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Evolving the Governance of the Root Server System

23 May 2019
By Fred Baker, , Göran Marby, and Brad Verd

Today, ICANN org is launching a Public Comment proceeding on evolving the governance of the Root Server System (RSS). We invite the ICANN community to participate in this important work.

Following the IANA stewardship transition, the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) developed an initial framework to evolve the governance of the RSS. Supporting the evolution of RSS governance contributes to ICANN's commitment to strengthen the security, stability, and resiliency of the Domain Name System (DNS). It also enables direct interaction between the ICANN community and Root Server Operators (RSOs). Furthermore, it ensures that global root service remains accountable and sustainable into the future.

After three years of extensive RSSAC work, the RSSAC published "RSSAC037: A Proposed Governance Model for the DNS Root Server System" (RSSAC037) in June 2018. The RSSAC concurrently published "RSSAC038: RSSAC Advisory on a Proposed Governance Model for the Root Server System" (RSSAC038), making three recommendations for next steps to the ICANN Board.

As part of the ICANN Board's consideration of RSSAC037 and RSSAC038, ICANN org prepared a "Concept Paper on a Community-Driven Process to Develop a Final Model Based on RSSAC037". The Concept Paper proposes a governance model based on RSSAC037 as well as a community-driven process to develop a final governance model for the RSS in response to a recommendation from RSSAC038.

RSSAC037 and RSSAC038 address outstanding and unanswered questions around DNS root service accountability, financial stability, and sustainability. The ICANN Board and ICANN org appreciate the significant work of the RSSAC and the important role and continued commitment of the RSOs.

We recognize that not every community group is familiar with the RSS, RSOs, and global root service. The Public Comment proceeding provides additional RSSAC publications as resources for context and background.

The RSSAC, ICANN Board, and ICANN org look forward to your input.


Akinori Maemura

Akinori Maemura

Fred Baker

Chair, RSSAC

Brad Verd

Vice Chair, RSSAC
Göran Marby

Göran Marby

Former President & CEO