The Kenyan ccTLD operator KENIC will begin rolling out second level .ke domain names from 23 July, the registry operator announced Thursday through Facebook and Twitter, and they will be available along with the existing third level domains.
While no specific dates have been announced other than the launch date, KENIC have published policies [pdf] for the second level domains. They’ll begin with a Sunrise period that will run for 90 days for trademark holders whose trademarks have been registered under the Trade Marks ACT (CAP 506) Laws of Kenya, presumably from 23 July.
Following the Sunrise period will be a 30-day Landrush. At the end of the Landrush Period, any domain names with only one applicant will be allocated while for those with more than one applicant will proceed to an auction conducted by the registry between the competing applicants and awarded to the highest bidder.
Between Sunrise and Landrush and following the Landrush periods will be a 30-day cooling off period where the registry will assess whether the applications meet the eligibility criteria for the respective phases.
And then approximately 150 days after the launch of second level domain names, in mid-late December, General Availability will commence. While some of the third level domains require “supporting documents”, it appears .ke and .co.ke do not have any requirements for the registrant to be located in Kenya.
Pricing has not yet been published and will be published on the KENIC website.
There are currently 58,270 .ke domain names registered, with around 2,500 being added each month. The vast majority of the .ke domain names are registered under .co.ke, which has 55,150 registrations.