Report on the Redelegation of the .GW domain representing Guinea-Bissau to the Autoridade Reguladora Nacional das Tecnologias de Informação e Comunicação da Guiné Bissau
3 June 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.
The “GW” ISO 3166-1 code is designated for use to represent Guinea-Bissau.
Chronology of events
The currently designated manager for the .GW top-level domain is Fundação IT & MEDIA Universidade de Bissao, as described in the IANA Root Zone Database. Over the past two years, ICANN’s IANA department has received several reports from the community that the administrative contact and sponsoring organization for .GW are unreachable.
On 24 May 2010 the Supreme Court of Justice of Guinea-Bissau declared the nonexistence of Fundação IT & MEDIA Universidade de Bissao. Since that time, a variety of applicants have submitted unsuccessful redelegation requests.
In October 2012, the Ministry Council of Guinea-Bissau approved the Decree No. 7/2012 that empowered the Autoridade Reguladora Nacional das Tecnologias de Informação e Comunicação da Guiné Bissau (ARN) to lead and manage the .GW top-level domain. One month later, an agreement was signed between Fundacao para a Computacao Cientifica Nacional (FCCN), the private nonprofit organisation responsible for managing the .PT (Portugal) top-level domain, and ARN. The agreement governs the terms of the cooperation between the parties and the support that will be provided by FCCN to ARN. FCCN has agreed to use its experience managing the country-code top-level domain for Portugal to provide technical support for ARN in managing the .GW domain. ARN’s goal is to eventually become fully autonomous.
On 3 January 2013, ARN commenced a request to ICANN for redelegation of the .GW top-level domain. The .GW registry data has been communicated to DNS.PT by the domain’s current technical contact, DENIC.
In August 2013, the .PT top-level domain was redelegated from FCCN to Associação DNS.PT. Associação DNS.PT inherited all the responsibilities that were already previously assumed as part of FCCN, including the collaboration with ARN.
Proposed Sponsoring Organisation and Contacts
The proposed sponsoring organisation is Autoridade Reguladora Nacional das Tecnologias de Informação e Comunicação da Guiné Bissau, a national regulatory authority in Guinea-Bissau.
The proposed administrative contact is Frank Barbosa de Oliveira, Member of the Board of Autoridade Reguladora Nacional das Tecnologias de Informação e Comunicação da Guiné Bissau. The administrative contact is understood to be based in Guinea-Bissau.
The proposed technical contact is Assis Neves Guerreiro, Manager of Technical Infrastructure Service, Associação DNS.PT.
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 Guinea-Bissau.
Support for the application to redelegate the domain was provided by Rui Duarte Barros, the Prime Minister of Guinea-Bissau. Additional statements in support of this redelegation were provided by two local telecommunications companies, Spacetel Guinea-Bissau and Orange Bissau.
The application is consistent with known applicable local laws in Guinea-Bissau.
The proposed sponsoring organisation undertakes responsibility to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.
Based in country
The proposed sponsoring organisation is constituted in Guinea-Bissau. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be resident in Guinea-Bissau.
The existing sponsoring organisation has been dissolved, and as such ICANN is unable to obtain formal explicit consent for the transfer.
The current administrative contact for the domain does not consent to the change request. He proposed an alternative redelegation request that was deemed insufficient. The application was not revised after an extended opportunity to remedy its deficiencies, and was therefore administratively closed. A transfer plan was provided by ARN for the redelegation of .GW to mitigate any risks relating to Internet stability.
The application has provided satisfactory details on the technical and operational infrastructure and expertise that will be used to operate the .GW domain. 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.