Registrar Advisory Group (RAG)

Minutes of the Registrar Advisory Group Meeting held in the InternetNZ Offices, Grand Arcade Tower, Willis Street, Wellington on Thursday 11 February 2010 at 10:30am.

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PRESENT       Debbie Monahan (DNCL) – Meeting Chair
Andrew Scott (Domainz/MelbourneIT), Dave Baker (NZRS), Glen Eustace (Godzone Internet Services), Jay Daley (NZRS), Lee Miller (1st Domains/Net24), Paul McKitrick (DNCL), Peter Mott (Swizzle), Richard Clark (Red Spider Development).

In attendance: Sebastian Castro

APOLOGIES   Apologies were received and accepted from:
Adam Grifiths (DNCL).

 

WELCOME
Debbie Monahan, Domain Name Commissioner (DNC), opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and thanking them for their time and asked everyone to introduce themselves to the group.  The DNC also acknowledged and thanked Adam Griffiths for this time making preparations for this meeting.

 

MINUTES
The DNC reviewed the agenda and commented that both DNCL and NZRS are interested in feedback from the RAG today on the Internationalised Domain Names (IDN) plans.

INTERNATIONALISED DOMAIN NAMES
The DNC asked Paul McKitrick to provide an update on the IDN implementation. 
Paul outlined the proposed criteria and process for Registrars to obtain an IDN Friendly status.  Paul also noted that the concept of an IDN Friendly status was a suggestion from the September 2008 RAG meeting.

The following draft criteria were provided:

The following process was outlined:

Paul then outlined the IDN Sunrise Registration process and associated timeline as follows:

 
There was then a general discussion about the IDN implementation.  During which the DNC stated that her intention with the IDN Friendly status was not to force a standard on registrars, but to provide the options and criteria for those registrars that did want to obtain it. The DNC also stated that the IDN communications package that is being prepared by DNCL will be available for registrars to use as well.

Jay Daley presented some relevant statistics from the NZRS 2009 Customer Satisfaction survey, which is due to be published soon.  45% of respondents are planning to use IDN in the future, and 15% of respondents are currently using IDN with another registry.

A suggestion from the RAG was it would be useful for Registrars to be able to provide a link, as part of their normal domain registration process, which would take the registrant to the first page of the IDN Sunrise Application process and automatically populate the domain name attribute.   The DNC acknowledged this suggestion and said that it would be followed up.  It was noted that this would need to occur once the normal domain registration was complete, as the IDN Sunrise Application process first checks that the domain existed before offering macronised variants.

The RAG also suggested that it was preferred that the Name Server details for the macronised variants were also populated with the same Name Server details as the currently registered ASCII domain name.

It was agreed that, during the sunrise period, all applications for the registration of macronised variants of a domain name will automatically have the same details as for the ASCII version of the domain name, including name servers.

Through out the sunrise period DNCL will be monitoring the numbers of applications and will provide updates to registrars as appropriate.   Depending on the volumes of applications DNCL may also look to notify relevant third parties, such as hosting providers, where appropriate.

The DNC thanked Paul for the update and invited Sebastian Castro to provide an update on DNSSEC implementation.

 

DNSSEC IMPLEMENTATION
Over the last four months NZRS and DNCL have been working on the DNSSEC implementation. 

The NZRS have been working in the test environment on the technical elements of signing the .nz zone.   Internal testing has been carried out using Open DNSSEC, which enables easier management of cryptographic key material and operations relating to DNSSEC.  Prior to Open DNSSEC the process was a lot more convoluted and manual. 

NZRS are now reviewing all the changes to the SRS that will be needed to be made to the NZRS system and will be working with DNCL on the policy changes that will need to be made and implemented.

The timeline for this project is still being planned, however it is envisaged to occur in 2010.

There was a discussion around the implementation of DNSSEC during which the DNC noted that while currently there is a lot of internal work happening both within DNCL and NZRS this will be a consultative process and that in due course draft policies will be sent out for comment.
The DNC thanked Sebastian for the update and invited Dave Baker to provide an update on the EPP implementation.

 

EPP
Dave Baker stated that originally NZRS were going to have an EPP proxy for registrars to use to talk to the SRS, however it was determined whilst this was a good solution for NZRS, it would be harder on registrars.  So it has been decided to bring the EPP proxy into the SRS. The SRS data model needs to be enhanced to provide EPP support but backwards compatibility has been maintained for those registrars that do not want to use EPP.  Also EPP style contact object management and message polling will be available though SRS transactions in addition to being available via the EPP transactions using the EPP proxy. The EPP proxy complies with all the EPP standards.

The EPP interface and the new SRS transactions are optional and registrars can continue to use their normal set of SRS transactions if they wish to do so. Registrars that want to use EPP can move to a native EPP solution, or access EPP style functionality using the SRS XML interface.

It is planned that it will be available on the test system by April 2010 and that it will be implemented on the production system by July 2010.  If registrars want to be involved earlier then an Alpha release of the protocol can be provided now for them to look at. 

Jay Daley reinforced that NZRS are fully committed to maintaining SRS, and there are no plans to get rid of it.

The RAG asked the motivations behind implementing EPP.  Jay responded that there is a market drive for this, based on the NZRS 2009 Customer Satisfaction survey.  Jay also noted that registrars who are currently just offer .nz registrations would be better positioned to offer other gTLD registrations if they implemented EPP. 

The RAG suggested that there would be a lot of interest in a seamless SRS interface to an ICANN accredited registrar.

This suggestion was noted as a good suggestion by the DNC and that it will be taken on board and reviewed.

The DNC then asked NZRS to provide an update on the NZRS Annual project programme.

 

NZRS Annual project programme
Jay stated that NZRS have moved from a five year plan to an annual plan, with the intention to establish it as a consultative process, including providing monthly updates, at which point Jay invited Dave Baker to provide the first monthly update.

Dave stated that the project plan was published half way through last year and included about a dozen initiatives.  Dave outlined the following list:

The DNC thanked NZRS for their update and for their items.

 

DNS TTL
There was a brief discussion around this issue with the conclusion that more information was needed as the various solutions discussed could impact on more than just the registrars.  NZRS offered to have Sebastian look at the various technical scenarios around DNS TTL and the implications of each, and then present this material back to the RAG.  The RAG agreed that this would be of benefit as it is still an important issue.

 

The DNC thanked everyone for attending and then closed the meeting at 1:00pm.