[AfrICANN-discuss] Briefing Note: ICANN New Delhi Meeting
annerachel at gmail.com
Sat Feb 23 10:53:58 SAST 2008
Briefing Note: ICANN New Delhi Meeting
10-15 February, 2008
What was it?
This was one of three meetings held annually by ICANN as part of
outreach and policy development. It was ICANN's 31st meeting and was
hosted by ICANN and the Indian Government and officially opened by
Shri Jainder Singh, Secretary, Department of Information Technology,
the Government of India .
720 participants from 76 countries (290 were local business and
Internet interests) took part in domain name system discussions and
other activities including a session with business leaders from the
Indian IT sector on the secrets behind India's success*.
Further information about the meeting, including presentations and
transcripts, is available at http://delhi.icann.org/.
What happened and what are the next steps?
New generic top level domains (gTLDS)
The process for introducing new gTLDs – TLDs are names like .COM, ORG
and INFO - was discussed in detail. Staff has been developing an
implementation plan based on the policy development work of one of
ICANN's supporting organizations, the Generic Names Supporting
Organisation (GNSO). The GNSO is the ICANN supporting organization
that makes recommendations to the Board on policy for generic (gTLD)
Implementation is a complex task that raises challenging technical,
operational, legal, economic and political questions that affect the
domain name system.
Next steps: After review of staff implementation work, the Board will
consider a course of action on the GNSO policy recommendation for the
introduction of new gTLDs. There will be staff updates to the Board
(including at an April, 2008 workshop) and publicly posted updates to
the GNSO Council. ICANN expects to start accepting bids for specific
names at the end of 2008 at the earliest.
More information is available at
Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs)
The introduction of IDNs – domain names in non-Latin scripts - will be
one of the biggest changes to the Internet since its inception.
Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and ccNSO (Country Code Names
Supporting Organisation) representatives met to discuss the potential
introduction of IDNs that are meaningful representations of countries
or territories (i.e., ccTLDs - country code top-level domains). The
GAC said that only governments or relevant public authorities can
provide authoritative advice to ICANN on the legitimacy of any
application for an IDN ccTLD.
A fast-track process for introducing IDN ccTLDs in the near-term was
discussed. The main issue was whether initial deployment would be
limited in some way per country or territory. For example, India has
22 official languages. Since all these languages have official status
in India, some think limitations in the number of TLD strings should
be tailored to the needs of each country or territory.
Next steps: Clearly describe criteria for determining readiness to
launch IDN TLDs – part of the suggested fast-track process. A public
comment period on a draft initial report on fast-track implementation
of IDN ccTLDs will close on 26 February. This work is being led by the
ICANN "IDNC" Working Group (comprised of ICANN supporting organization
and advisory committee members) that will submit its final report to
the ICANN Board in June, 2008.
More information is available at
The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) has undergone two
independent reviews and the Board will soon finalize recommendations
for the GNSO's improvement.
A Board Governance Committee working group developed a comprehensive
proposal to improve the effectiveness of the GNSO, including its
policy activities, structure, operations and communications, for the
Board's consideration and approval.
Currently, the constituencies of the GNSO are made up of registries,
registrars, business and commercial users, Internet and communication
service providers, intellectual property interests and non-commercial
users. The most contentious issue was the proposal to change the
structure of the GNSO Council to (i) create a better balance between
those organizations under contract with ICANN (e.g., registrars and
registries) and those that are not, as well as between commercial and
noncommercial interests; and (ii) reduce the voting power of
registries and registrars.
Next steps: A thirty-day public consultation on the GNSO Improvements
Report. The Board will then decide whether and how to implement the
More information is available at http://www.icann.org/topics/gnso-improvements/.
Domain tasting is a practice that uses a contractual 5-day grace
period to register and delete names to test the market value of a
domain name with no upfront cost.
A proposal to eliminate tasting by charging the ICANN registration fee
for names deleted within the grace period was introduced as part of
the draft ICANN budget. The budget will be finalized in June 2008. The
.BIZ and .INFO registries have separately proposed changes to their
contracts (following the existing practice of .ORG) that would
eliminate domain tasting.
Next steps: The ICANN budget, including the proposal to eliminate
tasting, is being discussed with ICANN constituency groups. The
community will consider a proposal being developed by a GNSO drafting
team at the next GNSO Council meeting in March 2008.
More information is available at
Accountability and Transparency
The Board approved frameworks and principles on accountability and
transparency. These outline ICANN's accountability as a
California-based, not-for-profit corporation with its own by law
requirements and legal and corporate accountabilities.
More information is available here:
Joint Project Agreement (JPA)
The JPA is an agreement between the United States government and
ICANN for the purpose of transitioning the Internet domain name system
to private sector multi-stakeholder leadership. This agreement is in
the process of a mid-term review for which the United States
Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) is receiving comments.
The Board of ICANN believes the JPA has helped ICANN become a stable
organization and that ICANN is meeting its responsibilities.
Concluding the JPA in September 2009 is the next logical step in
transition of the domain name system to the private sector. (See
A consultation on the JPA was held in New Delhi. Most participants
agreed on the need to have a discussion about the final ICANN model in
the lead-up to the conclusion of the JPA.
Next Steps: A public meeting is being held by the NTIA in Washington
DC on February 28, 2008 to receive further comments and to discuss
feedback received so far.
This is a crucial issue for evolution and expansion of the Internet.
Along with many others in the Internet community, ICANN is acting to
enable IPv6 services throughout the domain name system, including
encouraging all providers of domain name services to implement IPv6
capability. Already five root name server operators have added IPv6
addresses to their root zone records, enabling IPv6 DNS resolution.
ICANN has produced a factsheet on IPv6 that is available at
Next Steps: The Board directed ICANN staff to deploy IPv6 across its
own infrastructure and give regular feedback to the community on
progress and lessons learned.
The Delhi meeting began ICANN's operations and budget planning for
fiscal year (FY) 2009. A draft operating plan and budget was presented
for community discussion.
The public planning process has started 4 months earlier than previous
years, giving the community 6 months to discuss and refine the plan
Spending for FY 2009 is projected to be $57 million. The main cost
drivers are preparations for implementing new gTLDs and IDNs.
Next steps: Further community consultation followed by an updated
draft Operating Plan and Budget to be posted in May 2008. Final
consultations and a decision will be made at the next ICANN meeting in
More information is available at http://www.icann.org/planning/.
A workshop was held to discuss registrant protection and solutions to
the potential problems registrar failure may cause. In the interactive
workshop, participants considered three scenarios and were asked to
devise solutions to each.
The first draft of a Translation Program for ICANN was presented and
discussed in Delhi at a public meeting. The program outlines how ICANN
can reach non-English speakers and give them equitable access to and
influence on ICANN processes.
Next steps: Feedback will be incorporated into a final report to be
presented to the ICANN Board for approval.
Further information is available at
The next ICANN meeting will be held from 22-27 June 2008 in Paris,
France. All are welcome to attend. There will be sessions on IDN's,
the introduction of new Generic Top Level Domains, IPv6 and the
transition of domain name system coordination to the ICANN model of
multi stakeholder engagement with a strong focus on ensuring security,
stability and private sector leadership.
We look forward to your participation in the meeting.
Information about the next meeting will be on the ICANN website soon
* Business leaders showcasing the India IT success story were: Saurabh
Srivastava (moderator), Chairman, Indian Venture Capital Association;
Kiran Karnik, Former President, NASSCOM, Ashok Soota, Chairman & MD,
Mindtree Consulting Ltd, Raman Roy, CEO, Quatrro and Ajay Chowdhry,
Chairman & CEO, HCL.
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