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ICANN Mobile Network Operator Day 2023: Strengthening the DNS Ecosystem Security

30 November 2023

Group Photo from the Inaugural ICANN Mobile Network Operator Day
Group Photo from the Inaugural ICANN Mobile Network Operator Day

On 4 October 2023, we held the first ICANN Mobile Network Operator Day in Lusaka, Zambia, as part of our new initiative aimed at enhancing ICANN's technical engagement with network operators, including Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), to bolster the security of the Domain Name System (DNS) ecosystem.

DNS is one of the key components of the Internet infrastructure's backbone. It provides, among other things, the ability for anyone to access information, services, and applications online using names instead of numbers. MNOs are increasingly providing Internet services, thereby running different components of the DNS. ICANN's mandate is to ensure the stability, security, and resilience of the DNS so that the thousands of networks across the globe continue to provide interconnected and interoperable services.

The inaugural ICANN Mobile Network Operator Day featured presentations and panel discussions led by ICANN, the African Network Information Centre, Zambia ICT Regulation Authority (ZICTA), and Network Service Providers Association of Zambia (NSPAZ). These sessions engaged the audience and addressed critical topics, including Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) validation, reverse DNS configuration, best DNS operational practices, and Internet routing security. The event drew 60 participants, largely composed of staff from the mobile operators who are responsible for running DNS services in Zambia.

Furthermore, ICANN remains dedicated to supporting the adoption of Knowledge-sharing and Instantiation Norms for DNS and Naming Security (KINDNS) and the deployment of DNSSEC validation across network operators. Additionally, the integration of the country code top-level domain .zm into the Domain Abuse Activity Reporting (DAAR) system is on the horizon. Successful implementation of these initiatives in Zambia will significantly enhance the country's cybersecurity footprint.

We express our gratitude to ZICTA, NSPAZ, Southern Africa Network Operators Group, and the Internet Society Zambia chapter for their invaluable support in helping organize this event. We eagerly anticipate further collaboration with them.

Looking ahead, we are committed to expanding this initiative to more MNOs in the region. Collaboration is underway to organize similar events in the Middle East and other regions.

We will continue to nurture the Mobile Network Operator Day program as a way to enhance global collaboration for a secure and resilient DNS ecosystem. Stay tuned for further developments on these initiatives.


Yazid Akanho

Yazid Akanho

Technical Engagement Sr. Specialist