Report on the Delegation of the .ລາວ (“Lao”) domain representing the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Lao script to the Lao National Internet Center (LANIC)
10 January 2020
This report is a summary of the materials reviewed as part of the process for the delegation of the .ລາວ (“Lao”) top-level domain. It includes details regarding the proposed delegation, evaluation of the documentation pertinent to the request, and actions undertaken in connection with processing the delegation.
The “LA” ISO 3166-1 two-letter country code from which the application’s eligibility derives is designated for use to represent the Lao People's Democratic Republic, herein referred to as Lao PDR.
The domain under consideration for delegation at the DNS root level is “ລາວ”. This is represented in ASCII-compatible encoding according to the IDNA specification as “xn--q7ce6a”. The individual Unicode code points that comprise this string are U+0EA5 U+0EB2 U+0EA7.
In the Lao language, the string has a transliteration and translation equivalent to “Lao” in English. The string is expressed using the Lao script.
Chronology of events
In 2010, the Lao National Internet Center (LANIC) was established as an organization within the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPT) to manage the .LA country code top-level domain.
On 15 February 2010, MPT assigned LANIC the role of managing the .LA top-level domain under the Ministerial Decision on Lao National Internet Center Organizational and Operational Structure (reference number 373/PMO.APT). This was later revised on 15 July 2016 by an additional Ministerial Decision (reference number 2164/MPT) granting LANIC the ability to continue to manage the .LA top-level domain, and additionally the .ລາວ top-level domain.
On 14 December 2016, LANIC and MPT held the 2016 Lao ICT Expo at the National Convention Center in Vientiane. Community outreach was performed at this event and support was gathered and documented for the Lao IDN application.
On 4 January 2018, an application was made to the ICANN ccTLD IDN Fast Track Process to have the string "ລາວ" recognized as representing Lao PDR in Lao script.
On 13 December 2018, 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" and the request for the "ລາວ" string to represent Lao was subsequently approved.
In June 2019, LANIC initiated a request for delegation of the .ລາວ top-level domain.
Proposed Manager and Contacts
The proposed manager is the Lao National Internet Center (LANIC).
The proposed administrative contact is Minaxay Philavong, Deputy Director General of LANIC. The administrative contact is understood to be based in Lao PDR.
The proposed technical contact is Anisone Kingsada, Director of the ccTLD .LA Division at LANIC.
Evaluation of the Request
The top-level domain is eligible for delegation, as the string has been deemed an appropriate representation of Lao PDR through the ICANN Fast Track String Selection process, and Lao PDR is presently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.
Government support was provided by:
- Thansamay Kommasith, Minister of Post and Telecommunications.
- Valaxay Dalaloy, Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.
- Daravone Kittiphanh, Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Sports.
Additional support letters were provided by the following:
- Vinij Kumsomboon, Director of WhatDomain.LA, a local branch of the Dot LA Marketing Company LLC that offers .LA domain names.
- Souphol Chanthavixay, General Director of the Lao Telecommunication Public Company, a local registrar of .LA domain names.
- Daovone Phachanthavong, Executive Vice President of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an independent, non-governmental body that was established in 1989 to promote the business community in Lao PDR.
The application is consistent with known applicable laws and regulations in Lao PDR. The proposed manager undertakes responsibilities to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.
Based In Country
The proposed manager is constituted in Lao PDR. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be resident in Lao PDR. The registry is to be operated in Lao PDR.
The application does not involve a transfer of domain operations from an existing domain registry, and therefore stability aspects relating to registry transfer are not relevant.
The application is not known to be contested.
The application has provided information on the technical and operational infrastructure and expertise that will be used to operate the proposed new domain.
LANIC will be responsible for day-to-day operations of the domain. LANIC has engaged the services of CentralNIC, a registry service provider, to provide registry backend services and support.
Proposed policies for management of the domain have also been tendered.
PTI is tasked with coordinating the Domain Name System root zone as part of a set of functions governed by a contract with ICANN. This includes accepting and evaluating requests for delegation and transfer 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 to responsible managers that meet a number of public-interest criteria for eligibility. These criteria largely relate to the level of support the manager has from its local Internet community, its capacity to ensure stable operation of the domain, and its applicability under any relevant local laws.
Through the IANA Services performed by PTI, requests are received for delegating new ccTLDs, and transferring or revoking existing ccTLDs. An investigation is performed on the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and the requests are implemented where they are found to meet the criteria.
Purpose of evaluations
The evaluation of eligibility for ccTLDs, and of evaluating responsible managers 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 transfer ccTLDs, input is sought regarding the proposed new manager, as well as from persons and organizations that may be significantly affected by the change, particularly those within the nation or territory to which the ccTLD is designated.
The assessment is focused on the capacity for the proposed manager to meet the following criteria:
The domain should be operated within the country, including having its manager 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 manager 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 manager 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 manager to operate the domain; the legal authenticity, status and character of the proposed manager; and the nature of government support for the proposal.
After receiving this documentation and input, it is analyzed in relation to existing root zone management procedures, seeking input from parties both related to as well as independent of the proposed manager 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 manager’s DNS infrastructure to ensure name servers are properly configured and are able to respond to queries correctly. Should any anomalies be detected, PTI 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 manager and its suitability to operate the relevant top-level domain.