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[council] RySG Alternative Proposal for Continuity Operations Instrument

  • To: "council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [council] RySG Alternative Proposal for Continuity Operations Instrument
  • From: Glen de Saint Géry <Glen@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 07:33:43 -0700
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  • Thread-topic: RySG Alternative Proposal for Continuity Operations Instrument


RySG Alternative Proposal for Continuity Operations Instrument

Comment Period Deadlines (*)

Important Information Links

Public Comment 

Open Date:

17 October 2011

To Submit Your Comments (Forum)<mailto:rysg-proposal-cof@xxxxxxxxx>

Close Date:

2 December 2011

Time (UTC):


View Comments Submitted<http://forum.icann.org/lists/rysg-proposal-cof/>

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

ICANN received from the Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) a proposal for 
Establishment of a Continued Operations Fund (COF). This proposal is 
accompanied by an addendum (Proposed Continuing Operations Instrument) produced 
by the Afilias and PIR, supported by some other registries, registry applicants 
and other interested parties.
·         The RySG proposal can be found here: 
71 KB]
·         The Addendum can be found here: 
 [PDF, 119 KB]

The RySG proposal offers an alternative approach to the existing Continuing 
Operations Instrument that is part of the New gTLD Program.  The current model 
proposed by ICANN is outlined in the Applicant Guidebook, in particular see 
Question 50 of applicant questions evaluation criteria attachment and the spec 
8 of the Registry Agreement.  Respondents to the public comment that wish to 
learn more about this topic are also encouraged to read the gTLD Registry 
Transition Process Memorandum 
 [PDF, 747 KB]) and the recently posted Emergency Back-End Registry Operator 
Request for Information (EBERO RFI): 

Essentially, the existing Continuing Operations Instrument requires each new 
gTLD to obtain a letter of credit that will pay for the maintenance of five 
critical registry functions in the event of a registry failure. The proposed 
Continuing Operations Fund mechanism is essentially an insurance pool where 
each registry contributes to a fund - the contribution to a pooled risk fund 
would be less than the letter of credit (perhaps significantly less).

Here are some questions that public comment responders to be considered 
regarding the RySG alternative proposal as well as the existing continuing 
instrument model offered by ICANN. To be most effective, comments should 
identify the question addressed, or identify if a separate issue is addressed.
1.      Considering ICANN's Mission, what is the appropriate role for ICANN to 
create a fund or act as an insurer? Under which circumstances?
o    Can the same end be accomplished through a third party?
o    Will an insurance company underwrite this?
2.      The current COI model outlined on the Applicant Guidebook (see: 
http://newgtlds.icann.org/applicants/agb) is designed to provide some 
safeguards regardless of the number of gTLD registries that fail.

For the existing COI model:
o    There will be an incentive to underestimate the projected size of the new 
registry, and therefore lower the cost of the COI to below what it should be to 
protect registrants. How could this be addressed?

For the COF model:
o    Who should determine how much reserve must be set aside?
o    What criteria should be used to ensure sufficient funding and a mechanism 
to provide registrant protections?
3.      In the estimates shown in the addendum (Proposed Continuity Operations 
Instrument), what are the assumptions can be made in creating the basis for the 
proposed fund?
4.      How should the both the existing COI model and the newly proposed COF 
model ensure that it appropriately meets the needs of multiple registries sizes 
from small to large?
5.      Will the allocation of costs need to be adjusted over time if new 
registries enter the pool after the target balance is achieved? How can this 
account for some level of predictability and fairness for all registries?
6.      What appropriate level of internal resources should ICANN have for 
collections, tracking of deposits and outlays from the fund?
7.      What are the foreseeable challenges to move funds in timely manner to 
various parties as required responding to emergency situations?

Section II: Background

This assurance of continuing operations through some mechanism - whether it is 
the current continuity operations instrument or the newly proposed continuing 
operations fund - is an important issue because it provides a mechanism to 
protect registrants in the event of a registry failure. ICANN's main goal is a 
registrant protection through the implementation of a transition process that 
occurs in a secure, stable and reliable manner, minimizing impact not only to 
gTLD registrants, but also to gTLD users. This process should provide 
transparency to all parties involved in the transition.

The continuity operations instrument provides the one fully performed and in 
place registrant protection mechanism before the TLD is delegated. Additional 
important background information is furnished in the gTLD Registry Transition 
Process Memorandum 
 747 KB]). Commenters should read that. A mechanism similar to the proposed 
continuing operations fund was considered at one time.

Section III: Document and Resource Links

·         New gTLD Registry Agreement (see spec 8): 
[PDF, 4.5 MB]
·         Module 2 of the Applicant Guidebook: 
 [PDF, 725 KB] and 
 [PDF, 919 KB]
·         gTLD Registry Transition Process Memorandum: 
 [PDF, 747 KB]
·         New gTLD Program: http://newgtlds.icann.org/

Section IV: Additional Information

There will be a session during the upcoming ICANN Dakar 
Meeting<http://dakar42.icann.org/> to explain the proposal and receive 
additional community feedback. The session will be chaired by representatives 
from the RySG. This session will have remote participation for the people not 
able to attend in person. If you are interested in learning more and have 
questions, please see here<http://dakar42.icann.org/node/27219> the details.

Staff Contact:

Karla Valente



Glen de Saint Géry
GNSO Secretariat

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