Tanzania Network Information Centre - tzNIC

Tanzania Network Information Centre (tzNIC) is the Internet registry for .tz domain names. We manage a system that locates where a .tz mail or web server is located.Through a consultative process, Tanzania Network information Centre (tzNIC), a not-for-Profit Company was established and registered (in 2006) to administer and manage the operations of the Tanzania country code Top Level Domain (.tz ccTLD). tzNIC is a limited company (by guarantee) with 2 founding members – TCRA (the regulator) and TISPA (the association of ISPs)

What we do

tzNIC’s core function is to manage and administer the .tz registry.

By so doing:

  • We provide you the worldwide online visibility;
  • We brand your service/business with Tanzanian cyber identity;
  • We enhance your business competitive edge;
  • We facilitate the localization of Internet traffic;
  • We ensure affordable, secure, reliable and speedy electronic communication;
  • We shape the development of Internet.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is tzNIC?

tzNIC is a not for profit company that administers and manages the Internet registry for .tz domain names.

tzNIC is a not-for-profit organization – What does this mean?

tzNIC was not set up and is not constituted to make any profit from its activities. Accordingly its charges are sufficient only to cover its operating costs.

tzNIC is a company limited by guarantee – What does this mean?

As a company limited by guarantee, tzNIC has no shareholders and pays no dividend. It does have members only.

tzNIC is managed by The Policy Advisory Committee. The committee comprises eight (8) non-executive Directors. Each member (TCRA and TISPA) has equal representation in the PAC.

How many staff does tzNIC have?

Day to day tzNIC operations are carried out by 3 Technical and 2 non-technical staff.

How is tzNIC financed?

Currently the operating costs are covered by TCRA. In future the costs will be covered through the subscriptions of the registrars and domain name registration fees from the registrants.

Who are tzNIC members?

The current membership is mainly made up of Internet Service Providers Association (TISPA) and the Communication Regulatory (TCRA). These are the founding members.

What is a ccTLD?

ccTLD stands for country-code Top Level Domain (.tz, .uk, .ke)

-Provides a unique Internet identity related to countries just like telephone country code (+255, +44, +254)

-Is a country’s national internet resource

-It is a critical part of the internet structure (Domain name system)

-They differ with generic TLDs (.com, .org, .biz) as they refer to specific, unique country (Unique identification)

-They have more credibility as a result of country uniqueness (Comparatively- Juma = .com; Mabula = .tz)

What is a registry?

A registry serves as the authoritative repository for all information REQUIRED to resolve domain names registered in the registry’s top-level domain (TLD), or second-level domains (SLDs) if the reserved SLD mode is used (e.g., co.tz, ac.tz). The registry also maintains additional information such as the administration and technical contacts for the domain name, the billing contact, and the registrar who registered the domain name.

Who is a registrar?

A registrar provides services to the registrant (the person who registered a domain name) and provides the information to the registry. The registrar provides domain information (servers and contact and billing information) to the registry. The registrar MAY also provide additional value-added services to the registrant such as email, web hosting, etc. The registrant is the individual end-user who is requesting the domain name.

Normally, the registry and registrar organizations are separate. There is one registry which SHOULD be administered as a national trust because it is a natural monopoly by definition, and multiple registrars provide competition in registering names with the registry.

A country MAY begin registry services by also acting as the sole, initial registrar. These functions MAY be kept separate and the registrar MAY eventually be transitioned away from the registry as one of many registrars. However, combining the functions MAY also provide a simple, more efficient, organization with less overhead. Note, however, that this would now be a monopoly on two levels and separation later may be problematic.

Who is a registrant?

This refers to an entity or individual end-user who registers a domain name.

What is a domain name service?

Domain Name Service (DNS) is a hierarchical global distributed database that serves the communications through internet by translating the user friendly names (domain names) into numeric codes (IP addresses) understandable to computer or networking equipment, and vice versa.

Who is a ccTLD manager?

The ccTLD manager is an entity (company) or an individual that handles the daily country code Top Level Domain operations or activities on behalf of the local Internet community (LIC). The authority that delegates the responsibilities to the ccTLD Manager is ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).

Who are the tzNIC stakeholders?

  • Government = Facilitator
    – Sponsoring entity
    – Protecting public interests.
  • Private sector = Implementer
    – Have technical expertise/know-how
    – Business oriented to ensure sustainability
    – Protect private sector interests
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)
    – They have potential for registration of new domain names
  • Youth and civil society
    – ICT advocacy
  • The academia
    – Scientific research and direction

What is the ccTLD re-delegation?

This is the process of changing the designated ccTLD administrative manager and/or the designated ccTLD Technical manager

Why re-delegate the .tz ccTLD?

Historically and due to poor Internet Infrastructure, most ccTLDs in Africa were and some are still being technically managed by foreign experts. With the current technological advancements, every country is striving to manage its ccTLD viz. to have its ccTLD registry system delegated to a local entity. The reasons behind .tz ccTLD re-delegation are: –

  • To take full control of a ccTLD (.tz) as it is a national internet resource just as a country code number (255) is for the national PSTN.
  • To further distribute and de-centralize the DNS system with added advantages of scalability, avoidance of single point of failure, improved performance (lower latency), keeping traffic in a local or regional context and thereby reducing the use of expensive international links.

What are the SLD categories?

  • .co.tz – Only for registered company or business entity as defined under national laws.
  • .or.tz – Only for none profit making organizations.
  • .go.tz – Only for formal Tanzania Governmental entities as recognized through parliament or on production of a letter from relevant Permanent Secretary of the relevant government Ministry where the registrant belongs.
  • .ac.tz – Only for formal tertiary academic or technical institutions with relevant accreditation.
  • .ne.tz – Only for addressing the network of people and hardware.
  • .mil.tz – Exclusively for Tanzania Military entities recognized by the Ministry responsible for Defense;
  • .sc.tz – Only for schools that are elementary, primary and secondary level institutions.

What is a domain name?

Computers connected to the Internet have unique numerical addresses so that electronic information is delivered to the right place. The domain name system (DNS) translates the numerical addresses of computers into more user-friendly names. The resulting domain names are easier to remember and help people to find information on the Internet.
Domain names are used to identify particular web pages. For example, in the web site address “http://www.tznic.or.tz” the domain name is tznic.or.tz
Domain names are also used in e-mail addresses that enable people to send and receive electronic messages. For example, info@tznic.or.tz

What is a name server set?

The name server set is a structure where both the actual name servers and the respective contacts of the technical administrators of these name servers are entered. Such set is then assigned to a domain name as a whole. The same name server set can be assigned to multiple domains. This makes it possible to simplify the name server administration in situations when the same name server set is used for multiple domains, allowing to unambiguously and logically assigning specific technical administrators to specific name servers.