ZA NiC
free domain names
From 31 October 2012 ZA NiC will no longer be accepting new registrations for za.net or za.org domains. Please see our 14 April 2012 Announcement for more information.
about
policy
whois
register
faq
queue status
contact us

ZA NiC was created in 1998 to provide free domain registration under ZA.NET and ZA.ORG to companies, not-for-profit organisations or private users who cannot afford the fees demanded by some domain name registrars or who simply believe that domain names should be a freely available resource for everyone.

In the period since we started taking public domain registrations in August 1998 until we stopped in October 2012 we registered over 40,000 domains. We never commercially advertised the service and rely mostly on word of mouth and testimonials of existing users to spread the word.

The growth rate and popularity of the service is clearly evident from the statistics below:

The primary reason for starting this project was to provide an affordable alternative to commercial domain name costs of the time. Back in the late '90s a .com domain name could easly set you back as much as $100! Today the Internet is a very different place with a .com domain being available for as little as around $8. Even in the primary market we served (South Africa), co.za domains are just R50 per year and org.za domains are free for non-profit organisations.

Unfortunately just as the Internet has become a better place (cheaper!) it has also become a worse place in the last 14 years. Today the admin overhead of managing domain names registered purely for spam or scamming purposes has made running a free, community serving project such as ZA NiC just not fun anymore.

On 14 April 2012 we announced that we would stop taking any new registrations as of 31 October 2012.

Just because we will no longer be taking new registrations, it does NOT mean any existing domains will cease to function. Domains registered before 31/10/2012, with valid and responding nameservers, will continue to be served by us indefinitely. The modification system for keeping contact and domain name details up to date will also continue to work as it does today.

Some key dates and facts to be aware of:

No Further New Registrations31/10/2012
First Database Check31/10/2012
Second Database Check30/11/2012
Database Cleanup

(Domain names without any valid, functioning nameservers on both the first and second check dates above, will be put on hold and removed from the live zones)
30/11/2012
Further Database CleanupsApproximately every 6 to 12 months
Service of existing za.net and za.org domains registered before 31/10/2012Unaffected
Ability to modify existing domain name detailsUnaffected


If you are a service provider that currently lists za.net and za.org domain names as a service for your customers, please ensure that they are removed from new offers on or before 31/10/2012.

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank our supporters for what has been a fun 14 years of providing this service! As always, if you have any queries or comments, we'd like to hear from you at hostmaster@nic.za.net



©1998-2012 ZA NiC