Redelegation of the .BH domain representing Bahrain to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority
ICANN has received a request to redelegate the .BH domain, a country-code top-level domain representing Bahrain, to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. ICANN Staff have assessed the request, and provide this report for the ICANN Board of Directors to consider.
The "BH" ISO 3166-1 code is designated for use to represent Bahrain.
Chronology of events
The .BH domain was first delegated in 1994 to the University of Bahrain Computer Center. In 1999, the domain was redelegated to the Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco), which remains the sponsoring organisation today.
In 2002, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority was established by Legislative Decree No. 48, and is responsible for regulating, licensing and developing the telecommunications market in Bahrain.
In 2008, the Minister of Telecommunications of Bahrain issued Resolution No. 3, which assigned TRA as the governmental agency responsible for the management of the .BH top-level domain. It resolved that “An office shall be set up ... to be affiliated to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. It shall undertake all the duties related to the registration of the domain names including the Kingdom of Bahrain’s domain name .BH”.
On 6 December 2011, the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority commenced a request to ICANN for redelegation of the “.BH” top-level domain.
Proposed Sponsoring Organisation and Contacts
The proposed sponsoring organisation is the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Bahrain.
The proposed administrative and technical contact is Mohammed Alnoaimi, Technical Affairs Specialist of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. The administrative contact is understood to be based in Bahrain.
Evaluation of the Request
The top-level domain is eligible for continued delegation under ICANN policy, as it is the assigned ISO 3166-1 two-letter code representing Bahrain.
Support for the application to delegate the domain was provided by Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Minister Responsible for Telecommunications of Bahrain.
Support for the redelegation has also been provided by the Bahrain Internet Society, the Central Informatics Organisation, and Bahrain Internet Exchange.
The application is consistent with known applicable local laws in Bahrain.
The proposed sponsoring organisation undertakes to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.
Based in country
The proposed sponsoring organisation is constituted in Bahrain. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be resident in Bahrain. The registry is to be operated in the country.
The request is deemed uncontested, with the current sponsoring organisation 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 proposed new 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.
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 new 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:
- The domain should be operated within the country, including having its sponsoring organisation and administrative contact based in the country.
- The domain should be operated in a way that is fair and equitable to all groups in the local Internet community.
- Significantly interested parties in the domain should agree that the prospective trustee is the appropriate party to be responsible for the domain, with the desires of the national government taken very seriously.
- The domain must be operated competently, both technically and operationally. Management of the domain should adhere to relevant technical standards and community best practices.
- Risks to the stability of the Internet addressing system must be adequately considered and addressed, particularly with regard to how existing identifiers will continue to function.
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.