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Summary Analysis of RSEP Requests

(Please see here for updated summary analysis. This page was last updated 16 August 2016.)

The Registry Services Evaluation Policy (RSEP) was developed through ICANN's consensus policy development process, and adopted by the ICANN Board on 8 November 2005. Each gTLD Registry Agreement identifies the RSEP process as the mechanism to add, modify or remove a registry service. 'Registry service' is defined in the Registry Agreement and in Section 1.1 of the RSEP at ICANN evaluates the proposed service for its potential effect on Security, Stability or competition as they are defined under the RSEP.

ICANN began receiving RSEP requests in 2006. Information regarding all requests for registry services that have been published by ICANN can be found at

Overview of RSEP Process Steps and Statuses

Below is a high-level illustration of the RSEP process steps, associated statuses and service level targets. At any time, a RSEP request can be withdrawn or cancelled. In order to fulfil ICANN confidentiality obligations, the scope of this analysis excludes those requests that have been withdrawn before they reached ICANN Review (step 3) at which time the request is published on the page referenced above.

Flowchart of Overview of RSEP Process Steps and Statuses

At A Glance

  • In 2006, 4 RSEP requests were published.
  • In 2015, 93 RSEP requests were published.
  • From inception until 17 March 2016, the total number of RSEP requests published by ICANN is 238.
  • There was major growth in the number of RSEP requests in calendar years 2014 and 2015, and is mainly driven by 2 types of requests: IDN services and release of reserved names.
Number of RSEP Requests Reviewed by ICANN

RSEP request types in 2014 and 2015

RSEP Request Types

Below is a list of published RSEP requests, by service type, received from 2006 through 17 March 2016. Please refer to Appendix 1 for a detailed breakdown of requests.

Request Types Abuse Prevention DNS Domain Registration Programs Internationalized Domain Names Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS) Registration Lifecycle Reserved Names Others Total Requests
2006 0 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 4
2007 0 1 0 0 1 0 3 0 5
2008 1 2 1 0 0 2 5 0 11
2009 2 2 0 1 1 2 3 0 11
2010 1 4 1 0 0 1 6 0 13
2011 3 1 0 0 1 0 3 0 8
2012 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 4
2013 0 0 1 1 0 4 0 0 6
2014 1 1 2 21 1 0 42 1 69
2015 1 2 1 47 2 4 35 1 93
2016 2 0 0 8 1 1 2 0 14
Total 12 15 6 78 7 18 100 2 238

Through 2013, the average number of published RSEP requests per year was 7. RSEP requests in 2014 and 2015 increased significantly due to the following factors;

  1. The exponential increase in the number of gTLDs
  2. Addition of certain IDN languages per gTLD
  3. Requested release of reserved country and territory names
  4. Requested release of certain reserved two-character ASCII labels

Effective 1 December 2014, ICANN launched an authorization process for the release of two-character ASCII labels for all new gTLD registry operators. Therefore, the RSEP is no longer used for requests to release two-character ASCII labels from reservation.

The table below shows a summary of all the requests' statuses as of 17 March 2016.

RSEP Requests Status 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Approved 2 4 5 8 4 4 4 5 25 50 6
Approved, Refer to ICANN Authorization via Authorization Process                 34 1  
Approved, Pending Contract Amendment         1         3 6
Approved, Public Comment**   1 5 3 5 3       1  
ICANN Review                 1    
Public Comment         1     1 7 33 2
Referred to RSTEP*, Public Comment, Approved by the Board 1   1           1    
Referred to RSTEP*, Public Comment, Not Approved by the Board 1                    
Public Comment, Withdrawn                   1  
Withdrawn         2 1     1 4  
Total Requests 4 5 11 11 13 8 4 6 69 93 14


* RSTEP refers to Registry Services Technical Evaluation Panel (

** Status on RSEP is approved, and proposed amendment had been posted for Public Comment (

RSEP Comments

ICANN offers an open comment forum ("the RSEP forum") for the RSEP process or proposals for new registry services published at Comments submitted to the RSEP forum may be viewed at

As of 30 June 2016, there have been no comments regarding the RSEP process submitted to the RSEP forum, though there have been administrative inquiries.

The table below summarizes comments relating to specific RSEP requests submitted to the RSEP forum between 2007 to 2015. 36 unique comments were submitted to the RSEP forum regarding 11 different RSEP requests.

Note: The RSEP forum was originally created in October 2006 for a single comment space for RSEP requests. The table below is a summary of comments submitted to the RSEP forum. RSEP requests that did not receive comments in the RSEP forum were not included in the table.

RSEP Proposal # TLD(s) Registry Name Topic of Comment(s) Comment: Number and Source RSEP Status Results
2006003 .org Public Interest Registry Excess Deletions Fee

1 organization

  • Phil Corwin, Internet Commerce Association

1 individual

  • Caroline Chicoine

One comment supported the adoption of the proposed service. One comment disagreed with the proposal due to concerns about perceived legitimization of practice of domain tasting and inefficacy of this service.

Resolution from ICANN Board meeting authorized the President and the General Counsel to enter into an amendment of the Registry Agreement to implement the RSEP request. The amendment of the Registry Agreement was approved.

2007004 .tel Telnic Ltd UK/EU Data Protection legislation impact on ICANN contract

1 ICANN community group

  • Gary Hills, Business Constituency

The comment submitted to the RSEP forum was considered at a dedicated comment forum regarding the contract amendment to implement the proposed service (

The amendment of the Registry Agreement implementing the RSEP request was approved by the ICANN Board.

2008007 .info Afilias, Ltd. Abusive Use Policy

3 organizations

  • Doug Friend,
  • Michele Neylon, Blacknight Solutions
  • Jeffrey A. Williams, INEGroup LLA

2 individuals

  • Chris Beach
  • George Kirikos (multiple comments)

Some comments opposed the proposed service and raised concerns about the ambiguity of the proposal or suggested edits to the proposal.

The RSEP request was revised and approved for implementation.

2009004 .com
VeriSign, Inc. Registry-Registrar Two-Factor Authentication Service

1 ICANN community group

  • Mason Cole, Registrar Constituency
  • Clarke D. Walton, Registrar Constituency

2 organizations

  • Michele Neylon, Blacknight Solutions
  • Tim Ruiz,, Inc.

1 individual

  • George Kirikos

Some comments pertained to the proposed service's mandatory requirement for Registrars to provide the service. Some comments pertained to insufficient consultation.

The RSEP request was approved for implementation as a voluntary optional service. Further consultation regarding whether the Registrar-Registry Agreement (RRA) needed to be amended was advised, and ICANN communicated that if sections in the RRA dealing with authentication were to be updated following the consultation, ICANN would publish a revised RRA for comment under established procedure.

2009005 .com
VeriSign, Inc. Registry Lock Service

1 organization

  • Michele Neylon, Blacknight Solutions

1 individual

  • George Kirikos

The comments raised concerns regarding pricing of the proposed service.

The RSEP request was approved for implementation.

2009007 .com
VeriSign, Inc. Domain Name WhoWas

1 ICANN community group

  • Clarke D. Walton, Registrar Constituency

1 organization

  • Tim Ruiz,, Inc.

The comments raised concerns regarding lack of a formal process to ensure that consultation with registrars take place.

The RSEP request was approved for implementation.

2010004 .com
VeriSign, Inc. Domain Name Exchange

2 ICANN community groups

  • Alan Greenberg, ALAC
  • Marilyn Cade, Business Constituency

2 Individuals

  • Alan Greenberg
  • George Kirikos

Comments cautioned ICANN staff against approval of the request or, alternatively, to provide more time to evaluate the potential impacts of the proposed service and provide opportunity for a formal public comment period.

The RSEP request was withdrawn.

2010011 .mobi mTLD Ltd. Additional equitable allocation options for .MOBI one and two character domains

1 organization

  • Andres Kello, (multiple comments)
Approved, Pending Contract Amendment

The comment submitted to the RSEP forum opposing the RSEP request was considered at a dedicated comment forum (

ICANN published the amendment to the Registry Agreement for Public Comment, and the amendment completed its public comment period. The amendment has not been executed to date (XX August 2016).

2011008 .com
VeriSign, Inc. Verisign Anti-Abuse Domain Use Policy

2 organizations

  • Kevin Strong, ProFile, Inc
  • Mark Jeftovic, easyDNS Technologies Inc

7 individuals

  • George Kirikos (multiple comments)
  • Jeff Cook
  • Patrick
  • Sean Zipperer
  • Trae Watkins

The comments opposed the RSEP request due to perceived lack of due process or, alternatively, suggested substantial edits to the RSEP request.

The RSEP request was withdrawn.

2012003 .name VeriSign Inc. Redemption Grace Period for .name

1 ICANN community group

  • Alan Greenberg, ALAC

The comment was in favor of the RSEP request.

The provisions reflecting the amendments of three new proposed services (#2012001, #2012002, #2012003) were incorporated in the Registry Agreement renewal.

2014154 .xyz
XYZ.COM LLC Chinese Gateway

3 individuals

  • Elatia Grimshaw
  • M. Cunningham
  • Matthew Hayes

The comments raised concerns about governmental censorship.

The RSEP request was withdrawn.

Appendix 1

Types Service Description Total Requests 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Abuse Prevention Anti-Abuse Policy 3     1     1 1        
Registry Lock Service 7       1 1 1     1 1 2
Registry-Registrar Two-Factor Authentication Service 2       1   1          
DNS DNS Update Service 1   1                  
DNSSEC Implementation 9     2 2 4   1        
SaaS Feedback Platform 3                 1 2  
Third Level Domain DNS Support 1           1          
Wild card redirection in the zone, and Search function 1 1                    
Domain Registration Programs DPML (Domains Protected Marks List Service) 1                   1  
MPML (Minds and Machines Protected Mark List) 1                 1    
Phased Allocation Program 1         1            
Phased Equitable Reallocation of Non-Compliant Sunrise Domain Names 1     1                
Technical Bundle for New gTLDs 1                 1    
Third Level Domain Sales 1               1      
Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) IDN Services 78       1       1 21 47 8
Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS) Domain Name WhoWas 1       1              
Expansion of RDDS 1                 1    
Modification of RDDS 1                     1
Remove Searchable Whois 2                   2  
UK/EU Data Protection legislation impact on ICANN contract 2   1       1          
Registration Lifecycle Bulk Transfer after Partial Portfolio Acquisition (BTAPPA) 7       1     1 4     1
Bulk Transfer of Partial Portfolio 1 1                    
Domain Name Exchange 1         1            
Excess Deletions Fee 1 1                    
Gateway Service 3                   3  
Modifications to the Existing Add Grace Period (AGP) 2     2                
Modify handling of names pending verification 1       1              
Pre-registration gTLD Platform 1                   1  
Redemption Grace Period 1             1        
Reserved Names Country and Territory Names 40                 7 31 2
IGO Reserved Names 1                   1  
One, Two and/or Three Character name allocation, release and/or registration requests 58 1 3 5 3 6 2     35 3  
Release and allocation of previously-reserved IANA strings 1           1          
Others Data Escrow-ZoneFIle-Whois 2                 1 1  
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."