Report on the Delegation of the .বাংলা (“bangla”) domain representing Bangladesh in Bengali script to the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Posts and Telecommunications Division
2 September 2016
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 “BD” ISO 3166-1 code from which the application’s eligibility derives, is designated for use to represent Bangladesh.
The domain under consideration for the delegation at the DNS root level is “বাংলা”. This is represented in ASCII-compatible encoding to the IDNA specification as “xn--54b7fta0cc”. The individual Unicode code points that comprise this string are U+09AC U+09BE U+0982 U+09B2 U+09BE.
In Bengali language, the string has a transliteration equivalent to “bangla” in English.
Chronology of events
Beginning in December 2009, the currently listed sponsoring organization for the .BD country-code top-level domain (ccTLD), the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Bangladesh, held multiple meetings with various local government and Internet community stakeholders regarding the selection of the IDN ccTLD string for Bangladesh.
In February 2010, the multi stakeholder community reached consensus that the appropriate string to represent the Bangladesh IDN ccTLD is .বাংলা (.xn--54b7fta0cc). The Prime Minister of Bangladesh also ratified this decision in the same month.
On 20 December 2010, an application was made to ICANN’s “IDN Fast Track” process to have the string “বাংলা” recognized as representing Bangladesh in Bengali script.
On 10 March 2011, a review by the IDN Fast Track DNS Stability Panel found that the applied-for string “presents none of the threats to the stability or security of the DNS identified in Module 4 of the Fast Track implementation plan, and presents an acceptably low risk of user confusion.” The request for the “বাংলা” string to represent Bangladesh was subsequently approved.
In the following years, multiple meetings were held among local Internet community stakeholders including the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to reach a decision on the management of both the .BD and .বাংলা top-level domains.
During this time, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications was reorganized and combined with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to form the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology in February 2014. The same reorganization also created two divisions namely “Posts and Telecommunications Division” and “Information and Communication Technology Division” within the ministry.
Subsequently on 7 June 2015, the decision was made to have the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Posts and Telecommunications Division serve as the sponsoring organization for both the .BD and .বাংলা top-level domains while the Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) was appointed as the technical contact for these domains. Under this structure, BTCL will be responsible for the operations of both the .BD and .বাংলা domains while the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Posts and Telecommunications Division will oversee all the functionality of BTCL and conduct periodic reviews of the domain management policies.
On 8 July 2015, the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Posts and Telecommunications Division commenced a request to ICANN for the delegation of .বাংলা as a top-level domain.
Proposed Sponsoring Organisation and Contacts
The proposed sponsoring organization is the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Posts and Telecommunications Division. It is based in Bangladesh.
The proposed administrative contact is Mr. Md. Husnul Mahmud Khan, Director of the Posts and Telecommunications Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology. The administrative contact is understood to be based in Bangladesh.
The proposed technical contact is Mr. Md. Shohidul Islam, Divisional Engineer of Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL).
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 Bangladesh through the ICANN Fast Track String Selection process, and Bangladesh is presently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.
Government support was provided by Mr. Begum Tarana Halim (M.P.), State Minister, Posts and Telecommunications Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology.
Additional support letters were provided by the following:
- Md. Faizur Rahman Chowdhury, Secretary of Posts & Telecommunications Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology
- M.A. Hakim, President, Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh
- Abdul Matlub Ahmad, President, The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry
- Khandker Hamidur Rahman, Additional Director (IT), IMCT Division, The University Grants Commission of Bangladesh
- Dr. Shabbir Ahmed, Professor at Computer Science & Engineering, University of Dhaka and Chapter President at Internet Society of Bangladesh Dhaka Chapter
- Sumon Ahmed Sabir, Chairman of the Board of Trusty, Bangladesh Network Operators Group
The application is consistent with known applicable laws in Bangladesh. The proposed sponsoring organization undertakes responsibilities to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.
Based in country
The proposed sponsoring organization is constituted in Bangladesh. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be a resident of Bangladesh. The registry is to be operated in Bangladesh.
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 information on the technical and operational infrastructures and expertise that will be used to operate the proposed new domain. The proposed operator is the current manager of .BD country-code top-level domain for Bangladesh.
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.