The 2R registry system was built in-house at Malawi SDNP in 2002 when SDNP took over the delegation of the .mw ccTLD from Tarsus of USA. It has worked well so far, however, the increasing number of transactions per day, the demand for added security and the need to further automate require that the manual aspects of the 2R registry such as manual approval for requested domains that required manual DNS updates be automated with added network security and improve efficiency.The 3R registry model at SDNP uses the FRED Registry System (FRED) implementation of the extensible provisioning protocol (EPP) in order to put in place multiple registrars that connect to the registry on behalf of clients and registrants to facilitate domain registration and updates with added security that uses digital certificates. A domain registrant and/or reseller will then be required to go through a registrar in order to register and update his or her domain.
A digital form has been put online for potential registrars to apply for accreditation to become a registrar on the .mw registry.
Once a registrar is accredited, the new registrar can request to move all the domains that they currently manage under .mw from the System Registrar to their management. From then onwards, registrants who own those domains will have to go through the new registrar to manage their domains and it will be the responsibility of the registrar to connect to the registry at SDNP using EPP with added security of digital certificates to manage the domains.
The prospective registrar will hence need to have adequate online capability to support registrants, to support secure connections to the registry and a website to support users, registrants and clients.
SDNP is therefore inviting those that already handle domains on behalf of their clients including ISPs and content developers in Malawi and abroad to complete the online registrar expression of interest form to start applying to become a registrar on the .mw registry.
Registrants and owners of domains are also encouraged to consider and make a choice of who they want to be their registrar so as to be ready to move to the 3R registry. All domains currently registered under .mw have been moved to the new 3R registry system and are ready for your review. You can do a WHOIS query both via the website as well as via Internet port 43.
It is the desire of Malawi SDNP to transfer all domains to accredited registrars so that at the end of the transition period SDNP only runs the registry for .mw domains, services and manages only registrars while the registrars service and manage all the registrants.
Accreditation: As the registry operator for .mw ccTLD, Malawi SDNP will process requests for the accreditation of any entity that desires to become a registrar of .mw domains based on the policy for .mw domains. Eligible companies are encouraged and invited to apply for accreditation as shown at http://www.nic.mw.
Digital Certificates: For a registrar to connect to the 3R registry at SDNP, the registrar needs to have a valid registrar handle or username, a password and a digital certificate as a minimum. SDNP has set up a Certification Authority (CA) to issue digital certificates needed for such requirements and will provide support for registrars or anyone else who want to use the CA or who want tom use a different CA.
DNS automation: With increased automation in the upgraded 3R registry, the activation of the DNS for a new domain or for a modified domain will now be automatically done at set times during the day using a software zone generator. At the beginning this will take place every two hours and as the volume and frequency of transactions increases this will be done more often as needed.
The automation of the DNS zone generation requires that registrars and registrants need to submit accurate and complete DNS specifications for their domains. SDNP can no longer accept domain registration request where the DNS information is missing.
WHOIS: The WHOIS service provides a facility where any user on the Internet can query the registry to find out who owns a particular domain. In the 3R registry operation, SDNP provides this facility on a web interface as well as online on port 43 of the Internet so that a query can be made on the command line as well. This is an upgrade from the 2R registry system where only the web WHOIS service is available. It is always recommended that a registrant should check the WHOIS for a desired domain name just in case someone has already registered that domain name.
SDNP hence invites everyone to take a look at the upgraded .mw registry system, to check the WHOIS to make sure that their domains have been migrated properly and to choose a registrar as those accredited registrar become available.