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ICANN Community Webinar Provides Deep Dive on SSAD Costs and Fees

21 January 2022

On Tuesday, 18 January 2022, the ICANN organization (org) hosted its fifth community webinar to brief the community on the findings of the System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) to Nonpublic Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Registration Data Operational Design Phase (ODP). ICANN org plans to publish the final deliverable for the ODP, the Operational Design Assessment (ODA), next week.

In the final substantive update to the ODP, the SSAD ODP team presented details of the costs and fees associated with the development and implementation of the proposed system and responded to a variety of questions from the community. The webinar expanded on presentations given to the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) earlier this month and the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council last month.

ICANN org estimates that it would cost between $20-27 million and take between three and four years to develop the SSAD systems, in addition to the Implementation Review Team (IRT) work of approximately two years, although the org endeavors to the extent possible to conduct the IRT and development work in parallel. This is due to the complexity of the system, which would include eight types of actors, eight subsystems, and 60 processes. ICANN org further estimates that the system would cost anywhere from $14 million to $107 million to operate annually. The wide range in this estimate is due to the variable operational costs that are driven by the volume of users. ICANN org conducted two surveys in 2021, one for Contracted Parties and another for the general community, to help estimate the volume of users; however, the results were inconclusive. ICANN org further analyzed other available data sets, such as Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS) look-up rates and compliance complaints related to registration data, to come up with a range of estimates for the volume of users. Based on this, the team proposes that there could be between 25,000 to about 3 million potential users. This range was used to estimate the system's operational costs.

The final product of the ODP, the ODA, is expected to be completed, delivered to the Board, and published next week. The ODA will play a key role in the GNSO Council and the Board consultation, which is scheduled for 27 January 2022, where they will share perspectives around the SSAD-related recommendations. The Board will use the ODA to inform its consideration of the recommendations as set forth in the final report of the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data Phase 2.

About the SSAD

The SSAD is a mechanism proposed to centralize requests for nonpublic registration data  outlined in Recommendations 1-18 of the Final Report of the GNSO EPDP on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data Phase 2. Due to the resource investment and complexity that would likely be required to implement the SSAD-related policy recommendations in a timely and predictable manner, the ICANN Board requested an ODP to inform its deliberations, including whether the recommendations are in the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN.

For more information on the SSAD ODP, please click here.


Eleeza Agopian

Eleeza Agopian

Vice President, Strategic Initiatives