Report on the Delegation of the გე (“ge”) domain representing Georgia in Georgian (Mkhedruli) script to the Information Technologies Development Center

26 September 2014

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.

Factual Information

Country

The “GE” ISO 3166-1 code is designated for use to represent Georgia.

String

The domain under consideration for delegation at the DNS root level is “გე”. This is represented in ASCII-compatible encoding according to the IDNA specification as “xn--node”. The individual Unicode code points that comprise this string are U+10D2 U+10D4. In Georgian language, the string has a transliteration equivalent to “ge” in English. The string is expressed using the Georgian (Mkhedruli) script.

Chronology of events

In 2001, the Information Technologies Development Center (ITDC) was founded as a hosting service provider specializing in hosting servers management, IT consultations and development of custom web-based solutions.

On 4 June 2010 an application was made to the “IDN Fast Track” process to have the string “გე” recognised as representing Georgia. The request was supported by the Head of the Administration of the President of Georgia and seven ISPs in Georgia.

On 7 January 2011, review by the IDN Fast Track DNS Stability Panel found that "the applied-for string ... present none of the threats to the stability or security of the DNS identified in Module 4 of the Fast Track implementation plan, and present an acceptably low risk of user confusion". The request for the string to represent the Georgia was subsequently approved.

On 11 August 2011, the Information Technologies Development Center (ITDC) commenced a request to ICANN for delegation of “გე” as a top-level domain. Over the next three years, several delegation requests were submitted to IANA but none met all the delegation criteria.

In August 2012, a delegation report was submitted to the Board IANA Committee. The Committee reviewed it, but had questions about the operational and technical capabilities of the proposed operator. That request was administratively closed as ICANN staff waited for the applicants to gather the necessary supporting documentation.

On 2 May 2014, the applicants submitted an updated implementation plan, as this was one of the elements missing in the previous unsuccessful delegation request.

On 22 July 2014, the Information Technologies Development Center (ITDC) commenced the current request for delegation of “გე” as a top-level domain.

Proposed Sponsoring Organisation and Contacts

The proposed sponsoring organisation is Information Technologies Development Center (ITDC), an entity established in 2001 specializing in hosting servers management, IT consultation and development of custom web-based solutions.

The proposed administrative contact is George Garsevanishvili, Co-Owner/IT Director, ITDC. The administrative contact is understood to be based in Georgia.

The proposed technical contact is Konstantine Karosanidze, Technical Lead Administrator, ITDC.

Evaluation of the Request

String Eligibility

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

Public Interest

The applicant states that Information Technologies Development Center (ITDC) was selected to become a manager of “გე" as a result of consultations with the Administration of President of Georgia and with Georgian National Communications Commission.

Explicit government support for the application was provided in a letter signed by the former GAC representative Irakli Chikovani, the Chairman of the Georgian National Communications Commission, the regulatory authority for electronic communications and broadcasting in Georgia.

Additional support was provided in a letter from JSC Silknet, a local company specializing in providing telecommunications packages.

The application is consistent with known applicable local laws in Georgia. 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 Georgia. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be resident in Georgia. The registry is to be operated in the country.

Stability

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.

Competency

The application has provided information on the technical and operational infrastructure and expertise that will be used to operate the proposed new domain. The provided information is mostly limited to a basic top-level overview of operations. The proposed operator is not the current manager of .GE country-code top-level domain for Georgia and lacks specific experience in operating a domain name registry. The applicants have asserted they have sufficient expertise in order to run a country code top-level domain. While the proposed operator lacks specific experience in operating a domain name registry, they have asserted they have sufficient comparable expertise. The small anticipated size of the registry is not expected to present scalability challenges that would necessitate further skills at delegation time.

Proposed policies for management of the domain have also been tendered.

Evaluation Procedure

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:

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.