Report on the Removal of the .TP top-level domain representing Portuguese Timor
26 January 2015
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 “TP” ISO 3166-1 code was designated to represent the territory of Portuguese Timor. The territory ceased to exist in 2002 following a declaration of independence, superseded by the country of Timor-Leste.
The ISO 3166-1 standard eliminated the “TP” two-letter ASCII code designated for Portuguese Timor in 2002. The successor country, Timor-Leste, was granted a new two-letter ASCII code of “TL”.
The string is expressed using the Cyrillic script, and has a transliteration equivalent to “bel” in Latin script.
Chronology of events
The .TP top-level domain was delegated for use by Portuguese Timor on 9 May 1997.
In 2002, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste was established. The ISO 3166-1 standard removed the TP code originally assigned to Portuguese Timor and superseded it with a new code .TL for Timor-Leste.
On 23 March 2005, the .TL top-level domain was delegated to Department of Information Technology of the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Public Works of Timor-Leste. As per the ICANN Board resolution that approved the delegation of the .TL domain, the “Government of the [the Democratic Republic of] Timor-Leste endorsed the Department of Information Technology (DoIT) at the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Public Works as the appropriate entity to both hold the delegation of administrative authority for the .TL ccTLD and to manage the process of migration from the legacy .TP ccTLD.”
Following the successful delegation of the .TL domain, all new registrations within the .TP domain were disallowed, and the existing registry was maintained in a caretaker state to provide existing registrants time to transition to the new .TL domain.
IANA staff and .TP contacts continued discussions on the removal of the .TP top-level domain. In August 2013, the IANA Department received a letter from Mr. Flavio Cardoso Neves, Vice Minister of Ministry of Transport and Communications – Government of Timor-Leste. The letter confirmed that the Government is fully supportive of removing the .TP domain from the DNS Root Zone and asked for ICANN’s assistance in facilitating this process.
In July 2014, IANA staff was notified that the new point of contact for this request is Mr. Nicolau Santos Celestino, Director of Information and Technology at the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The removal date is currently scheduled for 28 February 2015.
Evaluation of the Request
The ISO 3166-1 code for Portuguese Timor was removed in the year 2002. When a ccTLD is no longer eligible due to the country or code’s removal from the ISO 3166-1 standard, the operator is expected to develop a transition plan to the successor ccTLD(s) and ultimately retire the domain. Consistent with the general approach that ccTLDs are to be managed within the country, the manager is expected to design and execute a locally-appropriate method of notifying impacted registrants that the domain is to be retired, and develop a timeline to transition to new ccTLDs.
As part of processing the request, IANA staff requested confirmation from the administrative and technical contacts regarding the planned decommissioning in order to ensure an orderly removal of the .TP domain name from the DNS Root Zone. Staff worked with Mr. Celestino on the request to remove the .TP domain and confirmed that there has been outreach to impacted registrants and the local Internet community in Timor-Leste regarding the status of the .TP domain.
The .TL government representatives stated that new registrations in the .TP domain stopped in 2005. They explained that following the establishment of the .TL domain name, users of the .TP domain were encouraged to transition from the .TP to the .TL domain name and all registrants under the .TP domain were given matching domain names under the .TL domain name.
Government representatives also stated that they performed outreach to existing .TP registrants advising them of the removal of the domain. IANA staff discussed with the .TP contacts the usage status of the .TP domain. The government representative stated that all operators in Timor-Leste are “using the .tl and not [sic] longer use the .tp” domain.
As this request is to remove the delegation from the .TP delegation from the DNS Root Zone, and the removal has the consent of the current operator (Government of Timor-Leste), this domain can now be removed from the DNS Root Zone. The request also accords with the principles associated with managing delegations of ccTLDs in line with additions and delegations to the ISO 3166-1 standard.
The removal of the delegation of the .TP domain from the root zone is targeted for 28 February 2015.