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The End of Domain Tasting | Status Report on AGP Measures


In response to community concerns about the excessive use and abuse of the five-day AGP (Add Grace Period), ICANN implemented two measures to address these problems that have resulted in a 99.7% decrease in AGP deletes from June 2008 to April 2009. AGP is the five-day period following the initial registration of a domain name. Currently, when someone registers a domain name through a registrar, the name may be deleted at any time during the first five calendar days of the registration (the AGP) and the registrar receives full credit, which is passed on to the registrant, for the registration fee from the registry. This report summarizes the two measures, the AGP Budget Provision (the “Provision”) and the AGP Limits Policy (the “Policy”), and provides statistical information on AGP delete activity for all TLDs that offer this grace period to their customers. Exhibit 1 reflects the AGP delete trend across all TLDs and Exhibit 2 provides TLD-specific AGP delete activity.

FY09 Budget Provision

In June 2008, the ICANN Board approved the FY2009 Budget that contained the Provision on AGP deletes. The Provision was that domain names deleted during the AGP would be included as transactions if they exceeded the maximum of (i) 10 percent of that registrar's net new registrations in that month, or (ii) fifty (50) domain names, whichever is greater. Therefore the cost to the registrar for each AGP delete that exceeded the defined threshold was US$0.20. The Provision was adopted as a short-term solution (1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009) undertaken in response to community comment as the Policy Development Process (PDP) on Domain Tasting occurred and was implemented.

AGP Limits Policy

The AGP Limits Policy (see,, is the result of the GNSO PDP on Domain Tasting. This process concluded on 17 April 2008, with approval “by super majority vote a motion to discourage use of the “add grace period” (AGP), where domains can be returned within five days without cost, for domain tasting.” 1 The GNSO motion and its recommendations were adopted by the ICANN Board on 26 June 2008.

The Policy has the same thresholds as the Provision, but results in a higher cost for each excessive AGP delete. The Provision resulted in a cost to registrars of US$0.20 per AGP delete above the threshold and the Policy US$6.75 (i.e., the cost of a current .ORG domain) or higher depending on the domain registration fee charged by the registry to the registrar. The Policy also provides for a registrar to seek an exemption from the penalty upon the documented showing of extraordinary circumstances. Details of the exemption process can be found in the Policy’s implementation notes.

Cost to Registrars of Excessive AGP Deletes

The following example demonstrates the cost to registrars of excessive AGP deletes prior to the Provision, during the Provision, and after the Policy. Exhibit 3 reflects how the number of AGP deletes has decreased as the cost has increased.

If a registrar registered 1,000 names in a given month and deleted 300 names during the AGP, the registrar would have 700 net new registrations. Because the Provision and the Policy entitle the registrar to 70 AGP deletes, 230 of the 300 AGP deletes would cost the registrar as follows:

  • Prior to the Provision, there was no cost associated with excess AGP deletes.
  • During the Provision, each excess delete was assessed a US$0.20 penalty and thus the cost for 230 deletes was US$46.00.
  • Under the Policy, each excess delete is assessed a US$6.75 (e.g., current cost of a .ORG domain) or more depending on the registration price at the TLD, and thus the cost for 230 deletes is US$1,552.50.

Status of TLD Compliance with AGP Limits Policy

All TLD operators that are required to comply with the Policy have done so as verified by ICANN’s contractual compliance findings, and details of their implementation are provided in Exhibit 4. For TLD operators that implemented the Policy by 1 April 2009 and have submitted their monthly registry report for that period, their report now contains the following additional reporting elements:

  • Number of exemption requests
  • Number of exemptions granted
  • Number of names affected by granted exemption requests
  • Number of AGP deletes (domains-deleted-grace) if this information is not currently defined in the operator’s monthly reporting requirement

Future ICANN Reporting

ICANN will continue to issue status reports to the community based on the information provided in registry monthly reports that are available at Registry and registrar specific information cannot be provided to the public until three months after the latest applicable reporting period.

Exhibit 1 – Total AGP Deletes for all TLDs
June 2008 to April 2009

Exhibit 2 – AGP Deletes Activity per TLD

TLD Operator Jun-08 Jul-08 Apr-09
.AERO SITA INC USA, Inc. n/a (1) n/a (1) n/a (1)
.ASIA DotAsia Organization 220 105 616 (2)
.BIZ Neustar 1,409 1,264 988
.CAT Fundacio puntCAT 174 175 1
.COM VeriSign, Inc. 15,738,292 2,483,953 37,519
.COOP DotCooperation LLC 0 0 0
.INFO Afilias Limited 32,384 18,945 4,460
.JOBS Employ Media LLC 81 339 175
.MOBI mTLD Top Level Domain Ltd 431 587 5,007 (3)
.MUSEUM Museum Domain Management Association International n/a (4) n/a (4) n/a (4)
.NAME VeriSign Information Services, Inc. n/a (5) n/a (5) 107
.NET VeriSign, Inc. 1,860,164 249,958 6,202
.ORG Public Interest Registry 35,052 30,255 2,591
.PRO Registry Services Corporation n/a (6) 24 131
.TEL Telnic Ltd. n/a (7) n/a (7) 419
.TRAVEL Tralliance Registry Management Company, LLC. 543 0 2


Total 17,668,750 2,785,605 58,218
  1. (1)  .AERO did not provide monthly reports until May 2009
  2. (2)  .ASIA implemented the Policy on 1 May 2009 which resulted in higher than average AGP deletes in April
  3. (3)  .MOBI implemented the Policy on 1 May 2009 which resulted in higher than average AGP deletes in April
  4. (4)  .MUSEUM does not offer an AGP
  5. (5)  .NAME was not required to report AGP delete activity
  6. (6)  .PRO was not required to report AGP delete activity
  7. (7)  .TEL launched in December 2008

Exhibit 3 – AGP Deletes vs. Cost per Excess AGP Delete

Exhibit 4 – AGP Limits Policy
Registry Implementation Schedule

TLD Operator Implementation Status
.AERO SITA INC USA, Inc. Effective 1 May 2009; requested a one-month extension
.ASIA DotAsia Organization Effective 1 May 2009; requested a one-month extension
.BIZ Neustar Effective 1 June 2008 following
27 March 2008 Board approval of RSEP request on
AGP Modifications
.CAT Fundacio puntCAT Effective 1 April 2009
.COM VeriSign, Inc. Effective 1 April 2009
.COOP DotCooperation LLC Effective 1 April 2009
.INFO Afilias Limited Effective 1 April 2009
.JOBS Employ Media LLC Effective 1 April 2009
.MOBI mTLD Top Level Domain Ltd Effective 1 May 2009; requested a one-month extension
.MUSEUM Museum Domain Management Association International Does not offer AGP
.NAME VeriSign Information Services, Inc. Effective 1 April 2009
.NET VeriSign, Inc. Effective 1 April 2009
.ORG Public Interest Registry Effective 1 April 2009
.PRO Registry Services Corporation Effective 1 April 2009
.TEL Telnic Ltd. Effective 1 March 2009
.TRAVEL Tralliance Registry Management Company, LLC. Effective 1 April 2009

1 This information from the 25 April 2008 GNSO Council Report to the Board is viewable at

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"""" is not an IDN."