23 Provide name and full description of all the Registry Services to be provided
|gTLD||Full Legal Name||E-mail suffix||Detail|
|.ONG||Public Interest Registry||pir.org||View|
Public Interest Registry (PIR) has been successfully managing .ORG, one of the internet’s original gTLDs, for over nine years. PIR uses Afilias Limited as the registry backend service provider who will also support .ONG. Afilias has experience managing registrations for over a decade and supports comprehensive registration lifecycle services including the registration states, any modifications required with the introduction of any new ICANN policies, and addressing any potential security or stability concerns.
The below response includes a description of the registry services to be provided for the .ONG gTLD, additional services provided to support registry operations, and an overview of the approach.
1. Operations of the Registry
To support the .ONG gTLD, PIR and Afilias will offer the following registry services, all in accordance with relevant technical standards and policies:
a. Receipt of data from registrars concerning registration for domain names and nameservers, and provision to registrars of status information relating to the EPP-based domain services for registration, queries, updates, transfers, renewals, and other domain management functions. Please see our responses to Evaluation Questions #24, #25, and #27 for full details.
b. Operation of the registry DNS servers: The DNS system, run and managed by Afilias, is a massively provisioned infrastructure that utilizes among the most sophisticated DNS architecture, hardware, software and redundant design created. Afilias’ industry-leading system works in a seamless way to incorporate nameservers from any number of other secondary DNS service vendors. Please see our response to Evaluation Question #35 for full details.
c. Dissemination of TLD zone files: Afilias’ distinctive architecture allows for real-time updates and maximum stability for zone file generation, publication and dissemination. Please see our response to Evaluation Question #34 for full details.
d. Dissemination of contact or other information concerning domain registrations: A port 43 WHOIS service with basic and expanded search capabilities with requisite measures to prevent abuse. Please see our response to Evaluation Question #26 for full details.
e. Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs): Ability to support all protocol valid Unicode characters at every level of the gTLD, including alphabetic, ideographic and right-to-left scripts in conformance with the ICANN IDN Guidelines. Please see our response to Evaluation Question #44 for full details.
f. DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC): A fully DNSSEC-enabled registry, with a stable and efficient means of signing and managing zones. This includes the ability to safeguard keys and manage keys completely. Please see our response to Evaluation Question #43 for full details.
Each service will meet or exceed the contract service level agreement. All registry services for the .ONG gTLD will be provided in a standards-compliant manner.
Numerous supporting services and functions facilitate effective management of the .ONG gTLD. These support services include:
a. Customer support: 24x7 live phone and email support for customers to address any access, update or other issues they may encounter. This includes assisting the customer identification of the problem as well as solving it. Customers include registrars and the registry operator, but not registrants except in unusual circumstances. Customers have access to a web-based portal for a rapid and transparent view of the status of pending issues.
b. Financial services: billing and account reconciliation for all registry services according to pricing established in respective agreements.
c. Support necessary to address the consensus policies as adopted by ICANN including:
• Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution
• WHOIS Data Reminder
• Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy
• WHOIS Marketing Restriction Policy
• Restored Names Accuracy Policy
• Expired Domain Deletion Policy
• Registry Services Evaluation Policy
• AGP Limits Policy
3. Other Services
Reporting is an important component of supporting registry operations. Afilias will provide reporting to the registry operator and registrars, as well as financial reporting. Afilias provides an extensive suite of reports to the registry operator, including daily, weekly and monthly reports with data at the transaction level that enables the registry operator to track and reconcile at whatever level of detail preferred. Afilias provides the exact data required by ICANN in the required format to enable PIR to meet its technical reporting requirements to ICANN.
In addition, Afilias offers access to a data warehouse capability that will enable near-real-time data to be available 24x7. This can be arranged by informing the Afilias Account Manager regarding who should have access. Afilias’ data warehouse capability enables drill-down analytics all the way to the transaction level.
Reporting Available to Registrars
Afilias provides an extensive suite of reporting to registrars and has been doing so in an exemplary manner for more than ten years. Specifically, Afilias provides daily, weekly and monthly reports with detail at the transaction level to enable registrars to track and reconcile at whatever level of detail they prefer.
Reports are provided in standard formats, facilitating import for use by virtually any registrar analytical tool. Registrar reports are available for download via a secure administrative interface. A given registrar will only have access to their own reports. These include the following:
• Daily Reports: Transaction Report, Billable Transactions Report, and Transfer Reports;
• Weekly: Domain Status and Nameserver Report, Weekly Nameserver Report, Domains Hosted by Nameserver Weekly Report; and,
• Monthly: Billing Report and Monthly Expiring Domains Report.
Weekly registrar reports are maintained for each registrar for four weeks. Weekly reports older than four weeks will be archived for a period of six months, after which they will be deleted.
Registrar account balances are updated real-time when payments and withdrawals are posted to the registrarsʹ accounts. In addition, the registrar account balances are updated as and when they perform billable transactions at the registry level.
Afilias provides Deposit⁄Withdrawal Reports that are updated periodically to reflect payments received or credits and withdrawals posted to the registrar accounts.
The following reports are also available: a) Daily Billable Transaction Report, containing details of all the billable transactions performed by all the registrars in the Shared Registry System (SRS), b) daily email reports containing the number of domains in the registry and a summary of the number and types of billable transactions performed by the registrars, and c) registry operator versions of most registrar reports (for example, a daily Transfer Report that details all transfer activity between all of the registrars in the SRS).
There are no additional proposed registry services for the launch of the .ONG gTLD.
4. Security and Stability
Afilias addresses security in every significant aspect – physical, data and network as well as process. Afilias’ approach to security permeates every aspect of the registry services provided. A dedicated security function exists within the company to continually identify existing and potential threats, and to put in place comprehensive mitigation plans for each identified threat. In addition, a rapid security response plan exists to respond comprehensively to unknown or unidentified threats. The specific threats and Afilias mitigation plans are defined in our response to Evaluation Question #30b; please see that response for complete information. In short, Afilias is committed to ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all information.
PIR and Afilias will deliver a secure, stable and reliable registry service. The .ONG gTLD will utilize an existing, proven team and platform for registry services with:
• A stable and secure, state-of-the-art, EPP-based SRS with ample storage capacity, data security provisions and scalability that is proven with registrars who account for over 95% of all gTLD domain name registration activity (over 375 registrars);
• A reliable, 100% available DNS service (zone file generation, publication and dissemination) tested to withstand severe DDoS attacks and dramatic growth in Internet use;
• A WHOIS service that is flexible and standards compliant, with search capabilities to address both registrar and end-user needs; includes consideration for evolving standards, such as RESTful, or draft-kucherawy-wierds;
• A registry platform that is both IPv6 and DNSSEC enabled;
• An experienced, respected team of professionals active in standards development of innovative services such as DNSSEC and IDN support;
• Methods to limit domain abuse, remove outdated and inaccurate data, and ensure the integrity of the SRS;
• Customer support and reporting capabilities to meet financial and administrative needs, e.g., 24x7 call center support, integration support, billing, and daily, weekly, and monthly reporting.
PIR with Afilias will support the .ONG gTLD in accordance with its specific policies and procedures leveraging a proven registry infrastructure that is fully operational, staffed with professionals, massively provisioned, and immediately ready to launch and maintain this gTLD.
About PIR’s Support
Public Interest Registry (PIR), the official manager of .ORG, employs a team of professionals in operations, legal, marketing, and finance who manage the planning activities and oversight of Afiliasʹ technical operations activities.
PIR’s express purpose is supporting and promoting the evolution and growth of the Internet as a global research and communications infrastructure, educating non-commercial, NGO, and the nonprofit community about how to more effectively and more efficiently utilize the Internet to accomplish their important missions. PIR’s primary activity is to maintain an exemplary gTLD registry service, including advocating for higher standards of Internet security, safety and reliability.
In its relationship with the Internet Society (reference Evaluation Questions #9a and #9b), PIR is committed to supporting the goals of encouraging the evolution of the Internet as research, education and communication infrastructure equally accessible to the global non-commercial, NGO and nonprofit community. PIR’s activities also include funding educational programs focused on expanding the knowledge and ability of non-commercial, NGO and nonprofit organizations located in technologically deprived areas of the world to more efficiently and effectively use the Internet as a tool to better accomplish their important missions.
About Afilias’ Approach to Registry Support
Afilias, the backend registry service provider for the .ONG gTLD, is dedicated to managing the technical operations and support of the .ONG gTLD in a secure, stable and reliable manner. Afilias has worked closely with the Public Interest Registry (PIR) to review specific needs and objectives of the .ONG gTLD. The resulting comprehensive plans are illustrated in technical responses to Evaluation Questions #24-44, drafted by Afilias given PIR’s requirements. Afilias and PIR also worked together to provide financial responses for this application which demonstrate cost and technology consistent with the size and objectives of the .ONG gTLD.
Afilias is the registry services provider for this and several other TLD applications. Over the past 11 years of providing services for gTLDs and ccTLDs, Afilias has accumulated experience about resourcing levels necessary to provide high quality services with conformance to strict service requirements. Afilias currently supports over 20 million domain names, spread across 16 TLDs, with over 400 accredited registrars.
Since its founding, Afilias has focused on delivering secure, stable and reliable registry services. Several essential management and staff who designed and launched the Afilias registry in 2001 and expanded the number of TLDs supported, all while maintaining strict service levels over the past decade, are still in place today. This experiential continuity will endure for the implementation and ongoing maintenance of the .ONG gTLD. Afilias operates in a matrix structure, which allows its staff to be allocated to various critical functions in both a dedicated and a shared manner. With a team of specialists and generalists, the Afilias project management methodology allows efficient and effective use of its staff in a focused way.
With over a decade of registry experience, Afilias has the depth and breadth of experience to ensure existing and new needs are addressed, all while meeting or exceeding service level requirements and customer expectations. This is evident in Afilias’ participation in business, policy and technical organizations supporting registry and Internet technology within ICANN and related organizations. This allows Afilias to be at the forefront of security initiatives such as: DNSSEC, where Afilias worked with PIR to make the .ORG registry the first DNSSEC enabled gTLD and the largest TLD enabled at the time; in enhancing the Internet experience for users across the globe by leading development of IDNs; in pioneering the use of open-source technologies by its usage of PostgreSQL; and, in being the first to offer near-real-time dissemination of DNS zone data.
The ability to observe tightening resources for critical functions and the capacity to add extra resources ahead of a threshold event are factors that Afilias is well versed in. Afilias’ human resources team, along with well-established relationships with external organizations, enables it to fill both long-term and short-term resource needs expediently.
Afilias’ growth from managing a few domains to serving 20 million domain names across 16 TLDs and 400 accredited registrars indicates that the relationship between the number of people required, and the volume of domains supported is not linear. In other words, servicing 100 TLDs does not automatically require 6 times more staff than servicing 16 TLDs. Similarly, an increase in the number of domains under management does not require a linear increase in resources. Afilias carefully tracks the relationship between resources deployed and domains to be serviced, and proactively reviews this metric in order to retain a safe margin of error. This enables Afilias to add, train and prepare new staff well in advance of the need, allowing consistent delivery of high quality services.
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