Saturday, September 8, 2007

Registering a .kh domain, the Cambodian way to the internet

Posted in Untold Scandals by reak at 11:57 pm |

Ever wonder how to register a .kh domain? Let me share a few things when I registered a domain a few years ago (can’t believe I always remember the things that happened long long ago, but not the things that I learnt yesterday…will anyone ask me what I learnt yesterday?).

Well, since it’s 2 years ago, it may or may not be the case now. I followed the below step-by-step procedure:

  1. read the rules by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPTC) as in this website
  2. download the application form
  3. use word editor such as MS Words to fill in the form
  4. send the 100% completed form to
  5. wait for a response (which took me 10 days)
  6. if the name is approved, you need to present a original and certified true copy of the original trade/organization certificate (for business or organization) or Identity Card/Birth certificate (for personal)
  7. make payment and wait for the DNS to propagate
  8. done!!!

Sounds simple right? just follow steps…but here are some points that made the whole process nothing short of dramatic:

  1. only email applications were accepted
  2. the domain costs US$40 for first year and US$30 for subsequent renewal
  3. you need to have at least 2 Server IP addresses and hostnames before registering, which itself was weird ‘coz generally we only buy hosting server after we get the domain name, but in Cambodia, you need to buy server first before getting the domain
  4. the 2 Server IP addresses must be in different networks…which was of course expensive to buy 2 hostings…but I managed to convinced the administrator to put only one network
  5. virtual IP addresses and hostnames were not supported because that time the administrator was not aware of it…I believe this is not the case now (if you can convince)
  6. the office is located inside the Ministry of Post and Telecoms near Wat Phnom, in a small room in the south building in the 3rd or 4th floor (can’t remember, try your luck to find it)
  7. since it was in Phnom Penh, I needed to travel down from Siem Reap
  8. at that time there was One and only One administrator in the office
  9. for some reasons, the One and only One administrator did not work in the afternoon, the office hours was every morning Monday to Friday only (damned I arrived at PP on friday afternoon, 3 days gone for nothing)
  10. the copies of the certificates (trade/organization/personal) must be certified by the Phnom Penh or provincial Municipality
  11. after the registration is done, the admin won’t allow the domain owner any control over the DNS…I’m not too pleased with this the domain owner is supposed to have control over his own domain. I got the feeling that the admin might hold the domain for ransom…and indeed it was
  12. when I asked to change the server IP addresses, the admin charged me US$10 for the change…how did it feel? the domain owner asked to change his own domain and got charged US$10… in Cambodia a few clicks = US$10
  13. the whole process took me over 1 month from start till the domain was up and running
  14. the most blatant excuse I got was “Cambodia is not as technologically advanced as other countries, you know?” SIC!!

All these were 2 years ago, so I don’t know about the situation now. I’m sure if the process can be cut to within one week and price goes down to US$10-15 per year, there will be a .kh domain boom in Cambodia…thanks to the youth and the young tech savvy entrepreneurs. The things that the MPTC fail to see is that if they make the price competitive to international domains and eliminate all those 10 dollars fees, there will an exponential increase in new registrations which will bring more revenue.

As it stands now, most local businesses turn to international domains as there are alot easier, alot cheaper and alot faster. They can also have full control and free support.

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