In advance of the ICANN meeting in New Delhi, India, this announcement is to inform the community that ICANN is exploring a potential initiative for the certification of backend registry operators for new gTLDs. ICANN has identified registry operator certification as an area that may improve the application process for new gTLDs and improve security and stability by creating a pool of available and pre-qualified registry operators in the event of registry failure.
ICANN is an internationally organized non-profit public benefit organization that administers certain features of the Internet’s unique identifiers. As a private-public partnership, ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes. A general description of ICANN is available at http://icann.org/tr/english.html.
The idea of creating a certified registry operations provider program is not new. In March 2003, ICANN released criteria for stable registry operation to be used in the selection of new sponsored TLDs: http://www.icann.org/riodejaneiro/stld-rfp-topic.htm#D1.
Since the March 2003 ICANN meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a wide range of community members (registrars, ccTLD registry operators, Non-Commercial Constituency members, among others) have encouraged ICANN to move forward with the creation of an Accredited Registry Services Provider program (or similar program). As an example, the 15 March 2006 GNSO Issues Report on Technical Criteria for new gTLDs referenced the idea of creating an accredited registry operator’s system (see http://gnso.icann.org/issues/new-gtlds/tech-criteria-15mar06.htm). The topic was also raised in the GNSO Public Forum in Lisbon, Portugal in March 2007 and during the November 2007 ICANN meeting in Los Angeles, California.
Additional research and discussion on this potential initiative is anticipated as staff moves toward the introduction of new gTLDs and implementation of the gTLD registry failover plan in the near future. Further information will be provided on the ICANN website.