Report on the Delegation of the .укр (“ukr”) domain representing Ukraine in Cyrillic
19 February 2013
This report is being provided under the contract for performance of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) function between the United States Government and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Under that contract, ICANN performs the “IANA functions”, which include receiving delegation and redelegation requests concerning TLDs, investigating the circumstances pertinent to those requests, making its recommendations, and reporting actions undertaken in connection with processing such requests.
The “UA” ISO 3166-1 code from which the application’s eligibility derives, is designated for use to represent Ukraine.
The domain under consideration for delegation at the DNS root level is “укр”. This is represented in ASCII-compatible encoding according to the IDNA specification as “xn--j1amh”. The individual Unicode code points that comprise this string are U+0443 U+043A U+0440.
In Ukrainian language, the string has a meaning equivalent to “ukr” in English. Its pronunciation in English is transliterated as “ukr”. The string is expressed using the Cyrillic script.
Chronology of events
On 23 October 2003, the “Association of Telecommunication, Informatization and Internet companies ‘Ukrainian Network Information Center’” (UANIC) was created as a non-profit organization.
On 22 January 2004, the State Committee of Communication and Informatization of Ukraine and UANIC signed an agreement relating to the administration of address space in the Ukrainian segment of the Internet. According to this agreement, the Committee authorized UANIC to administer the “Ukrainian segment of the Internet”, including internationalized domain names using Cyrillic script.
On 8 April 2004, the UANIC Coordination Council (UANIC’s supervisory body which consists of the representatives from the Internet community in Ukraine) instructed the head of the UANIC to initiate the discussions on the topic of creation and functioning of an IDN ccTLD for Ukraine.
In April 2004, UANIC joined the Cyrillic Languages Internet Names Consortium (CyrLINC). According to applicants, the goal of joining CyrLINC was to coordinate it’s efforts to develop system of the Multilingual Internet Names in countries that use Cyrillic languages.
On 19 May 2009, the UANIC Coordination Council initiated formal discussions with the local professional associations in the area of Internet and telecommunications on selecting the appropriate IDN ccTLD for Ukraine. Several recommendations were prepared. As a result, “укр” was proposed as the most appropriate representation of the IDN ccTLD for Ukraine in the Cyrillic script.
On 23 December 2010, UANIC applied for .укр as part of the “IDN Fast Track” process. Review by the IDN Fast Track DNS Stability Panel found that "the applied-for strings ... present none of the threats to the stability or security of the DNS identified in [the IDN Fast Track implementation plan] ... and present an acceptably low risk of user confusion". The request for the string to represent Ukraine was subsequently approved.
In March 2011, Technical Center Internet, LLC (TCI) was founded by two local registrars: Center of Ukrainian Internet names, LLC (Ukrnames) and DMedia, LLC. TCI was created with the purpose of assisting UANIC with the technical operations of .укр.
In April 2011, UANIC and TCI entered into an agreement in which it is stated that UANIC will perform administrative tasks related to the management of the domain, while the technical side of the operations will be handled by the UANIC Technical Support (a department within UANIC comprised of the UANIC personnel as well as TCI).
On 2 December 2011, first All-Ukrainian Conference of Public Domain Registrars and Administrators UAdom took place in Kiev, Ukraine. UANIC presented information on their preparations for applying for the delegation of .укр.
On 8 June 2011, UANIC and the current .UA ccTLD manager attended a meeting, part of which was devoted to discussing UANIC’s plans for applying for the IDN ccTLD for Ukraine.
On 17 July 2012, UANIC commenced a request to ICANN for delegation of “укр” as a country-code top-level domain for Ukraine. During the next several months ICANN Staff worked with applicants on gathering the necessary information and documentation.
Proposed Sponsoring Organisation and Contacts
The proposed sponsoring organization is the “Association of Telecommunication, Informatization and Internet companies ‘Ukrainian Network Information Center’” (UANIC), a non-profit organization founded in 2003 with the primary goal to carry out “socially useful activity of administration of the address space in the Ukrainian segment of the Internet, address space in the networks based on the Internet protocol, including administration of the systems and domain name registry in .UA domain.”
The proposed administrative contact is Yuriy Honcharuk, Chief Executive Officer of UANIC. The administrative contact is understood to be based in Ukraine.
The proposed technical contact is Yuriy Kargapolov, Head of the Technical Group of UANIC.
Evaluation of the Request
The top-level domain is eligible for delegation under ICANN policy, as the string has been deemed an appropriate representation of Ukraine through the ICANN Fast Track String Selection process, and Ukraine is presently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.
Explicit government support for the application was provided in a letter from Mykola Azarov, Prime Minister of Ukraine.
Additional support was provided in letters from the Ukrainian National Internet Association, Association “Chamber of Telecommunication of Ukraine”, All-Ukrainian Association of Computer Clubs, the TELAS Association and the Association of Participants of the Ukrainian Internet Market.
The application is consistent with known applicable local laws in Ukraine.
The proposed sponsoring organization undertakes to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.
Based in country
The proposed sponsoring organization is constituted in Ukraine. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be resident in Ukraine. The registry is to be operated in the country.
The 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.
The application is not known to be contested.
The application has provided satisfactory details on the technical and operational infrastructure and expertise that will be used to operate the proposed new domain. The proposed operator is not the current manager of .UA ASCII country-code top-level domain for Ukraine.
Proposed policies for management of the domain have also been tendered.
ICANN is tasked with coordinating the Domain Name System root zone as part of a set of functions governed by a contract with the U.S. Government. This includes accepting and evaluating requests for delegation and redelegation 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 (ccTLDs), and are assigned by ICANN to responsible trustees (known as “Sponsoring Organisations”) that meet a number of public-interest criteria for eligibility. These criteria largely relate to the level of support the trustee has from its local Internet community, its capacity to ensure stable operation of the domain, and its applicability under any relevant local laws.
Through ICANN’s IANA department, requests are received for delegating new ccTLDs, and redelegating or revoking existing ccTLDs. An investigation is performed on the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and, when appropriate, the requests are implemented and a recommendation for delegation or redelegation is made to the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
Purpose of evaluations
The evaluation of eligibility for ccTLDs, 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.
In considering requests to delegate or redelegate ccTLDs, 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 correctly. 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 relevant top-level domain.