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been the domain administrator since Jon Postel assigned him the domain in 1990. The domain is sponsored by the PH Domain Foundation, a social outreach arm of dotPH which was also founded by Disini together with a group of IT professionals in August 1999. 1990 In 1994, the administration of the gov.ph Country code top-level domain domain was sub-delegated to the Philippine government. In like manner, edu.ph was Active sub-delegated to the Philippine Network dotPH Domains Inc. Foundation, Inc. (PHNET). Aside for being the registry, dotPH also PH Domain Foundation sells domains and web-related services such Entities connected with the as web hosting and web design. It also ofPhilippines fers free blogging services through .i.ph doUsed by various individuals, businesses mains.
and organizations in the Philippines. Used also for blogging through the .i.ph domain. Was reportedly marketed as global domain with .ph standing for Managed by dotPH "phone". .ph
Introduced TLD type Status Registry Sponsor Intended use Actual use
— Businesses/commercial entities — Internet-oriented organizations — Non-commercial organizations Structure — Military — Philippine non-governmental category 2nd level domains such as organizations .com.ph • — Domains for individuals Documents Managed by UNI.PH Domain Philippines • — Universal Philippine Domain UDRP Dispute Managed by DOST policies • — Government agencies www.domains.ph Website Managed by PHNET • — Educational institutions .ph is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the Philippines.
Registration restrictions None in general; some specific subdomains may have restrictions
• • • Registration may be done at second • level or at third level beneath generic•
The official domain registry of the .ph domain is dotPH Domains Inc. dotPH holds and maintains the database of PH domain names, specifically .ph, .com.ph, .net.ph, .org.ph, .mil.ph, .ngo.ph and .i.ph. Its registrars are not only individuals, businesses and organizations in the Philippines, but also those in other parts of the world. The PH domain is currently administered by Jose Emmanuel "Joel" Disini, who is also dotPH’s current CEO. Disini has
The Birth of the .ph Registry
In 1989, Joel Disini founded the Email Company (EMC), one of the earliest Internet service providers in the Philippines. At that time most networks (including EMC) were connected to the Internet via uucp. Disini’s network had a uucp connection to UUNET. This network connection, along with Disini’s five-year experience in networking and communications, became Jon Postel’s basis for delegating the .ph domain to him. The .ph country code top level domain was
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officially delegated on September 14, 1990. Since then, .ph domains became commercially available to EMC customers.
Foundation became identified as dotPH. Activities related to domains and the business were now attributed to dotPH, such as the resolution on the dispute between Yahoo! Philippines and another Philippine company,  the launching of the automated online registration system, and even the administration of the .ph domain registry itself. To this day, dotPH maintains itself as the official domain registry of the Philippines. In 2000, dotPH developed a system called the Shared Registry System (SRS) which enabled domain registrars and ISP’s to manage domains and accept registrations on their own site by connecting to the dotPH registry backend. This is done by downloading and installing on their server a module that does the actual communication with the registry backend using an XML-based protocol. dotPH also became one of the first Philippine sites to accept online credit card payments.
The Splitting of .ph Domain Administration
In 1994, the PHNET wide-area network, a project funded by DOST, completed its development and was able to connect the Philippines to the rest of the world by establishing TCP/IP connections to the U.S. using 64 kbit/s international leased lines. At this point, the PHNET Foundation wanted to assume responsibility to run the .ph domain registry. So they made negotiations with Disini, but they failed. Negotiations persisted, and eventually Disini gave in to the pressure and transferred the administration of .gov.ph and .edu.ph to PHNET Foundation. Later on PHNET Foundation would pass the administration of .gov.ph to DOST. Disini continued to make business with domains under his own name. Domain fees ranged from Php 450 to Php 1,350. Domains registered during this period had no expiration and therefore had no renewal rates, thus the label lifetime domains. However, a fee was charged for modifications to these domains.
General Policies for registering PH domain names
(These are for .ph, .com.ph, net.ph, org.ph, mil.ph, ngo.ph and i.ph domain names. For edu.ph policies, see http://services.ph.net/ dns/policies/generalpolicy/generalpolicy.html and for .gov.ph policies, see http://www.asti.dost.gov.ph/) • .PH Domain Names are registered on a first-paid, first-served basis. • There are no local residency requirements for registering a .PH domain. With the exception of .mil.ph, .gov.ph and .edu.ph domains, anyone may register any available .PH domain. • .PH domain names must have at least 3 characters. One and 2 character domain names are not allowed for registration. • As few as three and as many as 63 characters (not including .PH) are permitted. Because some mail programs do not accept more than 26 characters in a combined TLD and second level domain name, names with more than 23 characters for the second level domain (plus .PH = 26). Names may not begin or end with a dash, and upper case and lower case are treated as lower case only.
The PH Domain Foundation and dotPH
In August 1999 Disini and the technical people at EMC formed the PH Domain Foundation. It sought to promote the Internet and free unlimited email services in rural areas. It also took charge of the domain selling business and the management of the .ph domain registry. On October 1, 1999, the PH Domain Foundation launched a fully-automated online system for domain registration. It also launched a flat .ph domain space, enabling people to register domains like "domainname.ph". Lifetime domain registration was halted, and all domains registered subsequently carried expiration dates. Domain owners now had to renew their domains for a fee to extend their lifetime. At around this period, the "for-profit" business and technical side of the PH Domain
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Besides the - character, only alphanumeric characters a-z, 0-9 are accepted. Spaces and any other characters in a name will not be accepted. Names with only numeric characters and names with spaces will not be accepted for registration. • Domains registered prior to October 1, 1999 are known as ’Lifetime domains’ and are not subject to renewal fees. They are, however, subject to the six-month activation rule. That is, the Registry should be able to send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and receive a reply from an address other than the MAILER-DAEMON. Otherwise, the domain shall be forfeited due to non-activation/ non-use. If a lifetime domain, however, files for modification and therefore transforms into an annual (regular) domain, the postmaster rule shall no longer be in effect. • Lifetime domains cannot be modified online, and a fee must be paid for manual modification. • The registrant may choose to convert a lifetime domain to regular status. Once converted, the registration/renewal fee is paid every 2 years. All subsequent Registrant modifications will be free and can be done 24/7 via the online Control Panel.
Persons wishing to apply for the Domain Name Service of dotPH Inc. ("dotPH") must: (i) qualify for registration; (ii) submit certain information to dotPH; and (iii) meet certain conditions as detailed below.
In 2001 several complaints against dotPH were formally filed with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). One complaint was formally withdrawn, and the rest were eventually dismissed for reasons including "failure to prosecute" and "lack of interest". After studies made by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) in 2002, the Philippine Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) constituted an Advisory Board composed of representatives from the academe and various industry groups, together with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to draft guidelines for the operations of the PH ccTLD. After a series of public hearings conducted through the NTC in 2004, the "Guidelines in the Administration of the .Ph Domain Name" was issued by the CICT in November 2004. The administrator has publicly expressed doubts about the viability of the Guidelines, and raised questions about the manner in which the Advisory Board was appointed. In particular, that dotPH was excluded from participating in drafting the Guidelines and from the Board’s subsequent deliberations; and that the Guidelines contain practically no input from dotPH representatives despite their submission of several position papers. His critics, however, have responded by pointing out that the administrator was repeatedly invited to participate in the proceedings but refused to do so.
Terms of Service
All Domain Names are serviced for limited periods. Specifically, Nameholders may choose to register a domain for the following time periods: • two (2) years or; • five (5) years or; • ten (10) years. In the absence of any successful legal challenge, the Nameholder has the right of first refusal to renew the service of Nameholder’s Domain Name. This right expires on the last day of the initial term or then existing term of service for which dotPH has received payment. Nameholder agrees that the Service Agreement shall be governed in all respects by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Philippines. By submitting a domain name for registration, Nameholder consents to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the appropriate court in Pasig City, Philippines.
The administration of the PH cctld has long been criticized by some members of the Philippine Internet community. These critics have been involved in several attempts to redelegate the PH domain, claiming as their basis, the need for greater transparency, accountability, and community input in the way PH Domain Policy is created. The Whitepaper of the Philippine DomainName Authority Convenors (PhilDAC) can be found here (and in .doc format here and RTF here).
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The Registry currently conducts online polls to solicit feedback from the community but its decision-making process is opaque. Ultimately, the domain administrator Mr Jose Emmanuel Disini makes all the policy decisions. Whether he makes those decisions for the good of the Philippine Internet community or, as his critics charge, for his own personal interests is subject to debate. Mr. Disini, however, is not accountable to anyone else for his policy decisions. Mr. Disini’s claims that the PH domain is better off being "policy light", rather than being policy heavy - as desired by his critics. He has argued that that subjecting registrants to new Policy requirements would require DotPH to discard the current first-come firstserved quick registration process. This would mean domain registrations will take longer to process, and there will be more costs involved as verifying compliance with additional policies would be a manual process. Nobody really wants this, Mr. Disini believes, hence the critics "demand" for Policy Oversight is just a red herring - that Policy Formation is not a true concern of these critics. Mr Disini, however, has not been able to provide evidence that any undue or burdensome requirements will be imposed aside from those he already imposes, and no such burdensome requirements have been suggested by his critics. Although formally invited to the public hearings conducted by the NTC to guide the drafting of The Guidelines, the administrator chose not to attend to attend the hearings, but presented his views via position papers circulated during the meetings and published on the Dotph website, belying his claim that he was not allowed to participate in the proceedings. Some of his comments to the CICT Guidelines can be seen here. A rebuttal to these comments, on the other hand, can be found here. The CICT Guidelines specifically calls for the separation of the functions of the Registry from the Administrator. While Mr. Disini claims that these functions had already been run by separate entities as of 1999, with the PH Domain Foundation as the Administrator, and DotPH as the Registry, the fact is that both of these entities are actually run by Mr. Disini himself or his representatives and are therefore not truly separate. The PH Domain Foundation website actually states that: "The PH Domain Foundation is the social
outreach arm of the local PH Domain Registry (dotPH)." Critics say that because the Administrator and Registry are not separate, the redelegation clause of the Guidelines has become operative. Mr. Disini maintains that the CICT Guidelines were created under such a climate of hostility, that it is riddled with factual errors, and thus its key provision - demanding separation of Registry and Administrator - was already a fact six years before the CICT Guidelines were drafted. Hence the CICT Guidelines are broken, and unimplementable. Mr. Disini maintains that some members of the CICT that drafted the Guidelines were primarily out to seize control of DotPH, for whatever reasons they may have. This last claim, however, was disproven by the CICT Guidelines themselves, which do not mandate any takeover of DotPH or assign the Registry function to a for-profit entity, and which call for multiple, competing Registrars. The CICT is currently under fire for its involvement in the ZTE scandal, and has rebuffed all attempts to revive the Guidelines.
 ^ "About dotPH", dotPH Website. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.  "Domain Name Service Agreement", dotPH Policies. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.  ^ "dotPH releases world’s first anonymous domain", dotPH News. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.  ^ i.ph Website. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.  ^ ".ph Whois information", Internet Assigned Numbers Authority. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.  Disini, Joel. "About Me", jed.i.ph. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.  "Gov’t. ICT Services Criticized", dotPH News. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.  ^ The PH Domain and the Need for Policy Reforms. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.  ^ Disini, Joel (June 8, 2005). "My Reply To Winthrop Yu On His PICS Letter", jed.i.ph. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.  ^ "PH Domain Foundation Profile/ Background", PH Domain Foundation website. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.
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 http://www.ph.net/phildac/ whitepaper.html  http://www.ph.net/  dotPH homepage. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.  Garcia, Jing (July 1, 2001). "A Day In The Life Of Joel Disini", Manila Standard Business Sunday column. Quoted in full at the PH Domain Foundation website. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.  Mallari, Rene (July 1, 2000). "Doing It Hard", Cargonews Asia. Retrieved on May 31, 2008.  "EMC Company Profile", EMC website. Retrieved on May 31, 2008.  PHNET’s history,Philippine Network Foundation, Inc. website. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.  ^ "Manage Lifetime Domains", dotPH Website. Retrieved on May 31, 2008.  Lewel, John (September 9, 1999). "Philippine Domain Registry Adopts Quicker Policy", asia.internet.com. Retrieved on May 31, 2008.  "PH Domain Foundation launches flat domain space, automated registration", Manila Bulletin, October 21, 1999. Quoted in full on Internet Toolbox Vol. 11, November 1-15, 1999 series at the Web Dot Com Website Development
Philippines site (Web Archive copy). Retrieved on May 31, 2008.  ^ Rajendran, Joseph (October 20, 1999). "DotPH Introduces Flat Domain Names", asia.internet.com. Retrieved on May 31, 2008.  "Yet Another Yahoo! Dispute: Yahoo! Philippines wins dispute against local company", Financial Times Limited, May 22, 2001. Quoted in full at sedo.com Domain News. Retrieved on May 31, 2008.  dotPH Website. Retrieved on May 30, 2008.  "Registrar Program - Setup Your Registration Page", dotPH Website. Retrieved on May 31, 2008.
• The current PH ccTLD administrator • IANA .ph whois information • Philippine Domain Name Authority Convenors (PhilDAC) Homepage • Philippine Domain Name Authority Convenors (PhilDAC) Position Paper on the PH ccTLD • Rebuttal to the DotPH Comments Against the CICT Draft Guidelines • DotPH Accredited Registrar