ccNSO Assistance Group: Report to the Evolution and Reform Committee

4 October 2002

ccNSO Assistance Group
Progress Report to the Evolution and Reform Committee
4 October 2002

The ccNSO Assistance Group has begun discussions on the issues surrounding the implementation of the ccNSO, and possible recommendations to the ERC. The discussions are fruitful, with goodwill efforts of all in their individual capacities to achieve recommendations for public consultation and further discussion.

The Assistance Group has held three conference calls in addition to on-line discussions. The ccNSO AG work-plan seeks to come up with recommendations on 5 category areas identified out of the Blueprint. These are: scope of the ccNSO as a global policy-development body; process of policy development in the ccNSO; ccNSO membership; structure of the ccNSO; ccNSO Council.

In approaching its work plan, the ccNSO AG is cognizant of prior work by both the ccTLD registry community, as well as other Assistance Groups to the ERC. The existence of prior work is of great assistance to the ccNSO AG efforts in working towards recommendations.

The preliminary work of the Assistance Group has to date focused on scope of the ccNSO as a global policy-development body, the policy-development process in the ccNSO, and (just begun) discussions on membership.

With regard to scope, the Blueprint notes that the ccNSO will be responsible for engaging in activities relevant to country-code top-level domains, "specifically (1) developing policy recommendations to the ICANN Board; and (2) nurturing consensus across the ccNSO’s constituencies, including the name-related activities of ccTLDs." While recognizing there are global policy issues relating to ccTLDs, the Assistance Group also recognizes the challenge in identifying what they are, or what criteria are used to determine what they are.

In this regard, the Assistance Group is having fruitful and constructive discussions on an approach that does not seek to exhaustively list what issues are or are not global policy issues, but instead to mould a high-level framework to assist in the formation of a Supporting Organization that has the components and tools to focus authoritatively on the needs for effective global co-ordination at ICANN whilst providing a forum that fully represents the local context for ccTLD operations.

In its work on scope, the Assistance Group recognizes the complex history of DNS management and is exploring frameworks to provide a sound methodology for the future to define openly responsibilities and other roles in functional areas of the DNS management to build confidence in the ccNSO as a major component of the Universal Domain Name System and the collective role of ccTLDs in the global management of the Internet at ICANN.

With regard to process, the ccNSO AG is currently reviewing the prior work of the Names Policy Development Process Assistance Group to determine what aspects may be useful for the ccNSO AG discussions. The AG is also addressing other categories, as they integrate with these two areas of focus to date.

The ccNSO AG anticipates having recommendations for public comment and discussion to append to this report by mid-October.

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