What are EBEROs?
Emergency back-end registry operators are organizations that have demonstrated years of experience in operating domain name services, registration data directory services and extensible provisioning protocol services. They have entered into three to five year contracts with ICANN to provide five critical registry functions in the event of a TLD registry operator failure or in the case of transition from one registry operator to another. The currently contracted EBERO service providers are:
- China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC)
- CORE Association (CORE Internet Council of Registrars)
ICANN is also currently in discussions with two other potential EBERO providers:
Why are EBEROs important?
One of ICANN's core missions is to preserve the operational security and stability of the Internet while also supporting open competition. With the launch of the New generic Top-Level Domain (New gTLD) program, the Internet will see a considerable increase in the number of registry operators. Although all applicants must meet technical, operational and financial requirements (see the gTLD Applicant Guidebook) the community-developed new gTLD program includes provision for an emergency backup process. The EBERO is designed to be activated should a registry operator require assistance to sustain critical registry functions for a period of time or in the case of transition for one registry operator to another.
How were they chosen?
The EBEROs were selected through a Request for Information issued by ICANN on 14 September 2011. ICANN originally received 14 RFI responses of highly qualified providers from around the world. The RFI evaluation process was extensive and detailed. It was performed by a cross-functional team composed of management and members from the registry, security, registrar, compliance departments, as well an independent consultant.
The respondents had to demonstrate how their organizations met requirements such as having years of experience in operating Domain Name services, operating registration data directory services, and extensible provisioning protocol services.
Geographic location also played a role in selection. ICANN sought candidates from geographically diverse regions in order to provide local service to registries in all regions and alternate sites in case of local disasters.
ICANN may revisit the number of EBERO providers in the future as needed.
When will the EBEROs be activated?
The EBERO providers will be ready for emergency response in Q4 2013. ICANN has a plan in place to address issues before this date in the unlikely event an EBERO emergency happens in the early months of the new gTLD registries launch in the market place.
How long will the EBERO function?
ICANN's goal is to have the emergency event resolved as soon as possible, preferably within 12 months. ICANN and the EBEROs will be prepared should more time be needed.
What process will the EBEROs follow?
ICANN will be responsible for declaring an emergency EBERO event and coordinating all EBERO related activities during the emergency response. ICANN plans to keep status updates on its website. All EBERO providers will follow a detailed emergency response process called the Common Transition Process (CTP).
Will an EBERO have access to my personal or confidential data?
If you have a domain name registered with a new TLD operator that fails, the EBERO that maintains critical registry functions temporarily will only have access to data of yours that is available in the public domain, such as Whois data.
Will an EBERO also take over web hosting or other services that a TLD operator may have offered?
EBEROs are limited in the services they can provide. For example, EBEROs will not provide any additional services that a TLD operator may have offered its customers, such as web hosting or network analytics.
Where can I find more information about the EBERO?
ICANN will be adding more information to the EBERO webpage soon. There are some materials regarding this issue already publically available:
- EBERO RFI information
- New gTLD Applicant Guidebook
- gTLD Registry Transition Process [PDF, 747 KB]
- Registrar Transition Procedure [PDF, 119 KB]