There has been much discussion on when ICANN would open up a 2nd round of new gTLD’s.
We at thedomains.com, already went on record last year predicting 2018 would be the earliest and its looking like we were right.
ICANN has put out a Request for Proposal (RFP) to conduct a technical study examining the impact of the New gTLD Program (the Program) on the DNS root system.
According to ICANN “This will be the first analysis of the impact of the addition of significantly more TLDs to the root zone and root system.”
According to the “Proposed timetable which is subject tot change at any time” the Final Report is not due until May 2016.
“Upon completion, the report will be published for public comment, and the provider will assist with presenting the findings, synthesizing responses, and addressing the comments received.”
According to the proposed timeline the final report from ICANN will not be published until July, 2017. Certainly the application period will not occur until after that date and 6 months after would be the soonest I can see it actually opening up assuming each of the many “Milestones” are accomplished by the target date and when has ICANN ever missed a target date?
Here are the details on the RFP:
“The selected provider(s) will design and execute one or more studies incorporating the collection and analysis of data from root server operators, historical performance data, data gathered from previous studies, and other tools and measures. ICANN is seeking one or more qualified providers to manage this complex exercise in a timely and efficient manner.
A review of the Program for security and stability impact is a previous commitment based on advice from ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee and other discussions. Specifically, ICANN committed to review the effects of the New gTLD Program on the operations of the DNS root system, and to postpone delegations in a future round until it is determined that the delegations in the 2012 round have not jeopardized the root system’s security or stability.
The goals of this study must include, at a minimum:
• Executing a thorough review of the impact of the Program on the security and stability of the DNS.
• Identifying what steps, if any, should be undertaken as a prerequisite to adding more TLDs to the root zone.
• Identifying what steps, if any, should be undertaken by the community going forward to assess the state of the root zone on an ongoing basis.
The Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) has identified an initial set of parameters in RSSAC-002 that would be useful as a component used to monitor and establish a baseline trend of the root server system (“a list of parameters that define the desired service trends for the root zone system”) however it is likely the measures in RSSAC-002 are not sufficient and additional measures will be needed.
The study must be able to identify, capture, and synthesize inputs from a variety of sources relevant to the root system.
Generic top level domains (gTLDs) are domain name extensions like the familiar .COM, .NET or .ORG. The New gTLD Program was developed via ICANN’s multi-stakeholder process to increase competition and choice in the domain name space. The program allows new entrants into the gTLD space. More than 1,900 applications for new gTLDs were submitted after the process opened in 2012. To date, more than 600 new gTLDs have been delegated (i.e., added to the DNS root zone).
In 2009, the ICANN Board asked the RSSAC and the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) to study the technical and operational issues related to expanding the root zone. The resulting study explored various scenarios for root scaling and its impact on the system. An accompanying study provided a quantitative modeling of the root zone to explore scenarios relevant to the root scaling study. In a 2011 response to the Governmental Advisory Committee’s recommendations, the ICANN Board committed to reviewing the impacts of root zone scaling following delegation of new gTLDs.
On 20 November 2014, the RSSAC published RSSAC-002, RSSAC Advisory on Measurements of the Root Server System. RSSAC-002 identifies and recommends an initial set of parameters for monitoring a baseline of activity and trends in the root server system. The RSSAC recommendations came in response to the ICANN Board of Directors’ desire to detect and mitigate any adverse impacts the addition of new gTLDs may have to the root zone or the Internet’s use of a larger root zone file. The data collected according to RSSAC recommendations will be taken into consideration as one basis for evaluating the impact of the New gTLD Program on the security and stability of the root zone.
The study will be provided and delivered to the ICANN Board of Directors and is also expected to inform the continued dialogue in the ICANN community on the goals and operation of the Program.
ICANN has commissioned or its advisory committees have conducted various studies related to the impact of scaling the root zone.
Scope of Work
The objective of this RFP is to identify one or more qualified firm(s) to conduct a technical study of the root zone system, anticipated to take place per the timeline provided below.
The work methods are expected to include the following:
• Review of related studies done by other parties.
• Construction of methodology and timeline.
• Documentation of methods and work papers.
• Examination of documentation, records and reports.
• Collection of data from public and non-public sources.
• Interviews, as necessary.
• Execution of study – analysis of results.
• Delivery of a draft report
• Delivery of a final report
Data sources are expected to include:
• Previous studies commissioned/published by ICANN.
• Data collected by the “L” and potentially other root servers.
• Root zone file information.
• Data provided by contracted parties in response to specific requests.
• Other published relevant information.
• In-house data and statistics available to ICANN.
• Reports made available from organizations that track DNS-related developments including those from the DNS operations, anti-abuse, and other communities.
Upon completion, the report will be published for public comment, and the provider will assist with presenting the findings, synthesizing responses, and addressing the comments received.
This will be the first analysis of the impact of the addition of significantly more TLDs to the root zone and root system.
As such, previous studies were largely based on hypothetical modeling exercises and projections.
With the addition of multiple new gTLDs, there is an opportunity for data-focused insight and analysis. As this is a new type of study, ICANN is open to creative proposals from qualified firms in order to best capture the requisite data to approach and inform the question of how the New gTLD Program has affected the root server system which forms the basis for many other systems and services in the DNS/Internet.
The study must, at a minimum, explore the parameters recommended by RSSAC:
• Latency in publishing available data
• The size of the overall root zone
• The number of queries
• The response type and size distribution
• The number of sources seen
In addition, other potential sources of information could include:
• Unanticipated changes in load characteristics of DNS-related systems
• Increases (or decreases) in the rate of DNS-related abuse reports and similar statistics
• Server related statistics including memory consumption, network bandwidth utilizations, CPU load, etc.
ICANN welcomes proposals with additional parameters that may be used. The root zone system is dynamic and will continue to evolve. Proposals should include a description of how data will be obtained at points in time and over time to discern trends.
The following dates have been established as target milestones for this RFP. ICANN reserves the right to modify or change this timeline at any time as necessary.
RFP published 5 June 2015
Participants to indicate their intent to bid 12 June 2015 by 23:59 UTC
Participants submit any questions on the RFP to ICANN (use Excel Q&A template in RFP packet) 12 June 2015 by 23:59 UTC
ICANN responds to participant questions 19 June 2015
Participant RFP proposals due by 2 July 2015 by 23:59 UTC
Preliminary evaluation of responses 10 July 2015
Target for participant presentations (finalists) Week of 13 July 2015
Target for final evaluations and selection of vendor (includes Board approval of contract, contracting and award to participant)
Weeks 20th and 27th July 2015
Estimated project start date 10 August 2015
Draft Report Due 10 May 2016
Public comment period 1 June thru 11 July 2016
Analysis & incorporation of public comments due 25 July 2016
Final Report 25 April 2017