Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

Milestone Agreement Reached Between ICANN, and F Root Server Operator, Internet Systems Consortium | First-of-its-kind agreement recognizes mutual responsibilities, supports enhanced Internet stability

4 January 2008

Marina del Rey, CA: ICANN and Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) are today announcing the signing of a Mutual Responsibilities Agreement [PDF, 20K] for the operation of the F-root nameserver.

Effective root server operations are an essential component in providing a stable and secure, globally interoperable Internet. ISC is one of twelve global root server operators that provide a key element of the underlying domain name system infrastructure of the Internet. Essentially, root servers provide an authoritative directory ensuring Internet services that are accessed with names, for example the URL www.icann.org or email to info@isc.org, are translated from human readable names into network addresses that a computer can find. The root server system overall answers well over 100,000 queries per second, providing the first step in determining the requested network address.

Root server operators have participated in the ICANN community since its inception in 1998, but to date, there has not been a formal written recognition of the mutual roles ICANN and the root operators perform with respect to each other. The agreement between ICANN and ISC is the first formalization of mutual responsibilities between a root server operator and ICANN. The agreement outlines a structure and description of duties and expectations, dispute resolution, and interchange of technical information.

Paul Vixie, ISC’s President said "I’m pleased that ISC could take a first step with ICANN in completing this agreement. Since the creation of F Root in 1994, ISC has always felt honored to provide this service and is responsible to the entire Internet community to ensure that the F-root nameserver is reachable 24x7. Formalized expectations between ICANN and root operators will result in a wider understanding of the key operational and stability issues of most concern to the root operator community and the Internet community as a whole."

Paul Twomey, ICANN’s CEO and President said "Congratulations to ISC for being the first root operator to formalize the mutual relationship with ICANN. ICANN’s core mission is overall security and stability of the domain name system, and this agreement is another important step in coordinating the key players, and ensuring that mutual accountabilities are documented and transparent."

Both ICANN and ISC expect that this agreement may serve as a model for similar agreements with the other eleven root server operators in the coming months. Final adoption of this agreement will come with ratification by both organizations’ Boards, and is expected in January.

About ISC:

Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3), public benefit corporation with a long history of developing and maintaining the production quality BIND and DHCP Open Source software. ISC has increased its focus to include enhancing the stability of the global DNS directly through reliable F-root name server operations and ongoing operation of a DNS crisis coordination center, ISCs OARC for DNS. ISC is also engaged in further protocol development efforts, particularly in the areas of DNS evolution and facilitating the transition to IPv6. ISC is supported by the donations of generous sponsors, program membership fees and specific fees for services. For program or donation information, please visit our website at http://www.isc.org.

Media Contact: Laura Hendriksen, 650-423-1309, laura_hendriksen@isc.org

Technical Contact: Joao Damas, joao_damas@isc.org

About ICANN:

ICANN is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers like domain names (like .org, .museum and country codes like .uk) and the addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols that help computers reach each other over the Internet. Careful management of these resources is vital to the Internet's operation, so ICANN's global stakeholders meet regularly to develop policies that ensure the Internet's ongoing security and stability. ICANN is an internationally organized, public benefit non-profit company. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.

Media Contacts:

Jason Keenan
Media Adviser, ICANN (USA)
Ph: +1 310 382 4004
E: jason.keenan@icann.org

International: Andrew Robertson
Edelman (London)
Ph: +44 7921 588 770
E: andrew.robertson@edelman.com

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