Purpose: ICANN commissioned this study in response to a recommendation from the Governmental Advisory Committee to examine the impact of root zone scaling and affirm that the delegation of new gTLDs did not jeopardize the security or stability of the root DNS system. The ICANN Board of Directors adopted this recommendation and committed to defer delegation of new gTLDs in future rounds until it is determined that the Program did not have an adverse impact on the system.
Current Status: The CDAR consortium considered public comments submitted after it published its study methodology in December 2015 to produce this draft report. The report considers findings based on the measurements that were included in the study methodology and provides recommendations based on its conclusions.
Next Steps: The CDAR team will incorporate feedback from public comments as it produces a final report, scheduled for publication in April 2017.
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose
ICANN commissioned the CDAR study, which was conducted by independent research organization TNO and its consortium partners, SIDN and NLnet Labs. The findings will help the ICANN community determine if additional steps are required to safeguard the root DNS system’s security and stability.
The study includes several key findings and recommendations:
The study did not find any evidence that the delegation of new gTLDs degraded the security and stability of the root DNS system. In the current new gTLD program the rate of delegation has been kept at a gradual rate to ensure that mitigation actions can be taken in a timely manner in case signs of degradation are observed. The study’s authors advise that the rate of new gTLD delegations should remain gradual.
They also recommended continuous monitoring of a set of risk parameters, most importantly the volume of DNS queries across all root servers, and the increase in the amount of processing required of root name servers, which would reduce the amount of traffic the servers can handle.
Representatives from the CDAR research consortium will discuss the reported findings and solicit feedback during a session at ICANN57: https://icann572016.sched.org/event/8dQQ/root-stability-study-workshop
Section II: Background
The CDAR study is part of a series of reviews assessing whether the objectives of the New gTLD Program are being met. The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), recommended to the ICANN Board of Directors a study to determine Goals include enhanced competition, consumer choice and consumer trust and increased rights protection protections. The reviews will also explore the effectiveness of the application and evaluation process.