to firm up things," spelling out the deliverables of each party.

KENIC, TESPOK and KIXP provide cross-functional facilities to each other, as TESPOK and KIXP route KENIC traffic, host the servers and collaborate on training.

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