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dotShabaka Diary — Day 23, Wrap-up and Top Tips

Kevin Murphy, November 5, 2013, Domain Registries

We’re wrapping up the dotShabaka Diary series today with this, the final entry from general manager Yasmin Omer.

It’s been an interesting ride, and I thank Yasmin and the dotShabaka team for the time and effort they’ve put into sharing their experiences with DI readers.

Tuesday 5 November 2013

After four months of journal entries, the dotShabaka Registry Diary is wrapping up today following the delegation of شبكة. and official commencement of Sunrise.

The journey has been long and challenging at times. After all the blood, sweat and tears, I strongly believe our experience will be to the benefit of other applicants to follow.

Along the way we experienced the joys of passing pre-delegation testing and commencing Sunrise, but we also documented the lows of name collisions and difficulties in writing a Registry Registrar Agreement.

Throughout the journey it was helpful to receive feedback and comments from the community supporting our cause. This dialogue helped get us to where we are today and a special thank you must be made to IBM’s TMCH team, ICANN, the Pre-Delegation Testing team at IIS (and the PDT Helpdesk) and the many Registrars who have connected with us along the way. Also, a big thank you to Domain Incite and Kevin Murphy for making this journal series possible.

As our delegation journey comes to an end, our TLD launch strategy begins. We have strong ambitions for شبكة. to be the centre of all things Arabic online and we encourage you to continue to watch our progress via our website.

As a parting message, below are our top five tips for other applicants:

1. Communication

Communication is vitally important throughout the process. Be prepared for important emails at any time of the day. When in doubt, always clarify with ICANN and your advisors first. If you are not sure ask ICANN through the CSC portal and if you don’t get a good answer from ICANN ask again through the CSC portal.

2. Seamless integration with RSP

Ensure you have open lines of communication with your Registry Services provider to avoid hiccups and delays. We received technical communications that should have been intended for ARI Registry Services, but our close working relationship with them helped ensure a smooth process.

3. Sort out your product and strategy

Registrar community, potential Registrants, media and interest groups will want information about your TLD. Be ready to describe your TLD, the primary market, eligibility, the launch strategy and other key information.

4. Expect the unexpected

This goes without saying, especially in the ICANN ecosystem. Be flexible and prepare for the worst.

5. The ICANN interface is improving

We understand that many of the frustrations with ICANN occurred because we were the first, and we were pushing hard to go to market. However, it is improving. ICANN are now sending a media kit and hopefully one day someone will get a Welcome Pack.

Good luck to all the other applicants, we’ll be closely watching your progress through delegation.


Yasmin Omer
General Manager
dotShabaka Registry

Read the full series here.

dotShabaka Diary — Day 22, Sunrise has gone live!

Kevin Murphy, November 2, 2013, Domain Registries

In this penultimate entry in the dotShabaka Diary series, dotShabaka general manager Yasmin Omer officially announces the launch of the Sunrise period for شبكة., the first new gTLD to enter this phase.

Saturday 2 November 2013

It’s with great pleasure that I can finally say that we are the first new gTLD Registry Operator to commence its Sunrise Period! I’m truly excited about taking this TLD to the Arabic speaking world and revolutionising their Internet experience. So what’s happened since the last entry?

We received, and responded to, the TLD on-boarding Information Request from ICANN. New gTLD Registry Operators (and their Registry Services Providers) should be prepared to promptly provide ICANN with technical information regarding:

  • The Registry Operator’s provision of the zone file access service;
  • Bulk thin registration data access to ICANN;
  • Data Escrow – Registry Reporting Interface;
  • Implementation of the URS system;
  • EPP extensions for the TLD; and
  • EPP SLA Monitoring.

We requested the registration of our IDN Table on the IANA Repository of IDN Practices.

We obtained approval of our TLD Startup Information from ICANN. It’s certainly clear from our interactions with ICANN that the process of, and the requirements for, obtaining IBM’s acceptance of Sunrise dates and ICANN’s approval of TLD Startup Information, is yet to be defined. As a result, there was a delay in obtaining ICANN’s approval of our TLD Startup Information.

If you’re a new gTLD Registry Operator and you want your TLD Startup Information approved quickly, here are some tips:

  • Once you have a fair idea of when your Sunrise will commence (could be before you’re delegated), reach out to IBM independently and request a number of potential dates. The team at IBM has been very responsive by promptly accepting our Sunrise dates.
  • Include your eligibility policy for general registration with your TLD Startup Information. Yes, ICANN has explicitly stated that this is not a requirement they have imposed but it seems that they need it.
  • Remember that ICANN’s review is a legal review. Ensure that your policies very clearly demonstrate your compliance with the relevant requirements. Use diagrams.
  • Be prepared to respond to ICANN or IBM at any time – they’re both on opposite sides of the world to each other. ICANN thankfully ensure that the process is interactive, so be prepared to interact.

Good luck to everyone. We look forward to being joined by many more New gTLD Registry Operators in Sunrise.

Read previous and future diary entries here.

dotShabaka Diary — Day 21, Post-delegation

Kevin Murphy, October 29, 2013, Domain Registries

The twenty-first installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Monday 28 October 2013

It’s been five days since we were delegated and I thought it would be timely to provide readers with an update of what’s happened following this monumental occasion.

Tumbleweeds! As far as the program is concerned, we haven’t progressed one iota.

We submitted all the information necessary for Sunrise to ICANN and we still wait. We want to begin immediately and are currently in a holding pattern.

We’ve been doing significant media outreach over the past week and the number one question we keep getting asked is: what’s next and when can I register my شبكة. domain?

Read previous and future diary entries here.

dotShabaka Diary — Day 20, Positive signs?

Kevin Murphy, October 18, 2013, Domain Registries

The twentieth installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Friday 18 October 2013

Maybe we are starting to see some positive steps from ICANN towards delegation:

We received a revised Registry Agreement, Specification six that includes the requirements for Name Collision Occurrence Management and Report Handling.

ICANN made an announcement that included the statement that collision “…assessments and SLD lists will be posted to the specific TLD’s registry agreement page on the ICANN website. The first of these will be available before the end of this week.”

ICANN reached out this week and requested a detailed list of contacts for legal, media, financial, emergency, CZDS, TMDB, abuse, URS and compliance.

We are still waiting for ICANN to comment on the TMCH launch issues highlighted in our 12 October 12 journal.

Oh, and we are still waiting for the Welcome Pack!

Read previous and future diary entries here.

dotShabaka Diary — Day 19

Kevin Murphy, October 17, 2013, Domain Registries

The eighteenth installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Tuesday 15 October 2013

Still no advice from ICANN on transition to IANA. As we approach the transition to delegation and start launch processes, we remain concerned about the following process and schedule risks:

ICANN have made references to the TLD Startup information being submitted “…via the customer service portal or other mechanism” but have not provided details. We are concerned that the TLD Startup interface has not been provided. Why not allow TLDs to enter the information now and submit it to ICANN once delegated to the root zone?

The process to ‘Email ICANN CSC – Confirm Tests Completed’ is not documented. Without a process definition or certificate to confirm IBM’s email advice that شبكة. has “passed TMDB testing” we risk ICANN rejecting the launch submission and the Sunrise schedule being thrown out.

ICANN have stated the TLD Startup Information must include confirmation that the TMCH Sunrise and Claims Operator has accepted the start and end dates prior to the Registry Operator providing the TLD Startup Information. There is no process documented for submitting the start and end dates to the TMCH.

If we choose the ‘Alternate Path to Delegation’ as defined in the ‘New gTLD Collision Occurrence Management Plan’ we need to block all second-level labels that appear in DNS requests to the applied-for TLD in the DITL and other relevant dataset. ICANN have committed to developing the list of labels but have not defined a timeline or distribution process. Why not distribute the list now so we don’t have to manage Registry change after the transition process starts?

Read previous and future diary entries here.