Availability of the top-level domain .SK remains unchanged: new strategic investor CentralNic has unblemished 20-year track record of 100-percent availability of service.
In recent days, incorrect and misleading rumors (hoaxes) about changes to the availability of the national top-level domain .sk appeared in Slovak internet, suggesting that the standard of service for .SK is not optimal or may not be in future, due to a change in the agreement between SK-NIC and the Government.
These accounts are entirely incorrect. The facts are as follows:
- SK-NIC (the manager of the country code designating Slovakia, .SK) has a contract with the national government and a committee governing the policies for Administration of .SK, which includes also representative of internet users, representative of domain registrars Mr. Michal Truban (with Mr. Jombik standing in for him in the January meeting), and representative of the internet service providers, as well as representatives of state. Among the private companies that manage the country codes designations in xx other countries in Europe, SK-NIC is unique in having such a Government contract.
- One of the binding requirements of the government contract with which SK-NIC must comply is achieving a minimum 99% availability of service. This threshold was put in place when the contract was signed in 2007, and there have been no changes or requests for changes since. Such a threshold is common in case these service, whereas the same level is set e.g. in Czech Republic.
- The actual availability of the .SK domain under SK-NIC management has always far exceeded 99% and is in fact has been 100%. This same 100% availability has been achieved for over twenty years by CentralNic, the British publicly listed company that recently made a strategic investment in SK-NIC.
- In 2017 the State sought input from the committee members on improvements to the contract with SK-Nic. One suggestion accepted was the addition of a formal Service Level Agreement to define the services and their monitoring in more detail. Penalties for failure to meet Service Level requirements were also added. Whilst it is not common for other national domain in Europe to be subject to such a Service Level Agreement with its national government, all parties agreed to this additional requirement.
- At no time did any party suggest changing the minimum availability thresholds under the contract during the consultation process.
- The Service Level Agreement was negotiated between the parties, preserving the availability thresholds from the main agreement of 2007. It was presented to the Committee on 16 January, and adopted by majority vote with no votes against nor any arguments against.
In summary: any suggestion that requirements have been diminished, services will suffer, or that Slovakia enjoys less safeguards than countries like the Czech Republic, Germany or the United Kingdom are gross misrepresentations of the facts. In fact, availability thresholds for .SK have not changed for ten years, availability of the .SK domain has been and remains flawless. Moreover, Slovakia enjoys far greater Governmental and internet community input into its policies than other countries in Europe, now including a Service Level Agreement with penalties for any breaches.