Skip to main content
Go back

Root Zone Evolution Review Committee (RZERC)

Status of the RZERC

1 October 2016: The Committee is now active.



Prior to the IANA stewardship transition, NTIA approval was required for all changes to the DNS root zone management environment, such as the DNSSEC-signing of the root zone, many classes of changes to IANA processes, as well as edits that would be applied by the Root Zone Maintainer to the DNS root zone. The domain names community recommended that post transition, approval of routine content changes to the DNS root zone would no longer be required; However, due to the critical nature of the DNS root, all major architectural changes would require formal approvals.

In the ICG proposal, the domain names community required that a standing committee be put into place that will provide recommendations to the ICANN Board regarding the advisability of moving forward with such architectural changes. ICANN named this committee the Root Zone Evolution Review Committee (RZERC). The RZERC will consider issues raised by any of its members, PTI, or by the CSC.

While the RZERC is not necessarily be the group that considers the details of the issue under consideration, it is responsible for ensuring that those involved in the decision include all relevant bodies and have access to necessary expertise. As such, the RZERC coordinates with relevant organizations and communities, and if appropriate, external experts, to confirm that all affected parties are involved in discussions and recommendations regarding architectural or operational changes to the root zone.

The charter for the RZERC was drafted in collaboration between ICANN and the IOTF, and included numerous review opportunities by the CWG-Stewardship prior to being published for a 30-day public comment period on June 10, 2016.

As per the standard for ICANN public comment process, ICANN reviewed the comments received and made any necessary modifications to the charter, while remaining consistent with the requirements of the ICG proposal. The staff report and final RZERC charter were published on August 8, 2016. On August 9, 2016, the ICANN Board approved and adopted the charter for the RZERC.

On August 1, 2016, ICANN sent a request to the ASO, SSAC, RSSAC, RySG, ccNSO, IETF and Verisign (in its role as the Root Zone Maintainer) to initiate their respective processes to appoint representatives to serve on the RZERC. By August 12, 2016, ICANN received notification of representatives from all appointing organizations and formed the RZERC.

Inaugural Composition of the RZERC

SSAC Patrik Fältström
RSSAC Brad Verd
ASO Carlos Martinez
IETF Jim Reid
GNSO RySG Howard Eland
ccNSO Katrina Sataki
Verisign Duane Wessels
ICANN Board Suzanne Woolf
PTI Kim Davies


Relevant Links

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."