ICANN has received a request to redelegate the .QA domain, a country-code top-level domain representing Qatar, to the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology. ICANN Staff have assessed the request, and provide this report for the ICANN Board of Directors to consider.
The "QA" ISO 3166-1 code is designated for use to represent Qatar.
The .QA top-level domain was initially delegated in 2006 to Qatar Telecom (“Q-Tel”), which remains its operator today.
The proposed sponsoring organisation, the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology, was created by governmental decree in 2004 to “regulate the two sectors of Communication and Information Technology, and the creation of an advanced Information Community by preparing a suitable environment of infrastructure and a community capable of using communication and information technologies.”
The Electronic Commerce and Transactions Law No 16 of 2010 was decreed on 19 August 2010, and gives explicit responsibility for Qatar's Country Code Top-Level Domains to the proposed sponsoring organisation, reading “the Supreme Council alone is responsible for the management of top-level domains for the State of Qatar on the Internet, and has the authority to delegate this responsibility.”
On 13 July 2010, the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology presented an application to ICANN for redelegation of the .QA top-level domain.
The proposed sponsoring organisation is the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology.
The proposed administrative contact is Saleh Al-Kuwari, Technical Affairs Manager of the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology. The administrative contact is understood to be based in Qatar.
The proposed technical contact is Mohamed El Bashir, Section Manager, Numbering and Internet Domain of the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology.
The top-level domain is eligible for delegation under ICANN policy, as it is the assigned ISO 3166-1 two-letter code representing the country Qatar.
Support for the application to delegate the domain to the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology from Dr Hessa Sultan Al-Haber, the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology.
Letters of support for the application have been received on behalf of the Qatar Science and Technology Park, Qatar University, and the Doha Center for Media Freedom.
The application is consistent with known applicable local laws in Qatar.
The proposed sponsoring organisation undertakes to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.
The proposed sponsoring organisation is constituted in Qatar. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be resident in Qatar. The registry is to be operated in the country.
The request is deemed uncontested, with the current sponsoring organisation Qatar Telecom consenting to the transfer. An appropriate transfer plan has been tendered with support from the involved parties.
The application has provided satisfactory details on the technical and operational infrastructure and expertise that will be used to operate the domain. Proposed policies for management of the domain have also been tendered.
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.
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:
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.