ICANN is posting for public comment the proposed amendment to the .COM Registry Agreement. This proposal is a result of discussions between ICANN and Verisign, Inc.
Section I: Description and Explanation
ICANN is posting for public comment a proposed amendment to the .COM Registry Agreement [PDF, 95 KB]. The proposed amendment extends the term of the .com Registry Agreement to coincide with the term of the Root Zone Maintainer Services Agreement in order to enhance the security, stability and resiliency of root operations. Under the amendment the parties will also negotiate in good faith to amend the agreement to preserve and enhance the security and stability of the Internet or the TLD. The amendment also allows for the parties to address changes made to the Cooperative Agreement.
After the public comment process is completed for the proposed .com Registry Agreement amendment, the amendment will be considered by ICANN's and Verisign's boards of directors and following approval by the respective boards, to NTIA for review and approval according to their processes.
Section II: Background
On 1 December 2012, ICANN and VeriSign, Inc., entered into an Unsponsored Registry Agreement under which VeriSign, Inc. operates the .com top-level domain. The agreement is set to expire on 30 November 2018 with a 6-year presumptive renewal right.
The current agreement for .COM may be viewed at: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/com-2012-12-07-en.
Verisign has been providing "registration services" under its Cooperative Agreement with NTIA, which was broadly defined to include root zone management functions and Top Level Domain registry services. Given the unified nature of the present Cooperative Agreement, much of the root zone infrastructure itself is inextricably intertwined with Verisign's TLD operations for .com as discussed in greater detail in the blog.
The extension of the term of the .com registry agreement is intended to maintain stable, secure, and reliable operations of the root zone not only for direct root zone management service customers (Registry Operators, Registrars and Root Server Operators), but also to maintain the security and stability of the Internet's domain name system.