Section IV Provisions For Equivalent Access By
Public Interest Registry (PIR) and its subcontractor Afilias will fully
comply with the proposed equivalent access requirements and deliver equal
access to both its shared registry system and its registry resources to
all ICANN-accredited registrars. We will implement the Registry-Registrar
Agreement (RRA) currently in force with the new gTLD's (e.g. .INFO). Our
key contact with registrars, Afilias, has already in place approved and
working mechanisms for the provision of equivalent access to its registry
services by all registrars. Afilias has an excellent record of providing
equivalent access, which it expects to build on with .ORG.
The RRA will set the standards for our interactions with registrars and
is based on clearly defined policies, mechanisms, and commitments that
ensure equivalent access. As detailed in this section, these include:
providing capacity to handle all registrars (connections, customer service);
technical support via phone, e-mail and Web site that operates 24 hours
each day, 7 days each week, 365 days each year; Organizational Conflict
of Interest (OCI) training of all relevant staff; annual certifications
and sign-off by staff; regular internal neutrality reviews; a clear Registry
Code of Conduct and mechanisms for guaranteeing the confidential treatment
of registry and registrar information.
Our "24x7x365" service policy will address the needs of registrars
in every time zone. From a language standpoint, we propose for now to
maintain English as official language for providing registry services
in .ORG. We would add languages in the future as the marketplace dictates.
PIR is committed to providing a smooth transition to new version of the
EPP protocol once it is published as an IETF Standards Track RFC. Our
transition plan (detailed in Section III) includes tools and transition
help for registrars moving to EPP (OT&E assistance will be available
to all). The plan also supports RRP through a proxy for those yet to complete
the conversion. Net, all current .ORG registrars will have uninterrupted
support during the transition.
Beyond this, PIR is committed to promptly adopting the new EPP standard
when it is approved and published as an IETF Standards Track RFC. Through
ISOC, PIR will be closely following the standards process to ensure it
is prepared to quickly transition .ORG registrars to new standard once
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The selected successor operator for the .org registry
will be required to provide all ICANN-accredited registrars having registry-registrar
agreements in effect with equivalent access to registry services through
a shared registry system, under which those registrars will provide services
(either directly or through resellers) to registrants. This section of
the .org Proposal covers the applicant's proposed arrangements for interacting
with registrars in a manner that provides equivalent access.
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C21. Proposed Methods to Provide
Describe in detail your proposed methods of providing
registry services on an equivalent basis to all accredited registrars
having registry-registrar agreements in effect. Your description should
include any measures intended to make registration, technical assistance,
and other services available to ICANN-accredited registrars in different
time zones and relevant languages. In addition, describe the Registry
Code of Conduct and other commitments you propose to make to ensure that
all such registrars receive equivalent access to registry services.
- Public Interest Registry (hereafter called PIR), and its subcontractor,
Afilias, intend to provide all ICANN-Accredited registrars who have
executed a Registry-Registrar Agreement with equivalent access to its
Shared Registry System (SRS). Upon execution of the .ORG Registry Agreement,
the registry will have each registrar with a Registry-Registrar Agreement
in effect with VeriSign execute a PIR Registry-Registrar Agreement,
similar to Appendix D. We have modeled Appendix D from Appendix F of
the .INFO Registry-Registrar Agreement. (We acknowledge ICANN's permission
to use its copyrighted materials in this fashion.)
- PIR will provide registrars with equivalent access to the SRS via
the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) once the transition from
the Registry-Registrar Protocol (RRP) to EPP is complete. During the
transition period, registrars who wish to use RRP will be provided equivalent
access to the SRS through an RRP-to-EPP Proxy until the registrar has
passed the EPP Operational Test and Evaluation certification process.
- The transition time should be short, based on our research of .ORG
registrars. Presently, more than 99% of currently registered .ORG domain
names are with registrars who are currently accredited by our subcontractor,
Afilias, and are utilizing EPP.
- Registrars will receive assistance with the transition from RRP to
EPP through Afilias Technical Support, which operates 24 hours each
day, 7 days each week, 365 days each year (24x7x365). Technical Support
presently provides assistance to registrars via telephone, e-mail, and
the registry Web site.
- All ICANN-accredited registrars will have the same access to customer
support, administrative, and business services.
- All ICANN-accredited registrars will have the same access to the tools
required to access their data through the Registry System including
billing, account management, and other similar services.
- With the exception of systems designed to enforce PIR's or ICANN's
terms of service, contract, or policy, the Registry System does not
include any features or systems designed to perform prejudicially or
favorably towards any specific ICANN-accredited registrar or registrars.
- To ensure that all ICANN-accredited registrars receive equal treatment
from the registry, PIR will make a certification to ICANN in a format
similar to the Equivalent Access Certification identified as Appendix
E. Such certification will be provided semi-annually and state that
PIR, in its capacity as Registry Operator, and on behalf of its contractors,
is providing all ICANN-accredited registrars with equivalent access.
- Afilias, the provider of technical registry services for PIR, has
represented to PIR that it will comply with the Equal Access and Nondiscrimination
Practice Plan, that is presently included in the ICANN/Registry Agreements
for .COM, .NET and .INFO (the "Plan"). PIR will ensure that
its subcontractor, Afilias, complies with the Plan and in the event
that Afilias is terminated or replaced as the provider of technical
registry services to PIR, will ensure continued compliance with the
- PIR and Afilias will have various procedural safeguards in place to
ensure that the data and information of the registry business are not
utilized to the advantage of one ICANN-accredited registrar over another
- All PIR personnel and contractor employees who have a need to know
PIR business will undergo a formal Organizational Conflict of Interest
(OCI) Training Program that will provide a clear understanding of the
Plan and will focus on the Equivalent Access Policy and their responsibility
under the Plan. All staff members will be required to receive OCI training
before they are given an assignment or access to PIR and Afilias material.
Annual OCI refresher training will be required.
- PIR and Afilias personnel will be required to sign a nondisclosure
agreement and a PIR Business Organizational Conflict of Interest Avoidance
Certificate similar to the documents identified as Appendix F and G,
respectively. The employees will be certifying that they have an understanding
of the OCI requirements and that they will strictly comply with the
provisions of the OCI Plan. These documents will be maintained in the
individuals' personnel files.
- The Presidents and or CEOs of PIR and Afilias will, in all cases,
endeavor to ensure that Afilias and its employees do not release any
information to any ICANN-accredited registrar, or their respective employees,
that could be used by an ICANN-accredited registrar to the detriment
of any other ICANN-accredited registrar regardless of the official stated
sensitivity of the information. Under no circumstances will registry
sensitive information be approved by the Presidents/CEOs for release
to any other ICANN-accredited registrar.
- While Afilias is owned by a consortium of 18 registrars, (and all
are .ORG-authorized already), ALL of these 18 registrars have signed
a shareholder agreement that already ensures that NONE of these owners
may obtain any information from Afilias that could be used as a competitive
advantage of any sort. This arrangement has been in place for more than
a year regarding Afilias' .INFO registry operations, and we are confident
a similarly successful implementation will occur for .ORG.
- PIR and its subcontractor propose to establish data access policies
for the protection of proprietary information that might be developed
by PIR and its contractors. Proprietary or confidential information
could be of financial, personnel, technical, or business nature. It
will include computer software, software documentation, computer programs,
and software databases.
- PIR and its subcontractor, Afilias, propose to protect any Registry
Sensitive Information to ensure that the revenue and assets of PIR are
not unfairly utilized to advantage another ICANN-accredited registrar
to the detriment of other competing ICANN-accredited registrars. This
policy will be applicable within PIR and Afilias and applicable to all
officers, employees, members, directors, shareholders, agents or subcontractors
of PIR and Afilias.
- PIR will conduct internal neutrality reviews on a regular basis. In
addition, PIR and ICANN may mutually agree on an independent party to
conduct a neutrality review of PIR, ensuring that PIR complies with
all the provisions of this Registry Operator Code of Conduct (see Appendix
I). The results of the review will be provided to ICANN and shall be
deemed to be confidential and proprietary information of PIR.
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C22. Registry Transition:
Support For RRP and EPP
VeriSign, Inc., the current operator of the .ORG registry,
uses a registry-registrar protocol (RRP) documented in RFC
2832. At the time of the transition, the selected successor operator
will be required to continue to support the RRP (unless a migration of
registrars in .ORG to another protocol has already been completed by that
time). In addition, the selected successor operator will be required to
implement support for the IETF
provreg working group's protocol specification for an Extensible Provisioning
Protocol (EPP) no later than 135 days after it is adopted as a Proposed
Standard [RFC 2026],
section 4.1.1]. Provide a detailed description of your plan for supporting
RRP at the time of transition, for supporting EPP within the required
time frame, and for providing registrars with a smooth, low-cost migration
path from RRP to EPP.
- PIR chose to partner with Afilias as a registry infrastructure provider
based upon its experience as the first registry operator to successfully
build and deploy a registry system using the EPP protocol. In fact,
more than one hundred ICANN-accredited registrars are using Afilias'
EPP system on a daily basis to connect to the .INFO registry, which
has more than 800,000 domain names under management.
- However, we understand the necessity for supporting RRP throughout
this transition period, and have designed a process that will allow
registrars to continue to use RRP through the transition, and cut over
to EPP when they are ready. This will help make the .ORG transition
as painless as possible for the registrars as they move to a new registry
- The new .ORG registry will be modeled from the ground up using EPP.
Registrars who are comfortable using EPP may choose to do so on the
very first day of operation. Additionally, we will have an RPP to EPP
proxy system in place that registrars using RRP can use until that time
when they are ready to cutover to EPP (as stated in Section III). This
system will include central WHOIS services from initiation. For initial
RRP.ORG names, the WHOIS service will provide a referral to the authoritative
WHOIS servers. Part of the RRP to EPP migration will incorporate populating
required contact information to permit thick registry WHOIS services
- thus EPP migrated .ORG names will return authoritative WHOIS information.
Our systems currently utilize various levels of the pre-standard EPP
protocol, including the latest pre-standard version. PIR fully expects
to implement the standards well within the 135 days after they are adopted.
- Once the .ORG bid has been awarded, PIR will put both an RRP and
an EPP test area ("sandbox") in place for all registrars to
begin testing their client code. Each registrar will be required to
pass an Operation Test and Evaluation (OT&E) before using either
protocol. The certification process will be easier for those registrars
currently accessing the Afilias SRS using the EPP protocol. PIR staff,
to ensure registrars get sufficient help during the test and pass in
a reasonable timeframe, will carefully monitor this test.
- All registrars that pass the EPP OT&E certification before registry
operation begins will be allowed to begin operations using the EPP protocol.
Those that are not ready must pass the RRP OT&E before the go live
date, and PIR will provide as much assistance as is commercially feasible
to help each registrar complete one of these certifications.
- The registry will be pre-loaded with all relevant RRP data from VeriSign
(See Section III, C18). If a registrar connects to the registry using
RRP, it will be able to manipulate the data in the same manner as today
through VeriSign. If the registrar connects via EPP, it will need to
modify the domain name to include all required fields for that entity
and its children (contact ROIDS, etc.). This modification step will
be included in the OT&E process, assuring that registrars know exactly
what to do. This will effectively convert the record "on the fly",
again making the transition easy for registrars.
- The registry will encourage registrars to migrate their data from
the thin to thick registry model. This encouragement will include, but
is not limited to, a weekly report showing all domains still under the
thin model, possible incentives to migrate the data, full technical
support and OT&E testing facilities, and notifications by the registry
to migrate the data in a timely fashion.
- After the registry has come on line, each RRP registrar will be contacted
by PIR to schedule that registrar's cutover to the new version of the
EPP protocol once it is published as an IETF Standards Track RFC. PIR
and Afilias may provide assistance in integrating and developing software
for each registrar to move to EPP (See Section V). This will lessen
the resource burden on each registrar to make the move to EPP and help
ensure each transition is smooth.
- Once all registrars have made the transition to EPP, the RRP-to-EPP
proxy will be shut down, and all registry operations from that point
forward will be transacted using EPP.
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