Report on the Delegation of the .հայ (“hye”) domain representing Armenia in Armenian script to Internet Society of Armenia
13 April 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 “AM” ISO 3166-1 code from which the application’s eligibility derives, is designated for use to represent Armenia.
The domain under consideration for delegation at the DNS root level is “հայ”. This is represented in ASCII-compatible encoding according to the IDNA specification as “xn--y9a3aq”. The individual Unicode code points that comprise this string are U+0570 U+0561 U+0575.
The string is expressed using the Armenian script, and has a transliteration equivalent to to “hye” in the Latin script.
Chronology of events
The Armenian Chapter of Internet Society, commonly referred to as “Internet Society of Armenia” or “ISOC AM”, was registered under the name “Internet Society” in Armenia in 2001. The proposed sponsoring organization name for this delegation is “Internet Society” as shown on the registration documentation tendered with the request. Despite the name similarity, “Internet Society”, this report refers to the organization registered in Armenia under the Armenian law and should not be confused with the global Internet Society organization. “Internet Society of Armenia” will be used in the remainder of this report to refer to the Armenian organization named “Internet Society”, a local chapter of the Internet Society in Armenia.
In 2007, Internet Society of Armenia formalized its relationship with ICANN as the manager of .AM through an exchange of letters.
In August 2013, the Internet Society of Armenia informed its members that the Council of the Internet Society of Armenia made a decision to apply to ICANN for the IDN ccTLD string for Armenia and invited its members to submit comments and views on the matter.
In September 2013 the Internet Society of Armenia published a report on the decision to initiate the application process for the .հայ IDN ccTLD by Internet Society of Armenia, the current operator of .AM.
Later during the International Conference INET 2013 held on 8-9 October 2013 in Armenia, the proposal to apply for and delegate the IDN ccTLD for Armenia was discussed. Conference participants were in support of the application and delegation process for the .հայ string.
On 1 April 2014, the Internet Society of Armenia applied for the string .հայ through the IDN ccTLD Fast Track process to represent Armenia in Armenian script. On 20 November 2014, 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 [the IDN Fast Track implementation plan] ... and presents an acceptably low risk of user confusion”. The request for the string to represent Armenia was subsequently approved. In December 2014, the Internet Society of Armenia commenced a request to ICANN for the delegation of the .հայ top-level domain.
Proposed Sponsoring Organisation and Contacts
The proposed sponsoring organization is Internet Society of Armenia, a non-profit organization established in Armenia.
The proposed administrative contact is Igor Mkrtumyan, President of the Internet Society of Armenia. The administrative contact is understood to be based in Armenia.
The proposed technical contact is Hrant Dadivanyan, Manager of Armenia Network Information Centre.
Evaluation of the Request
The .հայ string has been deemed an appropriate representation of Armenia through the ICANN Fast Track String Selection process.
A support statement for the request to delegate .հայ was provided by Mr. Gagik, Head of Staff at the Ministry of Transport and Communication of Armenia and the Armenia representative in the GAC.
Additional statements in support of the delegation request were also provided by the following:
- Karen Vardanyan, Executive Director of the Union of IT Enterprises of Armenia;
- Gagik Makaryan, Chairman of the Republican Union of Employers of Armenia;
- Yuri Shoukourian, Vice-President of the National Academy of Sciences of Republic of Armenia;
- Kristina Babajanyan, Director of ABC Domain, a leading registrar for the TLD .AM;
- Haykaz Baghyan, Director of the Media Education Center, an organization that promotes e-learning, media literacy and communications for the youth.
The application is consistent with known applicable local laws in Armenia.
The proposed sponsoring organization undertakes responsibility to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.
Based in country
The proposed sponsoring organization is registered in Armenia. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be resident of Armenia. The registry is to be operated in the country.
The delegation request is deemed uncontested.
Based on the information submitted, ICANN staff has not identified any stability issues.
The application is not known to be contested.
As the current operator of .AM ccTLD, the application has provided satisfactory details on the technical and operational infrastructure and expertise that will be used to operate the .հայ domain. 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.