Skip to main content

RSSAC Review: Independent Consultants' Report and Public Comment Period

This page is available in:

In October 2008 ICANN appointed Westlake Consulting Limited as the consultants for the independent review of the RSSAC, the DNS Root Server Advisory Committee.

The role of the Committee is to advise the Board about the operation of the root name servers of the domain name system. The RSSAC considers and provides advice on the operational requirements of root name servers, including host hardware capacities, operating systems and name server software versions, network connectivity and physical environment. The RSSAC also examines and advises on the security aspects of the root name server system, as well as reviews the number, location, and distribution of root name servers considering the total system performance, robustness, and reliability.

Westlake Consulting just released their draft Final Report for public presentation and discussion with the community, including at the Mexico City meeting.

The Independent Report [PDF, 350K] is published in English; its Executive Summary is available in English [PDF, 58K], and its translation in the 5 further UN languages will follow shortly.

A public comment period is open until the 27 March 2009 to gather comments from the community to the Independent Report of the external reviewers.


More Announcements
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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."