ICANN posts guidelines for re-delegation of ccTLDs

International

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), through the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), has issued new guidelines on the re-delegation process for country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) where a request is lodged for a change of the domain's designated manager.

Management of ccTLDs is delegated by IANA to a sponsoring organization, an administrative contact and a technical contact for each country. IANA must first be satisfied with the level of competency and commitment of the proposed managers.

A request for re-delegation is reviewed by IANA, which then seeks confirmation from the existing contacts. Approval is then sought from the appropriate authority. On occasion, IANA may seek re-delegation without the approval of contacts where, for example, there is dissatisfaction with existing management of the domain. Serious consideration is given to the desires of the government of the country concerned.

Under the new guidelines, all parties must negotiate and sign agreements with ICANN to provide clear lines of accountability before re-delegation can occur. In practice, this may require a triangular set of agreements between ICANN, the domain manager and the sponsoring organization. To date, only Australia and Japan have managed to complete a full set of agreements.

The guidelines are still new and no doubt there will be an incentive for all parties to reach agreement with ICANN, if it is the only way to achieve re-delegation.

Ian Finch, James & Wells, Auckland

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