Registry Failover Plan
Explanation:With the expected expansion of new generic top-level domains, the possibility of a registry failure is greatly increased. In order to pre-empt a possible future problem, ICANN has worked with gTLD and ccTLD registry representatives to devise a way of dealing with the failure of an arm of the domain name system.
The draft Failover Plan [pdf] (here as a flow chart) comes with a Best Practices [pdf] document. The Failover Plan identifies the process and procedures to be undertaken when a specific set of events indicating a potential gTLD registry failure. It is designed to protect the interests of registrants and provide the best opportunity for continued registry operations.
The Best Practices document intends to be the source of contractual terms that will become part of every new registry agreement. These terms are intended to provide registries a tool for ensuring ongoing operations and also to provide a backstop process in the case of failure.
This is a complex and important topic and so ICANN is putting it out for review by the wider community. You can find more summary information on the official announcement.