The Botswana Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) or .bw was launched this week in Gaborone, and it is expected to help provide a platform for innovation and creativity, and provide better branding opportunities for local companies.
The .bw address registration system has previously fallen under the purview of the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC). The transition of responsibility of the system to BOCRA will see the regulator responsible for the management of the .bw registration while the Value Added Network Service Providers (VANS) will be responsible for allocation of local Internet addresses to all customers.
Speaking at the launch of the .bw registry, Minister of Transport and Communications Nonofo Molefhi said ccLTDs allow for a targeted local audience and therefore inherently carry with them national identity and national pride.
"It stands to reason therefore, that our efforts to develop local Botswana Internet content will benefit greatly from the use of the .bw," noted Molefhi.
He further said that .bw speaks directly to the pillar of Vision 2016 namely A United and Proud Nation.
Minister Molefhi said .bw is an initiative that will contribute immensely to the development of a key component of the communications industry, the Internet.
"It is a given that the Internet has become an integral part of our contemporary lives," he said. He added that the public sector, private sector and civil society acknowledge the role of the internet as a critical tool for conducting business successfully.
"Similarly, individuals rely heavily on the internet for personal communication, information, news, shopping and meeting friends," Molefhi noted. However, he pointed out that the challenge facing Botswana is to make this powerful medium accessible to all.
"Our gathering here today is yet another one of our initiatives in trying to reach the goal of universal internet access," he said.
Thari Pheko, CEO of the Botswana Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) explained that the Country Code Top Level Domain or ccLTD is typically a two letter extension, such as .bw, .za, .uk that corresponds to a country and is used to identify the country on the internet.
"The Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA), in collaboration with the technical advisory committee (TAC) has been working on a project to transfer the management of the .bw from Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) to the BOCRA". Pheko said that critical components of the assignment have been completed as evidenced by the launch.