Report on the Redelegation of the .MK domain and Delegation of the .мкд domain representing the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to Macedonian Academic Research Network Skopje

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 “MK” ISO 3166-1 code is designated for use to represent the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

String

This report discusues two strings:

  1. 1. The “MK” string, under consideration for redelegation, represents the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
  2. 2. The “мкд” string, under consideration for delegation, is represented in ASCII-compatible encoding according to the IDNA specification as “xn--d1alf”. The individual Unicode code points that comprise this string are U+043C U+043A U+0434. The string transliterates to “mkd” in English. The string is expressed using the Cyrillic script.

Chronology of events

The following report presents findings on the request to redelegate the .MK country code top-level domain and the request to delegate the “мкд” string as a country code top-level domain representing the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The report combines both requests, as most of the documentation presented for each is identical.

The currently designated manager for the .MK top-level domain is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as described in the IANA Root Zone Database.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the designated domain manager when the ccTLD .MK was delegated, however, the Macedonian Academic Research Network (MARnet), a department of the Computer Center at the Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, who performed the actual operations and management of .MK.

In January 2011, as the responsibilities for managing the .MK ccTLD grew, a new public entity named Macedonian Academic Research Network Skopje was formed. Macedonian Academic Research Network Skopje is the proposed sponsoring organization in this request. As a separate public entity, the Macedonian Academic Research Network Skopje is responsible for developing, organizing and managing the telecommunication network in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as well as managing the .MK top-level domain.

The Macedonian Academic Research Network Skopje continued the work of MARnet in managing the .MK ccTLD with the same technical and administrative staff.

In its efforts to establish the IDN ccTLD for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Macedonian Academic Research Network Skopje facilitated a consensus-building process that resulted in the selection of .мкд as the string to represent the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The string “мкд” in the Cyrillic script represent the letters “mkd” in the Latin script. The string selection process had a suggestion-gathering period from 29 November 2012 to 3 December 2012, and a voting period from 15 December 2012 to 15 January 2013.

On 3 September 2013, Macedonian Academic Research Network Skopje applied for string .мкд to represent the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia through the IDN ccTLD Fast Track process.

On 14 April 2014, 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 the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was subsequently approved.

In April 2014, the Macedonian Academic Research Network Skopje commenced a request to ICANN for the redelegation of the .MK top-level domain and the delegation of the .мкд top-level domain.

Proposed Sponsoring Organization and Contacts

The proposed sponsoring organization and contacts are the same for both .mk and .мкд.

The proposed sponsoring organization is the Macedonian Academic Research Network Skopje, a public entity established in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The proposed administrative contact is Sasho Dimitrijoski, Director of the Macedonian Academic Research Network Skopje. The administrative contact is understood to be based in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The proposed technical contact is Novak Novakov, Responsible in the DNS department, Macedonian Academic Research Network Skopje.

Evaluation of the Request

String Eligibility

The .MK string is eligible for continued delegation under ICANN policy, as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is presently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard with the assigned code MK.

The .мкд string has been deemed an appropriate representation of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia through the ICANN Fast Track String Selection process.

Public Interest

Support statements for the applications to redelegate .MK and delegate .мкд were provided by Ivo Ivanovski, the Minister of Information Society and Administration. Additional statements in support of both the redelegation and delegation requests were provided by the following:

The applications are consistent with known applicable local laws in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The proposed sponsoring organization undertakes responsibility to operate the domains in a fair and equitable manner.

Based in country

The proposed sponsoring organization is constituted in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be resident in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The registry is to be operated in the country.

Stability

The redelegation request is deemed uncontested, with the currently listed sponsoring organization consenting to the transfer.

Based on the information submitted, ICANN staff has not identified any stability issues that would warrant a transfer plan given the substantive operation is not changing. Macedonian Academic Research Network Skopje has been managing the .MK ccTLD since its initial delegation, at first under the name of “Macedonian Academic Research Network (MARnet)”, and later on as the Macedonian Academic Research Network Skopje after its establishment as a public entity. The latter continued managing this domain with the same technical and administrative staff..

Competency

The application has provided satisfactory details on the technical and operational infrastructure and expertise that will be used to operate the .MK and .мкд domains. Proposed policies for management of the domains 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.