ICANN Announces gTLD Registry Failover Plan; Public Comment Period Commences

Tom Hymes
MARINA DEL REY, Calif. — The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has announced the release of a draft of its gTLD Registry Failover Plan, the goals of which are to protect registrants and ensure confidence in the Domain Name System (DNS).

The development and implementation of the failover plan is one of the first essential steps being undertaken by ICANN as it works toward opening up the top-level domain process in 2009.

A public comment period commences today with the issuance of the draft plan that came out of "extensive collaboration and consultation with experienced gTLD registries, ccTLD managers, SSAC, and other members of the community."

In an announcement issued yesterday, ICANN said that the plan will provide "a comprehensive guide describing potential ICANN actions in specific situations involving a registry and is intended to define the roles of registries and ICANN in the event of registry failure. The plan includes provisions for information sharing; situation handling and event management; crisis response; communications; business continuity; data escrow and data security; TLD and data transition; and registry closure."

The announcement also states that "a key deliverable during FY09 is [for ICANN] to 'implement [the gTLD] registry failover plan including live testing with a registry or registries.'"

The ICANN Board of Directors voted last month at a meeting in Paris to create a new process for developing generic top-level domains with the goal of simplifying the process, opening it up to more entities and creating more "real estate" on the WWW. The organization has been working on this sea change for several years and the vote in Paris signaled its determination to follow through on a process that ICANN believes will help put it back on track in its mission to keep "the Internet secure, stable and interoperable."

Comments may be submitted to registry-failover-plan@icann.org through August 14, 2008 and may be viewed here.

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