ZA dotCities domains .joburg, .capetown, and .durban will be available to the general public on a first-come, first served basis from 1 October 2014.
Prior to general availability, the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) will run a pre-registration period for 4 months.
This includes a “sunrise” and “landrush” period, which will run parallel.
The sunrise period will run for 90 days starting today (Tuesday, 1 July 2014) and allows registered trademark owners to claim a domain for their trademark.
Mpisane said that these trademarks need to be registered with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Exceptions are made for local South African trademarks, which owners could register with the ZACR to participate in the sunrise period.
The landrush period will run for 120 days, parallel to the sunrise phase.
Landrush applications are not considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Domains applied for during the landrush phase will only be assigned after the period expires.
If there is more than one applicant for a name, the conflict will be resolved through auction, Mpisane said.
Addressing the issue of fees, Mpisane said that it was always “tricky” to discuss prices in the Internet service provider (ISP) space.
Though there is a base price, it is ISPs and registrars that will compete on, and eventually determine the prices.
Mpisane predicted that because of the competition the fees will be affordable, and should range from R200 to R300 (per year) “or so”.
Where is dotBloemfontein?
Responding to earlier questions of why more cities were not included in the launch, Mpisane said that it comes down to money.
It was previously reported that the ZACR forked out as much as R1.9 million (US$185,000) for each of the three applications to ICANN.