Government of Barbados
This Policy is in accordance with Sections 4(2)(a)
and 4(2)(f) of the Telecommunications Act
Top Level Domain Name “.bb”
Government of Barbados
TOP LEVEL DOMAIN NAME “.bb” ADMINISTRATION
Policy in accordance with sections 4(2)(a) and 4(2)(f) of the Telecommunications Act Cap 282B.
Country code domain names are usually administered by or for respective governments. In 1996, Cable & Wireless (C&W) assumed the administration of the “.bb” domain name from the University of Puerto Rico. The Memorandum of Understanding signed October 16, 2001, between the Government of Barbados and Cable & Wireless (Bartel) Ltd. and Cable & Wireless (BET) Limited provided at Clause 6.3 for Cable & Wireless to continue to perform the role of the administration of the “.bb” domain name until such date as determined by the Government.
With the liberalization of the telecommunication sector in Barbados, consideration had to be given to the continued administration of the domain name registration. The Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) had advised that the management of domain names involves government entities, academic entities, NGOs and the private sector. Should Government take over this function, training of staff is essential.
There was an exchange of correspondence between the Telecommunications Unit and Cable & Wireless in relation to taking over the administration of the “.bb” domain name, including the training of staff. The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Switzerland was also approached re: training of staff in the various aspects of this area – legal, administration and technical, but was unable to assist.
A domain name is a human friendly form of internet address which is commonly used to find websites. Domain names are also used in email addresses and file transfers. The domain name provides for the easy identification of one computer from the millions of others connected to the Internet. The Internet address identifies a computer site in a similar manner to telephone numbers identifying a telephone line. No two organisations can have the same domain name.
The intention is to operate a semi-restricted top-level domain name system and let the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office handle the legal issues, which are an integral part of domain name administration. The Inter American Telecommunications Commission (CITEL) had advised that it is the role of governments to provide a clear, coherent and predictable legal system. The main element of legal responsibility relates to duty of care and protection against issues such as defamation, infringement of copyright and/or trademarks, misappropriation of intellectual property and unjust enrichment. A semi-restricted system is where it is necessary to have a local representative with a formally-constituted presence (tax number, registered company etc.).
The “.bb” code is one of many country code top-level domains assigned by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for the purpose of facilitating domain registration services in specific countries and geographic regions. Hence, the “.bb” domain name is a two-letter country code top level domain name registered to the Government of Barbados. Domain name systems consist of:-
Generic top level domain names (GTLD), and
Examples of three letter generic top level domain names are –
.com is used for commercial organizations
.net is used for Internet network providers
An example of a two letter top level domain code is .bb (Barbados)
An example of a second level domain name under GTLD is net-searchers.net.
Domain names are used:
to easily locate a website
for protection of famous names and marks.
Domain names may be registered in jurisdictions where the applicant has already established trade mark rights.
In order to properly administer domain names, the Telecommunications Unit has to procure specified computer equipment and software as well as training for the staff who will be involved in this function. The key areas of responsibility of Domain Name Administrators are:
Establishing policy and setting standards
Being vigilant with respect to cybersquatting
The skill sets include:-
Legal – familiarity with WIPO and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
The list of persons to be trained in both the engineering and administrative areas was provided to Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Limited who indicated that they did not have certified information systems trainers on staff. Telecommunications Unit technical staff were trained by certified information systems trainers from Garnett Technologies Inc. in all aspects of information systems.
Cybersquatting is defined as the “systematic registration of well known names as domain names with a view of making a profit by selling them to owners of the goodwill, using the blocking effect of the registration to obtain a good price or in some cases selling them to collectors or other persons who could have a legitimate reason for using them”. It is a major difficulty for administrators and has resulted in extensive litigation, globally. It underscores potential difficulties between trademarks and domain names. Individuals can take over domain names that are confusingly similar to their names or valid trademarks.
The main function of the Telecommunication Unit with respect to domain names will be the administrative and technical process. The administrative process involves:
(a) Receipt of application
(b) Processing of application
(c) Acceptance/Rejection of application
(d) Communication to Customer
(e) Maintenance of domain names register
(f) Handling queries; and
The essential elements of establishing the policy and setting standards are to:-
Ensure rules are clear and visible to applicants;
Provide general advice and information to aid persons in easy registration;
Maintain an up-to-date database of domain names; and
Facilitate domain name registrations, changes and cancellations.
Form TU052 must be completed by all persons who need to register their domain name – this form is to be completed when the existing registration with Cable & Wireless has expired either in 2006 or 2007. The fee for the registration is now set at $120.00 per annum. When all details are verified, the registrant will be issued with a “Licence for Domain Name Registration”. It is the intention to have this process on line in the near future. Licence fees are payable by cash or cheque at the Telecommunications Unit Licensing Office. All cheques are payable to the Chief Telecommunications Officer.
The Form TU052 and the Licence for Domain Name Registration are attached for reference.
The Ministry responsible for Telecommunications.