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TLD Administrator's BoF

Thursday 22nd May 1997
RIPE 27 - Dublin

A list of participants may be found at the end

Chair: Niall O'Reilly
Guest: Christopher Wilkinson
Scribe: Chris Fletcher

Chairman's note

Special thanks are due to Chris Fletcher of the RIPE NCC who kindly volunteered to take notes during the BOF meeting. In preparing the notes for publication, Chris has taken care to respect thematic continuity rather than strict chronological sequence, thus enhancing the clarity of the record.

1. The first point of the BOF was discussion as to the purpose of the proposed TLD working group. It was concluded that this working group would be different from other RIPE WGs since it should have a clear policy emphasis, and not a technical one. It was pointed out by Peter Lothberg that technical issues and constraints should be kept in mind when deciding policies. It was felt that the holding of the working group within the RIPE framework would have the benefit of RIPE being able to give a technical reality check for any policy decisions.

2. Willie Black raised concerns that not many TLD administrations were represented at the RIPE meeting and that those that were there were purely technical people. He suggested that the TLD managers needed to be present at this working group. Rob Blokzijl agreed with Willie's suggestion and hoped that increasing numbers of the managers would attend. On polling the attendance it was found that representatives of the following TLDs were present:

.at .cz .fr .hu .no .si
.be .de .ie .li .pt .uk
.ch .es .it .mc .se

3. Various participants expressed concerns that since the EU were at the meeting and had made contact with the member state TLDs that non-EU TLDs were being excluded. Christopher Wilkinson stated that the EU/Commission wanted to start trying to coordinate member state TLDs but are willing to accept input from non-EU TLDs. Rob Blokzijl clarified RIPE's position by stating that the RIPE meeting and the TLD working group was there for the involvement of all TLDs within the RIPE geographic area and not just for those EU member state TLDs. This working group is for the benefit of the whole community and not just for a few countries.

4. Following discussion from among others Willie Black, Marcel Schneider,and Niall O'Reilly various points were highlighted that were thought worthy of attention by the working group.

These points were:

  • Issues raised in OECD survey:
    • benchmark pricing
    • introduction of competition
    • harmonising of registration policies
    • cooperation between governments and registrars
  • further issues identified by participants
    • suitable legal jurisdictions for arbitration
    • funding of registries
    • the role of NSI in domain names
    • contractual issues
    • sharing of experiences
    • relationship with IANA
    • the development of gTLDs
    • focus of representation of TLDs to other organisations
    • the documentation of policies

Marcel Schneider reminded people that things need to get going quickly if it is to have any input. This is especially true in the case of any IAHC issues that may arise.

5. Mike Norris asked whether the working group was there to discuss nTLD or gTLDmatters. Niall O'Reilly stated that any issue discussed should be relevant to the nTLDs but that since gTLD matters affect the nTLDs that they should in this context also be discussed.

7. Christopher Wilkinson gave a presentation on the EU Commission view of recent IAHC /gTLD developments and the points that they raise. His presentation points were as follows:

  • The Commission had a meeting with member state TLD administrators in Brussels in April. The aim was to discuss nTLD  coordination and events surrounding the IAHC and its Mou regarding  gTLDs. The outcome of the meeting was that the administrators said  that RIPE was a suitable body to represent them and that the  Commission should deal with RIPE.
  • Once the IAHC published the MoU the EU were asked to be a signatory. The EU declined since it was not in agreement with many items in the MoU. For example, The lottery for registries, the structure if iPOC nTLD members of CORE, the governance of IANA, and question marks about a solid legal base.
  • The Commisssion was surprised by the anouncement of a signing ceremony in Geneva. They did not sign since they needed more time and did not want to weaken their bargaining position by signing and MoU that they did not fully agree with. It was also noteworthy that neither the US government, the ITU, or any EU telcos signed.
  • They were also surprsied that after such publicity surrounding the signing of the MoU that almost straight after the Geneva meeting that a substantial amount of content was changed. The Commission although surprised were happy at the changes, especially the abandoning of the lottery system.
  • The commission still feels that the whole TLD issue is best left to industry self-regulation.
  • The newly formed iPOC is very similar is personalities to the IAHC. The new iPOC chair is David Maher. He will be going to Geneva on 29 May for a WIPO conference and afterwards is willing to Brussels for a meeting with the Commission about gTLDs.
  • The Commission wanted to see a stable global Internet industry that was protected from dispute. They felt that transition to this International structure would need co-ordination of the US government.
  • The OECD are reviewing the IAHC report.When asked by RobBlokzijl who the EU commission were already in contact with besides the US government Christopher Wilkinson replied that they had had contact with Japan, but no other Asian countries.

8. Frode Greisen sees that conclusion to the present DNS problems is to recognise the involvement of the US government and leave it to them. He also thought that the present gTLD situation needed changing and that the IAHC although not ideal was a step in the right direction. Worries of his at the moment are the possible splitting of the Internet by organisations such as Alternic, and questions as to what happens when the NSI contract runs out next year.

9. Marcel Schneider and Willie Black responded to Frode Greisen by saying that it was imperative that the root domain should be in safe international hands. This should be IANA but the legal jurisdiction and authority chains from IANA to the nTLDs need to be clearer and legally recognisable.

10. In answer to the various points regarding IANA Joyce Reynolds made the following statements about IANA.

  • With regards to iPOC, IANA is sensitive about Europe being left out. IANA is looking for a European candidate to fill an iPOC seat.
  • The issue of control of the root zone is being discussed.
  • IANA wants to give no comment about any litigation with NSI.
  • At present IANA is under no litigation from any party. -
  • IANA does far more than just DNS, eg. protocol numbers,snmp, etc.
  • If people want to know the official IANA viewpoint about any issue then they should look at the IANA statements page.

There was unanimous agreement by the participants that RIPE should nominate a European candidate to fill an iPOC seat.

11. Daniel Karrenberg gave a presentation about the recent developments in the relationship between the regional registries and IANA. At the end of March the IANA funding from the US governement suddenly stopped with effect from 1 April 1997.This raised two issues:

  • Firstly IANA needed immediate funding so that it would be able to continue its activities which are vital for the running of the Internet as a whole.
  • Secondly the Regional Internet Registries saw this a golden opportunity to fund IANA themselves and thus bring into effect a true global  bottom-up funding mechanism for IP numbers.

The IANA requested $50,000 from each of the existing regional registries for a 12 month period. AP-NIC agreed to fund $50,000, and the RIPE NCC agreed to fund $25,000 for a 6 month period during which it wanted the IANA to have made progress towards a more structured organisational future. The Regional registries have thereby capitalised on both issues: the immediate future of the IANA activities is guaranteed and a basis has been set for a truely global bottom-up funding and policy forming Internet community.

Daniel Karrenberg undertook to write a paper explaining the IANA situation in more detail and summarising the RIPE community's position on the matter.

12. There was overwhelming consensus that the actions of AP-NIC and RIPE NCC were correct and that this was an opportunity not to be missed. Many participants also stated that the future stability of IANA was vital for the whole Internet and that this should be guaranteed. Christopher Wilkinson agreed with this on behalf of the EU Commission.

13. From futher points added by Ted Wolf and Niall O'Reilly a consensus was reached as 4 points that were vital for the future of IANA. They were:

  • IANA should be funded by the Regional Registries and a way should be found for the nTLD to also give funding be that direct or indirectly.
  • IANA authority should come from bottom-up.
  • IANA should be protected from litigations
  • IANA needs to be recognised by official governmental bodies.

A large discussion evolved regarding why some parties did and why some parties did not sign the IAHC MoU.

Those that did sign stated that they did so since they did not want to be excluded from the decision making processes and wanted to influence policies from within. They were alo generally under the impression that this was still an evolving document.

Those that did not sign stated that the MoU did not indicate that it could be changed and in its present state they did not feel able to put their name to it. They would like to see the iPOC take advice from and involve those parties who have not yet signed the MoU in any further devlopemnts.

A noteworthy contribution to the discussion was David Conrad's explanation of why APNIC signed.The APNIC members decided unamimously to sign the MoU. A large part of the IAHC was made up of APNIC members. The APNICis 'covering its bases' by signing, since it wants to be involved infuture developments and feels that this can be best acheived by being avoice on the inside rather than the outside.

Marcel Schneider explained that Switch likewise saw a better opportunity for influence as an insider.

In summary of the IAHC and the MoU the meeting consensus was that the RIPE community was too slow reacting to the IAHC initiative and that it should now actively get involved.

15. It was announced that a WIPO meeting would be held in Geneva during the week of 25 May. This meetiing would discuss TLD issues,

A meeting would also be held in Brussels on 27 May and would be hosted mby the EU commission. The new chairman of iPOC David Maher would be present and Christopher Wilkinson invited RIPE to sent attendees. It was decided that Willie Black, and Marcel Schneider would represent the RIPE viewpoint.

16. Summary

  • A TLD working group should be formed.
  • The working group should address policy issues.
  • More nTLD coordination is needed.
  • The independence and stability of IANA is seen as vital.
  • The RIPE community should now get actively involved in TLD issues and not get left behind as in IAHC.

17. Actions

  • Niall O'Reilly, Willie Black, Lars-Johan Liman, Marcel Schneider to prepare terms of reference for new working group.
  • Willie Black and Marcel Schneider to attend Brussels meeting on 27 May.
  • Daniel Karrenberg to write IANA future structure paper.
  • Niall O'Reilly to arrange a TLD working group mailing list.
  • RIPE to nominate European candidate to iPOC seat.

List of Participants

Using personal knowledge, I have tried to correct the spelling of names which became garbled in the transcription from what appeared on the manuscript attendance sheets. I may have missed some. In this case, please accept my apologies and let me have a correction. Don't be offended if you find some reference to "deutlich schreiben" or "EN MAJUSCULES" on the sheets at the next RIPE Meeting.

Niall O'Reilly IE Domain Registry at UCD
Christopher Wilkinson European Commission
Daniel Karrenberg RIPE NCC
Willie Black NOMINET UK
Geoffrey Sisson NOMINET UK
Chris Fletcher RIPE NCC
Gerhard Winkler ACOnet AT
Edouard Ouin NIC FRANCE
Bernard Tuy CNRS / VREC
Thomas Ohrisom UNINETT AS
Thomas Weigel D.Tel.O GmbH
Vittore Casarosa NIC-ITALY-CNR
Sabine Dolderer DE-NIC
Jan Hondebrink SARA
Benjammin Zwittnig ARNES
Frode Greisen Ebone
Ole Kjaergaard UNi-c
Pantus Freuman AB
Melvin Khoo AP-NIC
Paula Caslav RIPE NCC
Karen Kranen RIPE NCC
Marcel Schneider SWITCH
Felix Kugler SWITCH
Ole Bjorn Hessen Telenor Nextel
Ole-Ivar Bakkene Telenor AS
Balazs Martos Hungarnet
Peter Lothberg [email protected] / SWEDEN
Oliver Doll [email protected] /DE
Verbaeten Pierre K U Leuven DNS.BE
Tony Barber UUNET UK
Pettori Helin Clinet, Finland
Fergal Suipeill UCD, IE
Janos Zsako BankNet
Janos Bajza Hungarnet
Klara Rank AB
K N Cvkier SWI
Stephen Burley UUNET UK
Daniel David IPF.NET GmbH
Armando Domingues FCCN/RCCN
William B Norton Merit Network
Ruediger Volk Deutsche Telekom
Dave Morton ECRC
David Conrad AP-NIC
Erik Sherk UUNET
Keith Mitchell LINX (Nominet)
Kyoko Day AP-NIC
Mike Norris HEAnet
Lars-johan Liman Ebone NOC
Havard Eidnes UNINETT/NORDUnet
Joyce K. Reynolds ISI
Denesh Bhabuta Demon Internet
Aude Vergult TRANSPAC
Nathan Rapheld Netscape
Miguel Sanz RedIRIS (ES-NIC)
Sophie Laguna TNTERNET WAY
Anne Lord UUNET UK
Bettina Kenth DFN-NOC
Niels den Otter SURFnet
Paul Ridley RIPE NCC
Jiri Orsag CZ-NIC
Erik Lawaetz Ebone
Peter Lerch Siemens, de
Mark McFadden CIX
Fancoyle Pugliese Telemitaua
Nicolsrosgalba Interbusiness / TELEON ITDUD
Ivan Sedinic HPT
Peter Galbavy Demon Internet

70 participants