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An Update on the Competition, Consumer Trust, and Consumer Choice (CCT) Review

In March 2019, the Board took action on the Competition, Consumer Trust, and Consumer Choice Review Team (CCT-RT) Final Report. In a subsequent blog, former Board Chair Cherine Chalaby explained how the Board considered the CCT-RT Final Recommendations and provided context for the Board's decision to carry out phased implementation.

Since the Board action, work on this important effort has continued, and I would like to provide you with an update on the progress made so far.

Pending Recommendations

The Board placed 17 recommendations (or parts of recommendations) in pending status. ICANN org is working diligently to address the additional information the Board requested in the Scorecard associated with the Board resolution. The Scorecard detailed expected actions: ICANN org analyzing and identifying gaps in a particular area of work, engaging a third party to analyze the data types needed, and reporting on work done to date. The Board committed to resolve the pending status and take appropriate action on these recommendations once it receives the additional information and ICANN org addresses the Board's questions.

ICANN org regularly consults with the Board Caucus Group on the CCT-RT in order to finalize its analyses and prepare for Board action. Based on the work completed to date, the Board expects to make a decision on some of these recommendations in the first quarter of FY21.

Accepted Recommendations

In September 2019, ICANN org published a Plan for Implementation of the six accepted recommendations for Public Comment. After considering the comments received, the Board passed a resolution in January 2020 directing the ICANN CEO to commence implementation of the accepted CCT-RT recommendations in accordance with the Plan.

While some recommendations require no significant incremental costs and resources,1 recommendations that do require additional budget (i.e. Recommendation 30 to "expand and improve outreach into the Global South") will be factored into the operational planning and budgeting processes to allow appropriate community consideration and prioritization of planned work, as applicable.

Implementation of Recommendation 1, to "formalize and promote data collection", will require a multiphase approach. The initial definition and planning stages can rely on existing resources; however, where this results in an increase of ongoing operational activities, there may be incremental costs related to staffing, procurement, and software/tools. ICANN org is conducting preliminary work for the definition phase.

ICANN org identified that Recommendation 31, "to coordinate the pro bono assistance program," is contingent upon any recommendations from the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP Working Group related to pro bono assistance or Applicant Support. ICANN org expects that a pro bono assistance program will be implemented as part of the overall implementation plan for the next round of new gTLDs.

Finally, ICANN org continues to follow community conversations, especially those regarding DNS Abuse, that may impact Recommendation 17, "to collect data about and publicize the chain of parties responsible for gTLD domain name registrations." As noted in the Plan for Implementation, work has been implemented according to current policy requirements, and no further implementation work is planned by ICANN org at this time. However, although this recommendation is considered complete, because the CCT-RT also assigned Recommendation 17 to a number of community groups, there may be future policy outcomes that impact this recommendation. Any future policy development processes that result in binding Consensus Policies would require ICANN org to reevaluate the implementation of this recommendation.

Pass-through Recommendations

The GNSO Council submitted its initial response to the Board in September 2019, in which it noted that the GNSO Council will be referring three CCT-RT recommendations to the respective PDP working groups and will provide the Board with further updates on those in due course. The Board continues to welcome any updates from designated community groups to which CCT-RT recommendations are addressed.

Implementation Reporting and Tracking

The Board and ICANN org are committed to diligent tracking and progress reporting through various activities, such as periodic updates to the Board and community, and expansion of project management diligence and best practices. Section 4.5 of the ICANN Bylaws mandates an Annual Review Implementation Report, to provide an overview of implementation status of all review processes. In accordance with ICANN org's regular publication cycle, the report for fiscal year 2020 will be published in October 2020.2

The Board appreciates the community's continued interest in this important review and remains dedicated to upholding its responsibilities in line with the ICANN Bylaws. As implementation work progresses, the Board will continue to engage with the CCT-RT Implementation Shepherds3 and provide further updates to the community.


1 e.g., Recommendation 21 that requires more information to be published about complaints, and Recommendation 22, which deals with best practices for security measures for sensitive health and financial information.

2 See https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/annual-reviews-implementation-report-30jun19-en.pdf for Annual Review Implementation Report for fiscal year 2019.

3 Implementation Shepherds are review team members who volunteered to be a resource for clarifications needed on recommendations' intent, rationale, facts leading to conclusions, envisioned timeline, and successful measures of implementation. See https://community.icann.org/display/CCT/Implementation+Shepherds for more information.

Comments

    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."