South Sudan launches Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD).
The launch of the ccTLD in South Sudan has been in the pipeline for as long as I can remember. Despite the slow progress, the ccTLD launch is timely especially in light of several other important (and complementary) developments including the soon to be completed Juba electrification project, the laying of fibre optic cables to Juba, the rollout of mobile money and the recent launch of the South Sudan International Gateway.
2019 certainly packs a whole lot of interesting ICT developments than any other sector of the economy. This is commendable as an enabling infrastructure is one of the key pillars to achieve development in the ICT sector.
What does this ccTLD even mean?
A ccTLD is a country code top-level domain extension that is assigned to a country in the world. Similar to the telephone country code of 211, websites and domains also come with their own country codes. Each country has its own domain extension based on the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes. For example, websites in Uganda carry the .ug code, in Rwanda the .rw code and in Tanzania the .tz code. South Sudan websites will, therefore, carry a. ss code. How cool is that!
How is the ccTLD important to the business community?
The following are just some of the benefits that businesses can enjoy eventually benefiting the country as a whole.
- It creates more space for domain names for businesses/organizations in South Sudan. Today most of the .com or .org domains that you might want to buy for your business may not be available. Well, with the .ss extension, now will be the time to get that domain name you have always wanted to have.
- It creates a new market for ICT companies. ICT companies can become registrars with approval from the National Communication Authority and become domain resellers, hence generating business for themselves and creating employment.
- Businesses with customized domains and emails are perceived to be more trustworthy/credible than those that are using Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail. So this will be the right time to switch to a customized domain/email.
- ccTLD offers local targeting and SEO (search engine optimization) benefits. This is a bit technical but let me try to break it down. Using a ccTLD extension gives you a higher SEO value for country-based results on Google, Yahoo, MSN or any other search engine. This is because search engines return different results, including many local ones, depending on the IP address of the person doing the search. This means that if someone in South Sudan does say a search for web design in South Sudan, your South Sudan based ICT company website might appear higher in the search rankings than if you didn’t have the .co.ss extension.
- It creates a map for a whole new world of customers. Registering an appropriate ccTLD (or ccTLDs) is undoubtedly a crucial step in managing that presence. Companies with the domain. ss on it will definitely be associated with having operations in South Sudan.
I can’t think of any negatives that would come with the ccTLD launch in South Sudan. If there is any disadvantage, it certainly does not supersede the benefits that come with it. Today’s launch is a positive move forward for ICT in South Sudan and hopefully an indication of better things to come.