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South Sudan secures internet country domain

August 10, 2011 (JUBA) - South Sudan on Wednesday announced that it has been assigned ’.ss’ as its internet domain code and ’SSD’ as the alpha-3 numeric code.

The undersecretary of the ministry of telecommunications and postal services announced on Wednesday that the code used for internet domains will bear the suffix ’.ss’. For instance, a web site belonging to the Presidency of South Sudan will have the address www.presidency.gov.ss.

The code was assigned by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

“Code is reserved and used by independent or sovereign states. All independent countries have their own Internet domain codes. For, instance, the code for the Sudan is ’.sd’; Uganda’s is ’.ug’; while Kenya’s is ’.ke’”, he explained.

He said that public institutions, businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals will now be able to register and use appropriate types of domain names which indicate clearly that they operate from South Sudan.

He explained that the alpha-3 code ’SSD’, which has also been asigned to South Sudan, is used to mark and identify passports and national currency to facilitate international financial transactions.

“The need and issuance of the international code is very important in many ways. It is use for international police [Interpol], civil aviation and meteorological functions” said Juma, thanking the International Organization for Standardization for expediting the issuance of the codes.

He also revealed that the government has passed a resolution that all subscribers of telephony services should register their SIM cards.

Compulsory SIM registration has been the subject of controversy in other countries where telephone networks have allegedly been used for political gain and to monitor citizens.

Juma said GemTel will soon begin using 097 rather than the current 047 that is being used, as it belongs to Northern Uganda. Khartoum previously refused to give GemTel a Sudanese network code.

He said that the process of migrating from 249 to 211 is on course. He announced that the deadline for the changeover is 15 December 2011 when the use of 249 will be terminated. He also reported that work is ongoing on the country’s international gateway.

He explained that from the 15 December 2011, all network operators will be required to route their traffic through the gateway at Gumbo on the outskirts of Juba. He said that engineers from Erickson are currently working with their counterparts in South Sudan to set up the gateway.

He informed that South Sudan has applied for other international standards including the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to enable the country to receive and send parcels internationally.

(ST)