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 .KN top-level domain on 26 October 2007. This domain is designated in the ISO 3166-1 standard for Saint Kitts and Nevis, a country located in the West Indies with a population of approximately 40,000 people.
The current operator of the .KN top-level domain is the University of Puerto Rico. This is consistent with a role that organisation has played for a number of Caribbean countries in establishing registry operations on their behalf.
The proposal calls for the redelegation of the .KN top-level domain to the Ministry of Finance, Sustainable Development, Information and Technology. In this proposal, registry operations would be conducted by a partner organisation with registry experience. This partner is the Taiwan Network Information Center, an establish registry operator, and the current supporting organisation for the .TW domain.
The proposed administrative contact is a representative of the National ICT Center and the proposed technical contact is a representative of Taiwan Network Information Center.
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 proposed new operator has engaged the Taiwan Network Information Center, an established registry operator and supporting organisation for .TW, to assist it in operating the registry for .KN.
Operator in country
The proposed new operator is the Government of the country.
Fair and equitable treatment
The applicant has made undertakings to IANA that registrations will be performed on a first-come first-served basis that is fair and equitable.
The application has the support of Hon. Nigel McCarthy, the Minister of State of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
The applicant has provided statements of support for the application. It also has the support of the current operator, who has the registry data to the proposed new operator to facilitate a transfer of operations. Given the small population of the country, there is not a well-established and cohesive local Internet community representation.
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.
IANA therefore concludes that the .KN domain should be redelegated to the Ministry of Finance, Sustainable Development, Information and Technology of Saint Kitts and Nevis as per their request.
On 29 April 2008 the Board of ICANN passed the following resolution:
Whereas, the .KN top-level domain is the designated country-code for Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Whereas, ICANN has received a request for redelegation of .KN to the Ministry of Finance, Sustainable Development, Information and Technology of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
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 .KN domain to the Ministry of Finance, Sustainable Development, Information and Technology of Saint Kitts and Nevis is approved.