The ministries of Commerce, and Posts and Telecommunications are preparing a draft sub-decree on the management and use of .kh national domain names on the internet.

On July 9, the two ministries began discussions on the legislation, at a meeting co-chaired by commerce ministry secretary of state Sok Sopheak and a telecoms ministry counterpart Chea Manit, and attended by experts in the field.

Sopheak said in a press release: “This draft sub-decree is designed to define the principles, rules, mechanisms of management and use of national domain names.”

This, he said, will “shore up national identity and the value of the top-level domain, as well as promote the equitable use of national domain names”.

Manit led a meeting on June 25 last year to discuss the technical aspects related to the operations and management of a potential Cambodian Network Information Centre (KHNIC) that would manage domain name registration and encourage people to use the national (.kh) domain.

He stressed that the registration procedure should follow the Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) as a model.

KHNIC would need to be associated with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA), he said, pointing out that neighbouring countries Vietnam and Thailand have already established network information centres.

“Creation of the KHNIC would take time and require extensive research on all related aspects. For instance, Vietnam has a dedicated general department to manage domain name registration,” Manit said.

In Cambodia, the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) handles .kh domain name registrations, and Telecom Cambodia handles the technical tasks.

“KHNIC management would involve the registration procedure and IP address management. The working group will continue to study the network information centre models of Thailand, Vietnam and other countries in the region,” Manit said.

Meanwhile, Cambodia and Korea last week entered into an agreement to set up a Digital Government Cooperation Centre.

A memorandum of understanding was signed to this effect on July 8 by Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Chea Vandeth and South Korean Minister of Interior and Safety Jeon Hae-cheol via video link.

The signing was presided over by Cambodian ambassador to South Korea Long Dimanche and South Korean ambassador to Cambodia Park Heung-kyeong.

Vandeth said that through the MoU, the Digital Government Cooperation Centre would be launched in Cambodia to set up an effective digital administration management system, and support the exchange of experiences and technology transfer.

“Both sides reaffirmed their strong belief that the centre would serve as a platform for the Royal Government of Cambodia to set a clearer direction for the digital transformation and achieve the goal of providing effective public services,” he said.

As of May 2020, the number of active mobile phone subscriptions across the Kingdom’s six operators was 20,481,051, down by 0.08 per cent year-on-year, the latest data from the TRC show. This figure was the equivalent of 124.09 per cent of the total population then.

At the same time, the number of landline and fixed-line subscriptions numbered just 52,480 as of end-May last year, slipping 21.62 per cent from the end of the same month in 2019.

The number of mobile internet subscriptions across Cambodia’s seven providers also recorded a 2.36 per cent year-on-year drop to 14,863,435 in May 2020, whereas fixed broadband internet subscriptions across the Kingdom’s 37 providers logged a 33.07 per cent climb to 249,132.