The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) function of ICANN, as part of the administrative tasks associated with management of the Domain Name System root zone, is responsible for receiving requests for the delegation and redelegation of top-level domains, investigating and reporting on the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and, when appropriate, implementing the redelegations.
In accordance with ICANN’s performance of these functions, IANA received a request for the redelegation of the .BB top-level domain on 2 April 2007. This domain is designated in the ISO 3166-1 standard for Barbados, a country located in the Caribbean with a population of approximately 280,000.
The .BB top-level domain was originally delegated in September 1991 to the University of Puerto Rico.
In 1996, Cable and Wireless assumed administrated of the .BB domain name from the University. This was later reflected in an update to the Sponsoring Organisation to “Cable and Wireless BET”.
A memorandum of understanding was signed on 16 October 2001 between the Government of Barbados, Cable and Wireless (Bartel) Ltd., and Cable and Wireless (BET) Limited. This agreement provided for Cable and Wireless to continue to perform its administrative role for the .BB top-level domain until such date as determined by the Government.
In October 2002, IANA updated the administrative contact for the domain, as well as updating the Sponsoring Organisation to be Cable and Wireless (Barbados) Limited.
A redelegation request was submitted to IANA by the Barbados Government on 2 April 2007. The request seeks to redelegate the .BB top-level domain from Cable and Wireless to the Telecommunications Unit of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development of the Government of Barbados.
In its role as investigator of delegation and redelegation requests, IANA is guided by the practices summarized in:
“Domain Name System Structure and Delegation” (RFC 1591). This document describes IANA’s practices relating to delegations at its publication in 1994.
“Internet Domain Name System Structure and Delegation” (ICP-1). This document represents an update of the portions of RFC 1591 dealing with ccTLDs and reflects subsequent evolution of the policies followed by the IANA through May 1999.
The Governmental Advisory Committee Principles for Delegation and Administration of ccTLDs (GAC Principles). This document serves as “best practices” to guide governments in assuming proper roles with respect to the Internet's naming system.
In considering the delegation or redelegation of a ccTLD, IANA seeks input from both the requesting party as well as from persons and/or organizations that may be significantly affected by the change, particularly those within the nation or territory to which the ccTLD is designated. As noted in ICP-1, the parties affected include the relevant government or public authority: "The desires of the government of a country with regard to delegation of a ccTLD are taken very seriously. The IANA will make them a major consideration in any TLD delegation/transfer discussions."
Taking these factors into consideration, the burden of proof required to permit a delegation involves determining facts that relate to the applicant’s capacity to meet the following criteria:
In meeting these criteria, the IANA requests information from the applicant. In summary, a request template is sought specifying the exact details of the delegation being sought in the root zone. In addition, IANA asks for various documentation describing: the views of the local Internet community on a change; the competencies and skills of the organisation to operate the registry; the legal authenticity, status and character of the proposed operator; and the nature of government support for the proposal.
After receiving these documents, IANA analyses the input it has received in relation to existing zone management procedures, seeking input from parties both related to as well as independent of the applying organization should the information provided by the applicant in their request be deficient.
Once all the documentation has been received, IANA will also perform various technical checks on the proposed operator’s DNS infrastructure to ensure name servers are properly configured and are able to respond to queries for the top-level domain being requested. Should any anomalies be detected in the applicant’s technical infrastructure, IANA will work with the applicant to address the issues.
Assuming all technical issues are resolved, IANA will compile a report, providing all relevant details regarding the applicant, its suitability for operating the top-level domain being requested, and any other information pertinent to the application and submit that report to ICANN’s Board of Directors for its determination on whether to proceed with the request.
This report is being provided under the contract for performance of the IANA function between the United States Government and ICANN. Under that contract, ICANN performs the IANA function, which includes receiving delegation and redelegation requests concerning top-level domains, investigating the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and reporting on the requests.
Pertaining to the obligations described in the evaluation procedure, in summary IANA has assessed the applicant’s credentials to be as follows:
Operational and technical skills
The operator will be the Telecommunications Unit of the Government of Barbados Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development. The applicant has been building internal skills within the organisation for the role, and documented its plans in relation to ensuring the entity has the requisite skills to operate the top-level domain registry.
Operator in country
The proposed sponsoring organisation and administrative contact are based in Barbados.
Fair and equitable treatment
The applicant has made undertakings to IANA that registrations will be performed on a basis that is fair and equitable.
The domain will be operated by the government, and is supported by a resolution by the Cabinet of Barbados.
ICANN’s Global Partnerships team has performed consultation in the community and determined there is no significant opposition to the request.
According to RFC 1591 and ICP-1, IANA needs to respect the ability for a local Internet community as well as local law and local government to make decisions about the operation of a TLD.
In its research, IANA believes that there are grounds for reassignment of the domain name under the relevant criteria. The current operators have stated that they are no longer managing the domain and that the proposed operators have been the entity in charge for a number of years.
IANA therefore concludes that, as per their request, the .BB domain should be redelegated to the Telecommunications Unit of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development, Government of Barbados.
On 20 November 2007 the Board of ICANN passed the following resolution:
Whereas, the .BB top-level domain is the designated country-code for Barbados.
Whereas, ICANN has received a request for redelegation of .BB to the Government of Barbados Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development’s Telecommunications Unit.
Whereas, ICANN has reviewed the request, and has determined that the proposed redelegation would be in the best interest of the local and global Internet communities.
It is hereby resolved, that the proposed redelegation of the .BB domain to the Government of Barbados Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development’s Telecommunications Unit is approved.