ICANN is planning to issue a Request for Proposals to identify a provider for the Pre-Delegation testing that is specified in the gTLD Applicant Guidebook. The set of tests to be performed are specified at a high level in section 5.2. A detailed requirements document is being developed and will be included in the Request for Proposals that is planned for publication by the end of October 2012.
Interested parties are invited to read and familiarize themselves with section 5.2 of the gTLD Applicant Guidebook in preparation for the upcoming Request for Proposals. It is expected that there will be a relatively short tender period. The selected provider will be required to be ready to operate by the end of March 2013.
Interested parties can pre-register to the process by sending an email to <email@example.com> until the RFP is published. Pre-registered parties will receive direct updates on the process and the RFP once is ready.
The purpose of the Pre-Delegation Testing is to verify that the applicant has met its commitment to establish registry operations in accordance with the technical and operational criteria described in the gTLD Applicant Guidebook. Each applicant will be required to complete Pre-Delegation Testing as a prerequisite to delegation into the root zone.
The test elements cover both DNS server infrastructure and registry system operations. In many cases the applicant will perform the test elements as instructed and provide documentation of the results to ICANN to demonstrate satisfactory performance. At ICANN's discretion, aspects of the applicant's self-certification documentation can be audited either on-site at the services delivery point of the registry or elsewhere as determined by ICANN.
The Pre-Delegation Testing provider Request for Proposals is planned for publication by the end of October 2012