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A First Look at the African’s ccTLDs Technical Environment

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Towards new e-Infrastructure and e-Services for Developing Countries (AFRICOMM 2020)

Abstract

Leveraging multiple datasets, we evaluate the current status of African ccTLDs technical environment with regard to best practices. Compared to the top 10 ccTLDs, African ccTLDs appear to have enough IPs to maintain service availability while handling authoritative DNS queries. With regard to the early stage of IPv6 deployment in the AFRINIC region, it is interesting to note that 94% of African ccTLDs support IPv6. This is due to the huge adoption of out of region or offshore DNS anycast provider. The majority (84%) of African anycast traffic is handled by non-profit foundations and/or organisations using resources from other RIRs such as RIPE-NCC and ARIN. Furthermore, less than 30% (16) of African ccTLD have signed their zone. From this group, the majority is using the recommended algorithm RSASHA256 (Algorithm 8) as suggested by BCP 14. Strangely some African ccTLDs lack basic DNS configuration such as missing PTR records, lame delegation, EDNS compliance and consistent serial numbers. These misconfigurations can be easily fixed with consistent monitoring or the use of modern automated registry software which comes with internal checks. Overall, African ccTLDs are characterised by the usage of out of region resources.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    AFRINIC Lame Delegation Policy - https://afrinic.net/policy/2017-dns-001-d2.

  2. 2.

    https://github.com/AlfredArouna/AfTLDTechEnv.

  3. 3.

    https://afrinic.net/dns-support.

  4. 4.

    https://www.ripe.net/analyse/dns/authdns.

  5. 5.

    https://dnsnode.netnod.se/.

  6. 6.

    https://www.irondns.net.

  7. 7.

    https://www.freenom.com/en/freeandpaiddomains.html.

  8. 8.

    https://www.internetsociety.org/deploy360/dnssec/maps/.

  9. 9.

    Afnic is the registry for domain names in.fr.

  10. 10.

    IIS is the registry for domain names in.se.

  11. 11.

    https://github.com/zonemaster/zonemaster.

  12. 12.

    A lame delegation, also known as a lame response, is a type of error that results when a name server is designated as the authoritative server for a domain name for which it does not have authoritative data or is unreachable.

  13. 13.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/505883/number-of-internet-users-in-african-countries/.

  14. 14.

    https://www.freenom.com/en/freeandpaiddomains.html.

  15. 15.

    https://www.nro.net/development-of-the-regional-internet-registry-system/.

  16. 16.

    http://rick.eng.br/dnssecstat/.

  17. 17.

    https://dnssec-africa.org/index.html.

  18. 18.

    https://www.afnic.fr/en/about-afnic/news/general-news/9522/show/opendata-data-from-the-fr-tld-to-serve-innovation.html.

  19. 19.

    https://www.openintel.nl/coverage/.

  20. 20.

    https://www.iana.org/domains/root/manage.

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Acknowledgment

We would like to thank our shepherd and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable detailed feedback. We are indebted to Barrack Otieno from AfTLD for his detailed comments on how this work fits into AfTLD research strategy.

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Correspondence to Ahmed Elmokashfi .

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Arouna, A., Phokeer, A., Elmokashfi, A. (2021). A First Look at the African’s ccTLDs Technical Environment. In: Zitouni, R., Phokeer, A., Chavula, J., Elmokashfi, A., Gueye, A., Benamar, N. (eds) Towards new e-Infrastructure and e-Services for Developing Countries. AFRICOMM 2020. Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, vol 361. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-70572-5_19

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-70572-5_19

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