Delegation of the الاردن. (“al-Ordon”) domain representing Jordan in Arabic to the National Information Technology Center

ICANN has received a request to delegate the الاردن. domain, a country-code top-level domain representing Jordan, to the National Information Technology Center. ICANN Staff have assessed the request, and provide this report for the ICANN Board of Directors to consider.

Factual Information


The “JO” ISO 3166-1 code, from which this application’s eligibility derives, is designated for use to represent Jordan.


The domain under consideration for delegation at the DNS root level is “الاردن”. This is represented in ASCII-compatible encoding according to the 2003 IDNA specification as “xn--mgbayh7gpa”. The individual Unicode code points that comprise this string are U+0627 U+0644 U+0627 U+0631 U+062F U+0646.

In Arabic language, the string has a meaning equivalent to “Jordan” in English. Its pronunciation in English is transliterated as “al-Ordon”. The string is expressed using the Arabic script.

Chronology of events

In December 2009, an application was made to the "IDN Fast Track" process to have the string "الاردن" recognised as representing Jordan. The request was supported by the Minister of Information and Communication Technology.

On 21 April 2010, review by the IDN Fast Track DNS Stability Panel found that “the applied-for string and declared variants associated with the application from Jordon (a) present none of the threats to the stability or security of the DNS ... and (b) present an acceptably low risk of user confusion”. The request for the string to represent Jordon was subsequently approved.

On 22 April 2010, the application to delegate “الاردن” as a top-level domain to NITC was received by ICANN. ICANN advised the applicant that supporting documentation was required to justify the delegation.

On 26 April 2010, NTIC conducted a meeting to conduct a “community consultation session ... to choose the registry that will best lead Jordan’s IDN ccTLD initiative”. NITC said five organisations attended — Talal Abu Ghazeleh Domains, Jordan University, Zain, Royal Scientific Society, and Al-Balqa Applied University. Subsequent to this meeting, the organisations in attendance signed form letters informing ICANN that they had reached consensus regarding NITC’s operation of the domain at a meeting in January 2010.

Proposed Sponsoring Organisation and Contacts

The proposed sponsoring organisation is the National Information Technology Center, a governmental entity of Jordan.

The proposed administrative contact is Nasser Khalaf, the Director General of the National Information Technology Center. The administrative contact is understood to be based in Jordan.

The proposed technical contact is Fahd A. Batayneh, Senior Systems Engineer at the National Information Technology Center.

Evaluation of the Request

String Eligibility

The top-level domain “الاردن” is eligible for delegation under ICANN policy, as the string has been deemed an appropriate representation of Jordan through the ICANN Fast Track String Selection process, and Jordan is presently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.

Public Interest

The Government of Jordan is making the request directly through the National Information Technology Center, the current TLD operator for the .JO domain.

The application is consistent with known applicable local laws in Jordan.

The proposed sponsoring organisation undertakes to continue to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner, using the same policies used for the “.JO” domain today.

Based in country

The proposed sponsoring organisation is constituted in Jordan. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be resident in Jordan. The registry is to be operated in the country.


This application does not involve a transfer of domain operations from an existing domain registry, and therefore stability aspects relating to registry transfer have not been evaluated.

Name servers are located on three topologically diverse networks, with one name server located in a separate geographic area. This meets the formal minimum standard for diversity within the authoritative server set. The main disaster recovery provision the applicant has stated is of periodic backups made offsite, however, principal operations are all in the same physical location.

The application is not known to be contested.


The proposed sponsoring organisation is the current registry for the “.JO” domain. The applicant has provided detail on the operational capacity of the registry to operate the new domain, and has satisfactory registry operational and technical expertise through their existing registry operations.

Evaluation Procedure

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is tasked with managing the Domain Name System root zone as part of a set of functions governed by a contract with the U.S. Government. This includes managing the delegations of top-level domains.

A subset of top-level domains are designated for the local Internet communities in countries to operate in a way that best suits their local needs. These are known as country-code top-level domains, and are assigned by ICANN to responsible trustees (known as “Sponsoring Organisations”) who meet a number of public-interest criteria for eligibility. These criteria largely relate to the level of support the trustee has from their local Internet community, their capacity to ensure stable operation of the domain, and their applicability under any relevant local laws.

Through an ICANN department known as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), requests are received for delegating new country-code top-level domains, and redelegating or revoking existing country-code top-level domains. An investigation is performed on the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and, when appropriate, the requests are implemented. Decisions on whether to implement requests are made by the ICANN Board of Directors, taking into account ICANN’s core mission of ensuring the stable and secure operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems.

Purpose of evaluations

The evaluation of eligibility for country-code top-level domains, and of evaluating responsible trustees charged with operating them, is guided by a number of principles. The objective of the assessment is that the action enhances the secure and stable operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems. The evolution of the principles has been documented in “Domain Name System Structure and Delegation” (RFC 1591), “Internet Domain Name System Structure and Delegation” (ICP-1), and other informational memoranda.

In considering requests to delegate or redelegate country-code top-level domains, input is sought regarding the proposed Sponsoring Organisation, as well as from persons and organisations that may be significantly affected by the change, particularly those within the nation or territory to which the ccTLD is designated.

The assessment is focussed on the capacity for the proposed sponsoring organisation to meet the following criteria:

Method of evaluation

To assess these criteria, information is requested from the applicant regarding the proposed sponsoring organisation and method of operation. In summary, a request template is sought specifying the exact details of the delegation being sought in the root zone. In addition, various documentation is sought describing: the views of the local internet community on the application; the competencies and skills of the trustee to operate the domain; the legal authenticity, status and character of the proposed trustee; and the nature of government support fort he proposal. The view of any current trustee is obtained, and in the event of a redelegation, the transfer plan from the previous sponsoring organisation to the new sponsoring organisation is also assessed with a view to ensuring ongoing stable operation of the domain.

After receiving this documentation and input, it is analysed in relation to existing root zone management procedures, seeking input from parties both related to as well as independent of the proposed sponsoring organisation should the information provided in the original application be deficient. The applicant is given the opportunity to cure any deficiencies before a final assessment is made.

Once all the documentation has been received, various technical checks are performed on the proposed sponsoring organisation’s DNS infrastructure to ensure name servers are properly configured and are able to respond to queries for the top-level domain being requested. Should any anomalies be detected, ICANN staff will work with the applicant to address the issues.

Assuming all issues are resolved, an assessment is compiled providing all relevant details regarding the proposed sponsoring organisation and its suitability to operate the top-level domain being requested. This assessment is submitted to ICANN’s Board of Directors for its determination on whether to proceed with the request.