NSI Registry Service Level Agreement

(April 5, 2000)

On September 28, 1999, ICANN announced tentative agreement with the United States Department of Commerce and Network Solutions, Inc. on a series of agreements that will put the newly introduced competition among registrars in the .com, .net, and .org TLDs on a permanant and firmer footing. After written and oral public comments, these agreements were revised in several respects and were adopted by the ICANN Board on November 4, 1999.

One of these agreements is an NSI/ICANN Registry Agreement. Section 18 of the registry agreement calls for negotiation and entry of a Registry Service Level Agreement (SLA). As of 1 April 2000, a temporary SLA was established. The text of the SLA, which is effective until 30 September 2000, appears below.

Exhibit A

Service Level Agreement (SLA)


The Network Solutions, Inc. ("NSI") Registry strives to provide a world-class level of service to its customers. This Service Level Agreement provides metrics and remedies to measure performance of the NSI Registry and to provide accredited and licensed Registrars with credits for certain substandard performance by the NSI Registry under the parties' Registrar License and Agreement.


1) Monthly Timeframe shall mean each single calendar month beginning and ending at 12:00 am the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

2) Planned Outage shall mean the periodic pre-announced occurrences when the SRS will be taken out of service for maintenance or care. Planned Outages will be scheduled only during the following window period of time each week, 0100 to 0900 GMT on Sunday (the "Planned Outage Period"). This Planned Outage Period may be changed from time to time by the NSI Registry, in its sole discretion, upon prior notice to each Registrar. Planned Outages will not exceed 4 hours/per calendar week beginning at 12:00 am GMT Monday nor total more than 8 hours/per month. Notwithstanding the foregoing, NSI may incur 2 additional Planned Outages of up to 12 hrs in duration during the Planned Outage Period for major systems or software upgrades ("Extended Planned Outages"). These Extended Planned Outages represent total allowed Planned Outages for the month.

3) Shared Registration System ("SRS") Availability shall mean when the SRS is operational. By definition, this does not include Planned Outages or Extended Planned Outages.

4) SRS Unavailability shall mean when, as a result of a failure of systems within the NSI Registry's control, the Registrar is unable to either:

a) establish a session with the SRS gateway which shall be defined as:

1) successfully complete a TCP session start,

2) successfully complete the SSL authentication handshake, and

3) successfully complete the registry registrar protocol ("RRP") session command.

b) execute a 3 second average round trip for 95% of the RRP check domain commands and/or less than 5 second average round trip for 95% of the RRP add domain commands, from the SRS Gateway, through the SRS system, back to the SRS Gateway as measured during each Monthly Timeframe.

5) Unplanned Outage Time shall mean all of the following:

a) the amount of time recorded between a trouble ticket first being opened by the NSI Registry in response to a Registrar's claim of SRS Unavailability for that Registrar through the time when the Registrar and NSI Registry agree the SRS Unavailability has been resolved with a final fix or a temporary work around, and the trouble ticket has been closed. This will be considered SRS Unavailability only for those individual Registrars impacted by the outage.

b) the amount of time recorded between a trouble ticket first being opened by the NSI Registry in the event of SRS Unavailability that affects all Registrars through the time when the Registry resolves the problem with a final fix or a temporary work around, and the trouble ticket has been closed.

c) the amount of time that Planned Outage time exceeds the limits established in A.2 above.

d) the amount of time that Planned Outage time occurs outside the window of time established in A.2 above.

6) Monthly Unplanned Outage Time shall be the sum of minutes of all Unplanned Outage Time during the Monthly Timeframe. Each minute of Unplanned Outage Time subtracts from the available Monthly Planned Outage Time up to 4 hours.

7) WHOIS Service shall mean the NSI Registry Whois server running on port 43 of whois.crsnic.net and whois.nsiregistry.net.

8) Global Top Level Domain ("GTLD") Name Server shall mean any GTLD Name Server under SLD GTLD-SERVERS.NET (eg A.GTLD-SERVERS.NET).


1) Registrar must report each occurrence of alleged SRS Unavailability to the NSI Registry customer service help desk in the manner required by the NSI Registry (i.e., e-mail, fax, telephone) in order for an occurrence to be treated as SRS Unavailability for purposes of the SLA.

2) In the event that all Registrars are affected by SRS Unavailability, the NSI Registry is responsible for opening a blanket trouble ticket and immediately notifying all Registrars of the trouble ticket number and details.

3) Both Registrar and the NSI Registry agree to use reasonable commercial good faith efforts to establish the cause of any alleged SRS Unavailability. If it is mutually determined to be a NSI Registry problem, the issue will become part of the Unplanned Outage Time.

4) NSI Registry will perform monitoring from at least two external locations as a means to verify that a) sessions can effectively be established and b) all RRP commands can be successfully completed.

5) Registrar must inform the NSI Registry any time its estimated volume of transactions (excluding check domain commands), will exceed Registrar's previous month's volume by more than 25%. In the event that Registrar fails to inform NSI Registry of a forecasted increase of volume of transactions of 25% or more and the Registrar's volume increases 25% or more over the previous month, and should the total volume of transactions added by the NSI Registry for all Registrars for that month exceed the NSI Registry's actual volume of the previous month's transactions by more than 20%, then Registrar will not be eligible for any SLA credits (as defined in section C) in that Monthly Timeframe. The Registrar shall provide such forecast at least 30 days prior to the first day of the next month. In addition, the NSI Registry agrees to provide monthly transaction summary reports.

6) The NSI Registry will notify Registrar of Planned Outages outside the Planned Outage Period at least 7 days in advance of such Planned Outage. In addition, NSI Registry will use reasonable commercial good faith efforts to maintain an accurate 30 day advance schedule of possible upcoming Planned Outages.

7) The NSI Registry will update the WHOIS Service once per day beginning at 1200 GMT. The NSI Registry will notify Registrars in advance when changes to the WHOIS Service update schedule occur.

8) The NSI Registry will allow external monitoring of the SRS via an acceptable means to both parties.

9) The NSI Registry will initiate the Registry zone file transfer process twice daily at 1000 GMT and 2200 GMT. The NSI Registry will notify Registrar in advance when changes to the schedule occur. The NSI Registry will notify Registrars regarding any scheduled maintenance and unavailability of the GTLD ROOT-SERVERs.

10) The NSI Registry will use commercial reasonable efforts to restore the critical systems of the SRS within 24 hours in the event of a force majeure and restore full system functionality within 48 hours. Outages due to a force majeure will not be considered SRS Unavailability.

11) TheNSI Registry will publish weekly system performance and availability reports. These reports will include average round trip for the RRP Check and RRP Add Domain commands for all Registrars as well as a summary of SRS Availability for the previous week

12) The NSI Registry will provide a 99.4% SRS Availability during each Monthly Timeframe.


1) If SRS Availability is less than 99.4% in any Monthly Timeframe, the NSI Registry will provide a credit to affected Registrar(s) who have complied with Sections B.1 and B.5 above as follows:

(i) Commencing June 15, 2000, in the case of SRS Unavailability as described in A.4.b, a credit will be given for the combined % total RRP add and check commands that fall below the 95% performance threshold established in A.4.b. This will be calculated by multiplying the % below 95% by Registrar's monthly Add Domain volume x $ 6. The maximum credit to each Registrar shall not exceed 5% of the Registrar's total monthly Add Domain volume x $ 6.

(ii) Commencing June 15, 2000, in the case of SRS Unavailability as described in A.4.a, and following the Monthly Timeframe when the Unplanned Outage began, NSI Registry will provide a credit to Registrar by multiplying Registrar's monthly Add Domain volume x $ 6 and multiply that amount by the same percentage of time that the Monthly Unplanned Outage Time exceeded 0.6% of the minutes in the Monthly Timeframe. The maximum credit to each Registrar under this subparagraph shall not exceed 10% of the Registrar's total monthly Add Domain volume x $ 6.

Under no circumstances shall credits be applied when the availability problems are caused by network providers and/or the systems of individual Registrars.


1) As an addendum to the Registrar License and Agreement (RL&A), no provision in this addendum is intended to replace any term or condition in the RL&A.

2) Dispute Resolution will be handled per RL&A 6.7.

3) Any interruption of SRS service that occurs, as a direct result of RL&A 2.13, RL&A 5.4, RL&A 6.3 or any other applicable RL&A contract term, will not be determined SRS Unavailability per this SLA.

4) The term of this SLA shall be from April 1 to September 30, 2000. The parties recognize that additional experience with the operation of the registry may allow appropriate refinements of the provisions in this SLA. Beginning no later than August 1, 2000, NSI Registry and representatives of the ICANN DNSO Registrars Constituency shall negotiate in good faith concerning the terms of a replacement for this SLA, which upon agreement of NSI Registry and the ICANN DNSO Registrars Constituency and approval of ICANN shall be incorporated in the RL&A. In the event the SLA expires without a replacement agreement, despite negotiations in good faith, NSI will not be considered in breach of the Cooperative Agreement between NSI and the Department of Commerce or the Registry Agreement between NSI and ICANN. In the event of any change to the terms of this SLA in a replacement SLA under this Section D.4, Registrar may, at its option exercised within fifteen (15) days, terminate the RL&A immediately by giving written notice to NSI, as provided in RL&A 6.1(a). (In the event NSI's obligations under Section II of Amendment 19 of the Cooperative Agreement between NSI and the U.S. Department of Commerce become effective under Section I.B.9 of that amendment, approvals required under this section D.4 may be given by the U.S. Department of Commerce).

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