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2018 KSK Rollover Operator Preparedness Survey

From 21 August 2018 until 14 September 2018, the ICANN organization invited over 16,000 network operators to participate in a survey regarding their preparations for the root KSK rollover. The networks chosen for the survey were those that have shown evidence of perfoming DNSSEC validation: resolvers on those networks had sent specific queries to the DNS root name servers indicative of DNSSEC validation. These networks were the focus of the survey as they need to know about the KSK rollover and be prepared ahead of time to avoid a service disruption.

Although the response rate to the survey was fairly low, around 4%, the survey prompted many subsequent interactions between the ICANN organization and the network operators who were contacted. Hundreds of operators reached out to our help desk seeking different levels of assistance. Other ICANN engagement channels became more active as well. Responses to the survey invitations were overwhelmingly positive, despite our initial concern that such outreach might be considered spam or unwanted contact.

A big number of the operators who responded to the survey were already prepared for the rollover, confirming that the ICANN org was effective in spreading awareness. Of those not yet prepared, nearly half planned to use the automated trust anchor update protocol defined as part of DNSSEC. The other half planned to update manually their trust anchor configuration. Just two operators expressed that they would discontinue DNSSEC if an outage occurred.

We were pleased with the overall response to the survey as we continue to prepare for the root KSK rollover on 11 October 2018.

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    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."