Wednesday, August 08, 2007

ICANN records over 900 accredited registrars

Global coordinating agency for the Internet, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has recorded over 900 accredited registrars for its domain operations in the last six years.

ICANN President, Dr. Paul Twomey, disclosed this while commenting on the need to revisit the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) by open consultation, which began last Friday, July 27.

RAA is the contract that governs the relationship between ICANN and its accredited registrars.

“I called for the review of RAA and the accreditation back in March, and I’m pleased to be moving into the active consultation phase,” Dr. Twomey said.

He also said that the need for this review is clear, being that the current RAA is more than six years old.

“We’ve seen the number of accredited registrars grow to more than 900. And we’ve seen the incredible difficulties that can be unleashed with the collapse of a Registrar,” he declared.

In the call for consultation, ICANN noted that apart from interesting Internet public seeing details of the announcement at, it would also be seen at a new section at for open public consultations.

ICANN equally said that over the years and given the increasing number of registrants, there is need for them to be protected to give those registering domain names a sense of belonging.

“Protection of registrants is ICANN’s goal as it launches consultations on its Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) and the accreditation process for companies who register domains,” a press statement from ICANN read in part.

According to Dr. Twomey, the current version was put in place in May 2001. The same contract is in place between ICANN and each of over 900 accredited registrars.

He further informed that the consultation is looking for ideas and input on amendments to the RAA and the registrar accreditation process in order to provide additional protection to registrants.

He pointed out that previous discussions in the ICANN community has already helped to create a number of suggestions for discussion, encompassing incorporating provisions to govern the terms under which a registrar could be sold and continue to retain its ICANN accreditation.

Further inputs from Internet community also included that additional contract enforcement tools be offered to avail more options than the current one option of simply terminating accreditation; addressing the responsibilities of a parent owner/manager when one or more of a “family” of registrars fails to comply with ICANN requirements.

In addition, suggestions have been made which required registrars to escrow contact information for customers who register domain names using Whois privacy and Whois proxy services.

Whereas augmenting the responsibilities placed on registrars with regard to their relationships with resellers, as well as requiring operator skills training and testing for all ICANN-accredited registrars.

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