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FAQ About Emergency Back-end Registry Operators

Please note that the English language version of all translated content and documents are the official versions and that translations in other languages are for informational purposes only.

What are EBEROs?

Emergency back-end registry operators are organizations that have demonstrated years of experience in operating domain name services, registration data directory services and extensible provisioning protocol services. They have entered into three to five year contracts with ICANN to provide five critical registry functions in the event of a TLD registry operator failure. The currently contracted EBERO service providers are:

Why are EBEROs important?

One of ICANN's core missions is to preserve the operational security and stability of the Internet while also supporting open competition. With the launch of the New generic Top-Level Domain (New gTLD) Program, the Internet will see a considerable increase in the number of registry operators. Although all applicants must meet technical, operational and financial requirements (see the gTLD Applicant Guidebook) the community-developed New gTLD program includes provisions for an emergency backup process. The EBERO program is designed to be activated should a registry operator require assistance to sustain critical registry functions for a period of time.

How were they chosen?

The EBEROs were selected through a Request for Information (RFI) issued by ICANN on 14 September 2011. ICANN originally received 14 RFI responses of highly qualified providers from around the world. The RFI evaluation process was extensive and detailed. It was performed by a cross-functional team composed of management and members from the registry, security, registrar, compliance departments, as well an independent consultant.

The respondents had to demonstrate how their organizations met requirements such as having years of experience in operating Domain Name services, operating registration data directory services, and extensible provisioning protocol services.

Geographic location also played a role in selection. ICANN sought candidates from geographically diverse regions in order to provide regional service to registries in all regions and alternate sites in case of local disasters.

ICANN may revisit the number of EBERO providers in the future as needed.

When will the EBEROs be activated?

The EBERO providers have been ready for emergency response since Q4 2013.

How long will the EBERO function?

ICANN's goal is to have the emergency event resolved as soon as possible, preferably within 12 months. ICANN and the EBEROs will be prepared should more time be needed.

What process will the EBEROs follow?

ICANN will be responsible for declaring an emergency EBERO event and coordinating all EBERO related activities during the emergency response. ICANN plans to post status updates on its website. All EBERO providers will follow a detailed emergency response process called the Common Transition Process (CTP).

Will an EBERO have access to my personal or confidential data?

If you have a domain name registered with a new TLD operator that fails, the EBERO that maintains critical registry functions temporarily will only have access to data of yours that is available in the public domain, such as domain name registration data.

Will an EBERO also take over web hosting or other services that a TLD operator may have offered?

EBEROs are limited in the services they can provide. For example, EBEROs will not provide any additional services that a TLD operator may have offered its customers, such as web hosting or network analytics.

Where can I find more information about the EBERO?

More information is available below.

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."