23 Provide name and full description of all the Registry Services to be provided

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.AXISSaudi Telecom Companycentralnic.comView

Applicant has chosen CentralNic as the registry infrastructure provider for the TLD. Please see Appendix 23.1 for the acceptance letter from CentralNic. Any information regarding technical and operational capability of the proposed the TLD registry (answers to questions 23 44) therefore refers to CentralNic’s registry infrastructure systems.

Applicant and CentralNic hereby explicitly confirm that all registry services stated below are engineered and will be provided in a manner compliant with the new gTLD Registry Agreement, ICANN consensus policies (such as Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy and AGP Limits Policy) and applicable technical standards. Except for the registry services described above, no other services will be provided by the Registry that relate to (i) receipt of data from registrars concerning registrations of domain names and name servers; (ii) provision to registrars of status information relating to the zone servers for the TLD;(iii) dissemination of TLD zone files; (iv) operation of the Registry zone servers; or (v) dissemination of contact and other information concerning domain name server registrations in the TLD as required by the Registry Agreement.

There are no other products or services, except those described above that the Registry Operator will provide (i) because of the establishment of a Consensus Policy, or (ii) by reason of Applicant being designated as the Registry Operator.

Any changes to the registry services that may be required at a later time in the course of the Applicant operating the registry will be addressed using rules and procedures established by ICANN such as the Registry Services Evaluation Policy.

Applicant proposes to operate the following registry services, utilising CentralNicʹs registry system:

23.1. Receipt of Data From Registrars

CentralNic will operate a Shared Registry System (SRS) for the TLD. The SRS consists of a database of registered domain names, host objects and contact objects, accessed via an Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) interface, and a web based Registrar Console. Registrars will uses these interfaces to provide registration data to the registry.

The SRS will be hosted at CentralNicʹs primary operations centre in London, UK. The primary operations centre comprises a resilient, fault-tolerant network infrastructure with multiple high quality redundant links to backbone Internet carriers. The primary operations centre is hosted in Level 3ʹs flagship European data centre and boasts significant physical security capabilities, including 24x7 patrols, CCTV and card-based access controls.

CentralNicʹs existing SRS system currently supports more than 250,000 domain names managed by over one 1,500 registrars. CentralNic has effective and efficient 24x7 customer support capabilities to support these domain names and registrars, and this capability will be expanded to meet the requirements of the TLD and provide additional capacity during periods of elevated activity (such as during Sunrise periods).

The SRS and EPP systems are described more fully in §24 and §25. The Registrar Console is described in §31.

EPP is an extensible protocol by definition. Certain extensions have been put in place to comply with the new gTLD registry agreement, ICANN Consensus Policies and technical standards:
1. Registry Grace Period Mapping - compliant with RFC 3915
2. DNSSEC Security Extensions - compliant with RFC 5910
3. Launch Phase Extension - will be only active during the Sunrise phase, before the SRS opens for the general public. The extension is compliant with the current Internet Draft https:⁄⁄github.com⁄wil⁄EPP-Launch-Phase-Extension-Specification⁄blob⁄master⁄draft-tan-epp-launchphase.txt
More information on EPP extensions is provided in §25.

The SRS will implement and support all ICANN Consensus Policies and Temporary Policies, including:
Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy
Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy
Whois Marketing Restriction Policy
Restored Names Accuracy Policy
Expired Domain Deletion Policy
AGP Limits Policy

23.2. Provision to Registrars of Status Information Relating to the Zone Servers

CentralNic will operate a communications channel to notify registrars of all operational issues and activity relating to the DNS servers which are authoritative for the TLD. This includes notifications relating to:
1. Planned and unplanned maintenance;
2. Denial-of-service attacks;
3. unplanned network outages;
4. delays in publication of DNS zone updates;
5. security incidents such as attempted or successful breaches of access controls;
6. significant changes in DNS server behaviour or features;
7. DNSSEC key rollovers.

Notifications will be sent via email (to preregistered contact addresses), with additional notifications made via an off-site maintenance site and via social media channels.

23.3. Dissemination of TLD Zone Files

CentralNic will make TLD zone files available via the Centralized Zone Data Access Provider according to specification 4, section 2 of the Registry Agreement.

Applicant will enter into an agreement with any Internet user that will allow such user to access an Internet host server or servers designated by Applicant and download zone file data. The agreement will be standardized, facilitated and administered by a Centralized Zone Data Access Provider (the “CZDA Provider”). Applicant will provide access to zone file data using the file format described in Section 2.1.4 of Specification 4 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement.

Applicant, through the facilitation of the CZDA Provider, will request each user to provide it with information sufficient to correctly identify and locate the user. Such user information will include, without limitation, company name, contact name, address, telephone number, facsimile number, email address, and the Internet host machine name and IP address.

Applicant will provide the Zone File FTP (or other Registry supported) service for an ICANN-specified and managed URL for the user to access the Registry’s zone data archives. Applicant will grant the user a non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited right to access Applicant’s Zone File FTP server, and to transfer a copy of the top-level domain zone files, and any associated cryptographic checksum files no more than once per 24 hour period using FTP, or other data transport and access protocols that may be prescribed by ICANN.

Applicant will provide zone files using a sub-format of the standard Master File format as originally defined in RFC 1035, Section 5, including all the records present in the actual zone used in the public DNS.

Applicant, through CZDA Provider, will provide each user with access to the zone file for a period of not less than three (3) months. Applicant will allow users to renew their Grant of Access.

Applicant will provide, and CZDA Provider will facilitate, access to the zone file to user at no cost.

23.4. Operation of the Registry Zone Servers

The TLD zone will be served from CentralNicʹs authoritative DNS system. This system has operated at 100% service availability since 1996 and has been developed into a secure and stable platform for domain resolution. Partnering with Community DNS, CentralNicʹs DNS system includes nameservers in more than forty cities, on five continents. The DNS system fully complies with all relevant RFCs and all ICANN specifications, and has been engineered to ensure resilience and stability in the face of denial-of-service attacks, with substantial overhead and geographical dispersion.

The DNS system is described further in §35.

23.5. Dissemination of Contact and Other Information Concerning Domain Name Server Registrations

CentralNic will operate a Whois service for the TLD. The Whois service will provide information about domain names, contact objects, and name server objects stored in the Shared Registry System via a port-43 service compliant with RFC 3912. The Whois service will permit interested parties to obtain information about the Registered Name Holder, Administrative, Technical and Billing contacts for domain names. The Whois service will return records in a standardised format which complies with ICANN specifications.

CentralNic will provide access to the Whois service at no cost to the general public.

CentralNicʹs Whois service supports a number of features, including rate limiting to prevent abuse, privacy protections for natural persons, and a secure Searchable Whois Service. The Whois service is more fully described in §26.

Should ICANN specify alternative formats and protocols for the dissemination of Domain Name Registration Data, CentralNic will implement such alternative specifications as soon as reasonably practicable.

23.6. DNSSEC

The TLD zone will be signed by DNSSEC. CentralNic uses the award-winning signer technology from Xelerance Corporation. Zone files will be signed using NSEC3 with opt-out, following a DNSSEC Practice Statement detailed in §43.

CentralNicʹs DNSSEC implementation complies with RFCs 4033, 4034, 4035, 4509 and follows the best practices described in RFC 4641. Hashed Authenticated Denial of Existence (NSEC3) will be implemented, which complies with RFC 5155. The SRS will accept public-key material from child domain names in a secure manner according to industry best practices (specifically the secDNS EPP extension, described in RFC 5910). CentralNic will also publish in its website the DNSSEC Practice Statements (DPS) describing critical security controls and procedures for key material storage, access and usage for its own keys and secure acceptance of registrants’ public-key material. CentralNic will publish its DPS following the format described in the “DPS-framework” Internet Draft within 180 days after that draft becomes an RFC.

23.7. Rights Protection Mechanisms

Applicant will provide all mandatory Rights Protection Mechanisms that are specified in the Applicant Guidebook (version 11 January 2012), namely Trademark Claims Service (section 6.1) and Sunrise service (section 6.2). All the required RPM-related policies and procedures such as UDRP, URS, PDDRP and RRDRP will be adopted and used in the TLD. More information is available in §29.

In addition to such RPMs, Applicant may develop and implement additional RPMs that discourage or prevent registration of domain names that violate or abuse another party’s legal rights. Applicant will include all ICANN mandated and independently developed RPMs in the registry-registrar agreement entered into by ICANN-accredited registrars authorised to register names in the TLD. Applicant shall implement these mechanisms in accordance with requirements established by ICANN each of the mandatory RPMs set forth in the Trademark Clearinghouse.

The ʺLaunchPhaseʺ EPP extension (described above) will be used to implement an SRS interface during the Sunrise period for the TLD. Depending on the final specification for the Trademark Claims Service (details of which have not yet been published), an additional EPP extension may be required in order to implement this service. If this is necessary, the extension will be designed to minimise its effect on the operation of the SRS and the requirements on registrars, and will only be in place for a limited period while the Trademark Claims Service is in effect for the TLD.

23.8. Registrar Support and Account Management

CentralNic will leverage its 16 years of experience of supporting over 1,500 registrars to provide high-quality 24x7 support and account management for the TLD registrars. CentralNicʹs experienced technical and customer support personnel will assist the TLD registrars during the on-boarding and OT&E process, and provide responsive personal support via email, phone and a web based support ticketing system.

23.9. Reporting to ICANN

Applicant and CentralNic will compile and transmit a monthly report to ICANN relating to the TLD. This report will comply with Specification 3 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement.

23.10. Personnel Resources of CentralNic

The technical, operations and support functions of the registry will performed in-house by CentralNicʹs personnel. These personnel perform these functions on a full-time basis.

23.10.1. Technical Operations

Technical Operations refers to the deployment, maintenance, monitoring and security of the registry system, including the SRS and the other critical registry functions. Technical Operations staff design, build, deploy and maintain the technical infrastructure that supports the registry system, including power distribution, network design, access control, monitoring and logging services, and server and database administration. Internal helpdesk and incident reporting is also performed by the Technical Operations team. The Technical Operations team performs 24x7 monitoring and support for the registry system and mans the Network Operations Centre (NOC) from which all technical activities are co-ordinated.

CentralNic intends to maintain a Technical Operations team consisting of the following positions. These persons will be responsible for managing, developing and monitoring the registry system for the TLD on a 24x7 basis:
Senior Operations Engineer(s)
Operations Engineer(s)
Security Engineer

23.10.2. Technical Development

The Technical Development team develops and maintains the software which implements the critical registry functions, including the EPP, Whois, Zone file generation, data escrow, reporting, backoffice and web-based management systems (intranet and extranet), and open-source registrar toolkit software. All critical registry software has been developed and maintained in-house by this team.

CentralNic intends to maintain a Technical Development team consisting of the following positions. These persons will be responsible for maintaining and developing the registry software which will support the TLD:
Senior Technical Developer x 2
Technical Developer x 3

23.10.3. Technical Support

Technical Support refers to 1st, 2nd and 3rd line support for registrars and end-users. Areas covered include technical support for systems and services, billing and account management. Support personnel also deal with compliance and legal issues such as UDRP and URS proceedings, abuse reports and enquiries from law enforcement.

1st line support issues are normally dealt with by these personnel. 2bd and 3rd line support issues (relating to functional or operational issues with the registry system) are escalated to Technical Operations or Technical Development as necessary.

The Technical Support team will consist of the following positions:
Operations Manager
Support Manager
Support Agent(s)

Our overseas account managers also perform basic support functions, escalating to the support agents in London where necessary.

23.10.4. Key Personnel Gavin Brown - Chief Technology Officer
Gavin has worked at CentralNic since 2001, becoming CTO in 2005. He has overall responsibility for all aspects of the SRS, Whois, DNS and DNSSEC systems. He is a respected figure in the domain industry and has been published in several professional technical journals, and co-authored a book on the Perl programming language. He also participates in a number of technical, public policy and advocacy groups and several open source projects. Gavin has a BSc (hons) in Physics from the University of Kent. Jenny White - Operations Manager
Jenny has been with CentralNic for nine years. Throughout this time she has expertly managed customer relations with external partners, prepared new domain launch processes and documentation, managed daily support and maintenance for over 1,500 Registrars, carried out extensive troubleshooting within the registrar environment to ensure optimum usability for registrars across communication platforms, handled domain disputes (from mediation to WIPO filing), and liaised with WIPO to implement changes to the Dispute Resolution Procedure when necessary. Adam Armstrong - Senior Operations Engineer
Adam has recently joined CentralNic as Senior Operations Engineer. In this role he is responsible for the operation and development of the system and network infrastructure for the registry system. Adam has previously worked at a number of large UK ISPs including Jersey Telecom and Packet Exchange. He is also the lead developer of Observium, a network management system used by ICANN (amongst others). Adam has brought his strong knowledge of network design, management and security to bear at CentralNic and will oversee the operation of the SRS for the TLD. Milos Negovanovic - Senior Technical Developer
Milos has worked at CentralNic since 2009. He has a background in building rich web applications and protocol servers. His main areas of responsibility are the Registrar Console, EPP and backoffice functions. Mary OʹFlaherty - Senior Technical Developer
Mary has worked at CentralNic since 2008. She plays an integral role in the ongoing design, development and maintenance of the registry as a whole and has specific experience with the EPP system, Registrar Console and Staff Console. Mary has a 1st class Honors degree in Computer Science from University College Cork and has previously worked for Intel and QAD Ireland.

23.10.5. Job Descriptions

CentralNic will recruit a number of new employees to perform technical duties in relation to the TLD and other gTLDs. The following job descriptions will be used to define these roles and select candidates with suitable skills and experience. Operations Engineer

Operations Engineers assist in the maintenance and development of the network and server infrastructure of the registry system. Operations Engineers have a good knowledge of the TCP⁄IP protocol stack and related technologies, and are familiar with best practice in the areas of network design and management and system administration. They should be competent system administrators with a good knowledge of Unix system administration, and some knowledge of shell scripting, software development and databases. Operations Engineers have 1-2 yearʹs relevant commercial experience. Operations Engineers report to and work with the Senior Operations Engineer, who provides advice and mentoring. Operations Engineers participate in manning the NOC on a 24x7 basis and participate in the on-call shift rota. Security Engineer

Security Engineers enhance and assure the security of the registry system. Day-to-day responsibilities are: responding to security incidents, performing analysis and remediating vulnerabilities, conducting tests of access controls, refining system configuration to improve security, training other team members, reviewing source code, maintaining security policies and procedures, and gathering intelligence relating to threats to the registry. Security Engineers have 1-2 yearʹs relevant commercial experience. This role reports to and works with the Senior Operations Engineer and CTO. Security Engineers participate in manning the NOC on a 24x7 basis and participate in the on-call shift rota. Technical Developer

Technical Developers are maintain the software which supports the registry. Day-to-day responsibilities are developing new systems in response to requests from management and customers, correcting bugs in existing software, and improving its performance. Technical Developers have a good knowledge of general programming practices including use of revision control and code review systems. Developers have a good awareness of security issues, such as those described in advisories published by the oWASP Project. Developers have at least one yearsʹ commercial experience in developing applications in programming languages such as PHP, Perl, and Python, although knowledge of domain technologies such as EPP and DNS is not critical. Technical Developers work as part of a team, with advice and mentoring from the Senior Technical Developers, to whom they report.

23.10.6. Resource Matrix

To provide a means to accurately and objectively predict human resource requirements for the operation of the registry system, CentralNic has developed a Resourcing Matrix, which assigns a proportion of each employeeʹs available time to each aspect of registry activities. These activities include technical work such as operations and development, as well as technical support, registrar account management, rights protection, abuse prevention, and financial activity such as payroll, cash collection, etc. This matrix then permits the calculation of the total HR resource assigned to each area.

A copy of the Resourcing Matrix is included as Appendix 23.2. It is important to note that the available resources cover the operation of CentralNicʹs entire registry operations: this includes CentralNicʹs own domain registry portfolio (uk.com, us.com, etc), the .LA ccTLD, as well as the gTLDs which CentralNic will provides registry service for.

The actual proportion of human technical resources required specifically for the TLD is determined by the relative size of the TLD to the rest of CentralNicʹs operations. This calculation is based on the projected number of domains after three years of operation: the optimistic scenario is used to ensure that sufficient personnel is on hand to meet periods of enhanced demand. CentralNic has calculated that, if all its TLD clients are successful in their applications, and all meet their optimistic projections after three years, its registry system will be required to support up to 4.5 million domain names.

Since the optimistic projection for the number of domains registered in the TLD after three years is 1000, the TLD will therefore require less than 0.1% of CentralNicʹs total available HR resources in order operate fully and correctly. In the event that registration volumes exceed this figure, CentralNic will proactively increase the size of the Technical Operations, Technical Development and support teams to ensure that the needs of the TLD are fully met.

Revenues from the additional registration volumes will fund the salaries of these new hires. Nevertheless, CentralNic is confident that the staffing outlined above is sufficient to meet the needs of the TLD for at least the first 18 months of operation.

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