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ICANN Yokohama Meeting Topic: ccTLD Delegation and Administration Policies

Posted: 5 July 2000
Deadline for Written Comments: 13 July 2000

One topic on the agenda for public discussion and comment, and possible Board action, at ICANN's meetings 13-17 July 2000 in Yokohama is ccTLD delegation and administration policies.

Background of the Issues

This topic was discussed at the March 2000 ICANN meeting in Cairo. In advance of the Cairo meeting, the ICANN staff prepared a paper to provide a background on and identify the major issues. The issues identified in that paper were:

  • Delegation issues. Under what circumstances should the designated manager of a ccTLD be changed? What principles should be applied in deciding what substititue manager to appoint? What is the role of the government of the affected country or territory in redelegation issues?
  • Allocation of global and local policy responsibility. As recognized in ICP-1, the operation of a ccTLD has effects on all parts of the Internet, yet the local community has a special interest in the manner in which a ccTLD is operated. The global interest suggests that certain topics (those concerning interoperability, for example) should be the subject of uniform, global policies. The local interest, on the other hand, can sometimes be served best by locally established policies that suit the economic, cultural, and linguistic circumstances of the country or territory involved. What policies for the operation of ccTLDs should be established globally, and what policies should be set locally? What is the relevance of laws of the country or territory associated with the country code to this allocation of policy-making responsibility?
  • ccTLD relationship to ICANN/IANA. What services should the IANA (and ICANN) provide to support the operation of ccTLDs? How can ICANN best work with ccTLD managers to promote the stable operation of the Internet?
  • Participation in ICANN funding.The White Paper indicates that ICANN should be funded by name and address registries. What role responsibilities should ccTLD managers have to assist in ICANN's funding? What should be done if a manager does not meet these responsiblities?

Since the Cairo meeting, additional position papers have been developed in response to the Cairo discussions. Major position papers submitted to date include:

Status Quo Agreement

At the Cairo meeting, the ICANN Board adopted the following resolution:

Whereas, the Board directed the President and staff to prepare "appropriate contractual relationships" with ccTLD registries in connection with the funding arrangements presented in the final report of the Task Force on Funding, in resolution 99.136;

Whereas, the Board has received a number of serious and carefully crafted recommendations relating to ccTLD administration and delegation policies, best practices, and contractual elements, including recommendations from the Governmental Advisory Committee, ccTLD managers, and others;

Whereas, the elements of these recommendations provide a sound basis for constructive dialogue and the finalization of stable and appropriate relationships;

RESOLVED [00.13] that the President and staff are authorized to work with the ccTLD managers, Governmental Advisory Committee, and other interested parties to prepare draft language for contracts, policy statements, and/or communications, including appropriate funding arrangements, to be presented to the Board and posted for public comment as soon as practicable.

In response to that resolution, the ICANN staff has discussed the issues with various segments of the Internet community. In view of the divergence of views as shown by the various position papers, it appears to be premature to present a proposed "final" agreement that sets forth a detailed statement of the rights and responsibilities of the various parties. In the near term, however, it appears it may be possible to implement a "status quo" agreement that could be entered by ICANN and ccTLD managers to give the ccTLD managers a contractual recognition of their appointment as trustees for their ccTLDs, while giving the community acting through the ICANN process the flexibility to work toward more detailed contractual arrangements that accommodate the interests of the many segments of the Internet community affected by ccTLD management and delegation issues.

Such a "status quo" agreement would embody the following principles:

  • It would not change the present policies that currently apply to ccTLDs.
  • It would provide the flexibility for changes in policy to reflect the full range of current discussions among ccTLD managers, governments, ICANN, and others.

To inspire more detailed discussion of the issues, the ICANN staff has prepared the draft text of a possible "status quo" agreement. This draft is not being proposed as the form of an agreement between ICANN and ccTLDs. Indeed, it is assumed that this form of agreement would require revisions, perhaps significant in scope, based on community comment before being implemented. The agreement is therefore being presented for discussion purposes only, and not as a proposal for implementation.

Discussion Draft of Status Quo Agreement Between ccTLD Managers and ICANN

To comment on this agreement, on the position papers, or on ccTLD management and delegation issues generally, please enter the ICANN Public Comment Forum by clicking below.

Click here to enter the public comment forum on ccTLD issues.

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