Status of .NP Domain Names and Mercantile’s breaching of its own Rules
If you have a business inside Nepal, then you might want to get the country level domain (TLD) which is .np like .com.np. Or even if you are a Nepalese citizen, you are liable to get the free .com.np domain address which is at present, all handled by Mercantile – a private company. To regulate the internet workflow, traffic patterns, maintain national ethics & integrity, this country level domains (ccTLD) should have been handled by a Government Organization which is yet a misery (How to get a .np domain name).
The Government has just initiated to handle .gov.np domains, now onward all Government offices should register their .gov.np domain names from Gov-np Domain Registration office, National Information Technology Center (NITC) inside Singh Durbar in Kathmandu. Yes, time for the Government to undertake the Nepalese national domain has come (The rules for gov.np registration are thus different from those of other domain names.) Here, we try to explore the ethics and rules imposed by Mercantile during registration of the .np domain and violation of the same by the same registrar (Mercantile) company.
many sites that are still running under the other norms of ethic. While in many of the cases, you can not even register a domain name based on your official name but on the other hand if you have friends in Mercantile you can just register whatever domain you want. In this article we try to collect information about such websites which are in one or the other way related to Nepal (just the word or the work) and we assume they are still under the norms of ethics, what are big people earing at? Let see some of them!
Google Nepal: Heard about it thousand times right? GoogleNepal.com.np, yes you’re right. Did you hear about googlenepal.co.cc ? Yes Google Nepal also runs the advertising Google ads on their site along with hundreds of other articles of course copied from other content sites. (Update: seems like they removed this domain recently.)
Don’t see whois records of Google.com.np, we all know Google is the Internet. (Google has set up their own resources for .com.np; but this is not verified in whois records except the nameservers)
Yahoo Nepal: Yes, Yahoo Nepal delivers SLC result information, do you believe this? Don’t worry yahoo.com.np and yahoonepal.com.np is registered in Mercantile by Vishnu Dhakal of Yahoo Int. P. ltd. So, next is your turn to open a company called IBM (say Institute of Business Mgmt) and get ibm.com.np, seriously you can try it.
Microsoft Nepal: Oops, the site microsoft.com.np is not available but is already registered by Nepali Softworks in Mercantile. We hope the registration is in terms of Policy of MOS.
Now, let’s dig into cogency of some of the terms and policies that Mercantile, the only .np domain registrar in Nepal, has made. Is Mercantile breaching its own law? What are Mercantile’s .np Domain rules & Government Policies about our country’s ccTLD. Terms and Conditions Policy for domain name registration under NP ccTLD here.
# First Come – First Served basis (except in cases where it infringes upon a registered tradenames and the conditions listed) – So, why not monitoring if Yahoo is really there in Nepal? What about international trademarks and patents getting a Nepali domain via a local company with the same name as an MNC but no relation with them at all?
# Legalities: The question arises that why Nepalese eCommerce site are not on our country’s own ccTLD, they are going Top Level Domain (TLDs like .com) only. Is the rule flexible with Mercantile? Established companies should go an alternative domain name with ccTLD url option as well, say why not thamel.com.np along with thamel.com.
This will be beneficial to keep traffic flow within the country as well, saving bandwidth and dollars in turn.
(Sadly: Thamel.com.np was registered in 2001, even before Mercantile took the official responsibility with newer .np registration scheme, and this domain is no way related with the eCommerce giant thamel.com)
Few suggestions or grounds to improve for Nepalese domain Scenario:
1. A Little fee for .np domain: Domain registrations under .NP ccTLD is free of cost. Maybe they can charge a small fee for .np domain registration so that they could maintain the database well and provide more options to it. This may also check the registration of spammy register-and-leave-it domains.
2. More DNS Options: Right now there are no features in MOS NP other than editing nameservers (NS1 and NS2) to point your domain name to the hosting webspace. Because of this many users are getting confused, even to use a simple Google Apps options they need to create a cname and MX records.
3. Remove inactive & booked domains: There are hundred, if not thousands, of .np domain names registered just to book a domain URL. Many people have registered to book their domains and got lost afterwards. This is totally insane; and Mercantile should remove such nameshake and inactive-for-years domain names; of course, they can contact the registrant before acting upon.
4. Ease the process of Domain modification: First a password and then a domain ID for the domain name you want to modify – maybe this is a security put forth to comply with a single user having multiple domains; but they still have room to improve and display domain in a easier way.
5. Let established sites get .np without much hassle: As discussed above with the case of thamel.com. Really, such site owner should also take some initiatives from better ICT perspective. Why not have some Nepalese flavor in the internet?
6. Invite for companies to handle domains: Mercantile should invite and give responsibilities to other IT companies (as granted by the Government) for Nepalese domain (.NP) name management and registration. Fair schemes, more choices for better web environment in the country.
7. Let domain registration be embedded with hosting services: Since Mercantile’s web hosting is costly for individuals/ personal users, people tend to purchase hosting accounts from cheaper ones. But still there is no shortcut way to register the domain while purchasing (all-in-single package like thing) the hosting. Many people know what API is, right? Maybe MOS give #1 reason of little fees on this case as well.
8. Bring back REGISTER.COM.NP: Dedicated domain URL gives some meaning here rather than going back to MOS’s own site. This domain was in use for few time and then again closed. It is a good idea to bring it back. We deserve some aesthetic values, don’t we?
All what Nepalese Internet wants is Nepalese context, internal traffic inside the country, promotion of our own country level TLD while if some guys are really rich can still purchase .nepal TLD and help Nepal compute better. Let’s prepare to celebrate 2013 as Information Technology Year in Nepal. Suggestions and comments please.