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The version circulated for adoption is available here.

Cross Community Working Group (CWG) Charter


WG Name:

Cross Community Working Group to Develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions

Section I:  Cross Community Working Group Identification

Chartering Organizations:


Charter Approval Dates:

The charter of the WG was adopted by:  

  • ccNSO Council on 21 August 2014
  • SSAC on 27 August 2014
  • GNSO Council on 4 September 2014
  • ALAC on 11 September 2014
  • GAC on 3 October 2014

Name of WG Chair(s):

Lise Fuhr & Jonathan Robinson

CWG Workspace URL:

CWG Mailing List:

Public Archive:

Resolutions adopting the charter:



Ref # & Link:


Important Document Links:


Section II:  Problem Statement, Goals & Objectives and Scope

Problem Statement:

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has requested that ICANN “convene a multistakeholder process to develop a plan to transition the U.S. government stewardship role” with regard to the IANA Functions and related root zone management.  In making its announcement, the NTIA specified that the transition proposal must have broad community support and meet the following principles:


  • Support and enhance the multistakeholder model
  • Maintain the security, stability, and resiliency of the Internet DNS
  • Meet the needs and expectation of the global customers and partners of the IANA services
  • Maintain the openness of the Internet.


NTIA also specified that it would not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an intergovernmental organization solution.


On June 6 ICANN proposed the creation of an IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) “responsible for preparing a transition proposal reflecting the differing needs of the various affected parties of the IANA functions.”


Two subsets of IANA’s global customers/partners, the addressing and Internet protocol parameter communities, led by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the number resource community comprising the Number Resource Organization (NRO), the Address Supporting Organization (ASO) and the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), have responded to the NTIA’s announcement and the formation of the ICG, by establishing working groups to provide input on their specific needs and expectations with respect to the IANA Stewardship Transition. It was determined that the transition proposal should be developed within the directly affected communities (i.e. the IETF for development of standards for Internet Protocol Parameters; the NRO, the ASO, and the RIRs for functions related the management and distribution of numbering resources; and the GNSO and ccNSO for functions related to the Domain Name System). These efforts would inform the work of the ICG, whose responsibility would be to fashion an overall integrated transition proposal from these autonomously developed components. 


There is a need for the naming community to similarly come together to articulate its needs and expectations in an integrated fashion, as an integral part of this transition process, and to develop a proposal for the elements of the IANA Stewardship Transition that directly affect the naming community.

Goals & Objectives:

The primary goal of the Cross Community Working Group to Develop an IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal on Naming Related Functions (CWG) will be to produce a consolidated transition proposal for the elements of the IANA Functions relating to the Domain Name System. This proposal may include alternative options for specific features within it, provided that each option carries comparable support from the CWG. This proposal must meet the needs of the naming community in general, including the needs of all of the CWG’s chartering organizations, as well as the needs of direct consumers of IANA naming services including generic and country code top level domains. Should the CWG deem it appropriate, elements of the proposal may be released in stages. In developing this proposal, the CWG should:


  • Draw upon the collective expertise of the participating stakeholders;
  • Provide the opportunity for participation by all stakeholders and interested or affected parties;
  • Seek additional expert input and advice as appropriate;
  • Follow an open, global and transparent process;
  • Be community-led, through the process of bottom-up, consensus-based decision-making; and
  • Meet the principles specified by NTIA as well as the additional principles listed in the subsequent section.


The proposal may be partial or comprehensive, subject to the scoping description in the next section. In addition, the CWG may, without limitation:


  • Meet with other working groups developing the parallel transition proposals for parameters and numbering resources, to explain the CWG’s work and remain up to date on their progress;
  • Provide advice, analysis and comments to the chartering organizations, ICG, or ICANN staff on questions that are posed to it and on other transition proposals that may arise elsewhere; and
  • Work with others engaged in the ICANN accountability review process (discussed below) to coordinate the approach to dependencies between the processes.



In addition to the principles identified by NTIA to guide development of a transition proposal, the CWG will adhere to the following additional principles: openness; diversity; global participation; involvement of affected parties; transparency; and bottom-up, consensus-based decision-making.


The IANA functions are currently the subject of a contract between ICANN, the IANA Functions Operator, and the NTIA. Based on a summary and description of the IANA functions drawn from the NTIA’s statement of work for that IANA contract, IANA performs 11 individual functions. It:


1.              Coordinates the assignment of technical protocol parameters including the management of the Address and Routing Parameter Area (ARPA) TLD;

2.              Performs administrative functions associated with root zone management;

3.              Manages root zone file change requests;

4.              Manages “WHOIS” change requests and the WHOIS database;

5.              Implements changes in the assignment of Country Code Top Level-Domains (ccTLDs) in accordance with established policy;

6.              Implements decisions related to the delegation and redelegation of Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) in accordance with ICANN policy;

7.              Undertakes projects to increase root zone automation;

8.              Manages Root Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) keys;

9.              Provides a Customer Service Complaint Resolution Process (CSCRP);

10.           Allocates Internet numbering resources; and

11.           Performs other services (operate the .INT TLD, implement modifications in performance of the IANA functions as needed upon mutual agreement of the parties.)


The work of the CWG will primarily focus on functions 2 through 9 and function 11 (the “Naming Functions”).   Regarding function 9, the Customer Service Complaint Resolution Process (CSCRP), and the implementation of performance modifications referred to in function 11, the CWG anticipates that the NRO/ASO and IETF may also have proposals in these areas, and the CWG will exchange information, collaborate and develop joint proposals with them on these issues as appropriate. Functions 1 and 10 fall outside of the Naming Functions, but the CWG may deem it appropriate to comment on relevant aspects of these functions.


In respect of Function 2. (“Perform Administrative Functions Associated With Root Zone Management”), this process currently involves distinct roles performed by three different entities through two separate legal agreements: the Contractor as the IANA Functions Operator, NTIA as the Administrator, and VeriSign (‘or any successor entity as designated by the U.S. Department of Commerce”) as the Root Zone Maintainer. The accountability function currently performed by NTIA regarding the RZM role, as well as the discussion of the RZM management administrative interface currently used by NTIA are within the scope of the CWG.  The issue of who performs the Root Zone Maintainer (RZM) role is not in scope for the CWG and should be dealt with in a subsequent effort as needed. Additionally, issues related to naming policy e.g. delegation, redelegation or revocation of ccTLDs, RAA related policy issues etc. are not within the scope of the CWG.


Relationship to ICANN Accountability Review Process

The IANA stewardship transition process is taking place alongside a parallel and related process on enhancing ICANN accountability. While maintaining the accountability of Internet identifier governance is central to both processes, this group’s scope is focused on the arrangements required for the continuance of IANA functions in an accountable and widely accepted manner after the expiry of the NTIA-ICANN contract. Nevertheless, the two processes are interrelated and interdependent and should appropriately coordinate their work. Accountability for the administration of the IANA functions (i.e., implementation and operational accountability), however, is properly within the scope of this working group.

Section III:  Deliverables, Timeframes, and Reporting


The core deliverable of the CWG is a consolidated IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal related to the Naming Functions (the Proposal) which is focused primarily on stewardship transition of those IANA Functions related to naming but which may also include comment on IANA Functions related to numbering and protocols. This proposal must provide an analysis that shows that it is in practice workable.


In working towards this deliverable, the CWG will, as a first step, establish and adopt a work plan and associated schedule. The work plan and schedule should include times and methods for public consultation and Proposal revisions, and should establish an expected date for submission of a final Transition Proposal. This tentative schedule will be updated as needed. This tentative schedule needs to line up with the ICG schedule, and in those cases where there are incompatibilities, this should be negotiated with the ICG.


The work plan should include at the least the following action items:


  1. Agreement on a clear definition of the IANA functions, summarizing the parties responsible for each of these functions and the processes used to do so;
  2. Procedures and processes for involving to the maximum extent possible participation of stakeholders who are not yet involved in ICANN groups involved in the CWG;
  3. A decision as to whether the ccNSO and the GNSO should develop and submit transition proposals for their respective IANA functions to the CWG for consideration and, if so, a request and suggested timeline for those submissions;
  4. Identification of issues for which sub-groups should be formed, including any uniquely affected parties, and a methodology for sub-group reporting back to the CWG and CWG consideration of any sub-group documentation;
  5. A process and timeline for developing the core deliverable: the IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal related to the Naming Functions;
  6. A process and timeline for communicating any draft or final CWG Proposal to participating chartering organizations for their review and consideration;
  7. A process and timeline for resolving any input from the chartering organizations;
  8. A process and timeline for communicating the CWG Proposal to members of the ICG representing the domain name community (e.g. GNSO, ccNSO, gTLD Registries, SSAC and ALAC);
  9. A process and timeline for communicating with the ICG, including a process for:

a)   Agreeing any additions requested by the ICG to the scope of the Transition Proposal.  For example, the ICG may request the CWG or one of its chartering organizations to develop a transition proposal for a particular area of overlap (eg., special-use registry); and

b)   Resolving any problems detected by the ICG between other component proposals and this CWG Transition Proposal;

  1. A process and timeline for communicating with those involved in the Accountability Review Process to identify and address any potential interdependencies between the two processes.


The co-chairs of the CWG will brief the chartering organizations and in particular their representatives on the ICG on a regular basis.

Section IV:  Membership, Staffing and Organization

Membership Criteria:

Membership in the CWG and in sub-working groups, should these be created, is open to members appointed by the chartering organizations. To facilitate scheduling meetings and to minimize workloads for individual members, it is highly recommended that individual members participate in only one sub-working group, should sub-working groups be created. Each of the chartering organizations shall appoint a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5 members to the working group in accordance with their own rules and procedures. Best efforts should be made to ensure that individual members:

  • Have sufficient expertise to participate in the applicable subject matter;
  • Commit to actively participate in the activities of the CWG on an ongoing and long-term basis; and
  • Where appropriate, solicit and communicate the views and concerns of individuals in the organization that appoints them.


In appointing their members, the chartering organizations should note that the CWG’s decision-making methodologies require that CWG members act by consensus, and that polling will only be used in rare instances and with the recognition that such polls do not constitute votes.  


Chartering organizations are encouraged to use open and inclusive processes when selecting their members for this CWG. Best efforts should also be made to ensure that the CWG and any sub-working groups, if created, have representation from all five of ICANN’s five regions.


In addition, the CWG will be open to any interested person as a participant. Participants may be from a chartering organization, from a stakeholder group not represented in the CWG, or may be self-appointed. Participants will be able to actively participate in and attend all CWG meetings; however, any consensus calls or decisions that need to be made will be limited to CWG members appointed by the chartering organizations.


All participants (members and participants) will be listed on the CWG’s webpage.  All participants (members and participants) in this process are required to submit a Statement of Interest following the procedures of their chartering organization or, where that is not applicable for participants, the GNSO procedures should be followed.


Volunteer co-chairs, selected by the CWG, will preside over CWG deliberations and ensure that the process is bottom-up, consensus-based and has balanced multistakeholder participation. ICANN is expected to provide day-to-day project administration and secretariat support and, upon request of the CWG co-chairs, professional project facilitators or expert assistance.


Group Formation, Dependencies, & Dissolution:

Each of the chartering organizations shall appoint members to the CWG in accordance with their own rules and procedures.

Working relationship with IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG)


The co-chairs of the CWG will discuss and determine, along with the ICG representatives of the chartering organizations, the most appropriate method of sharing information and communicating progress and outcomes of the both the ICG and CWG.  In particular, the co-chairs will agree the method by which the final core deliverable of the CWG, the “IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal related to the Naming Functions”, will be provided from the CWG to the ICG.  Additionally, members of the CWG are expected to communicate regularly with their own chartering organizations and their ICG representatives.

Staffing & Resources

The ICANN Staff assigned to the CWG will fully support the work of the CWG as requested by the co-chairs, including meeting support, document drafting, editing and distribution and other substantive contributions when deemed appropriate by the CWG.  ICANN will provide access to relevant experts and professional facilitators as requested by the CWG Chairs.


Staff assignments to the Working Group:

ICANN will provide sufficient staff support to support the activities of the CWG


Additional resources required:

The chairs of this charter’s drafting team, Jonathan Robinson and Byron Holland, will write to ICANN seeking reasonable travel resources for CWG members to participate in face-to-face CWG meetings, but on the understanding that the CWG will make every effort to hold any face-to-face meetings concurrent, or in conjunction with regularly scheduled ICANN meetings.


The CWG is encouraged to identify any additional resources beyond the staff assigned to the group it may need at the earliest opportunity to ensure that such resources can be identified and planned for.

Section V:  Rules of Engagement

Decision-Making Methodologies:

In developing its Transition Proposal, work plan and any other reports, the CWG shall seek to act by consensus. Consensus calls should always make best efforts to involve all members (the CWG or sub-working group). The Chair(s) shall be responsible for designating each position as having one of the following designations:


  • Full Consensus - a position where no minority disagrees; identified by an absence of objection
  • Consensus – a position where a small minority disagrees, but most agree


In the absence of Full Consensus, the Chair(s) should allow for the submission of minority viewpoint(s) and these, along with the consensus view, shall be included in the report.


In a rare case, the chair(s) may decide that the use of a poll is reasonable to assess the level of support for a recommendation. However, care should be taken in using polls that they do not become votes, as there are often disagreements about the meanings of the poll questions or of the poll results.


Any member who disagrees with the consensus-level designation made by the Chair(s), or believes that his/her contributions are being systematically ignored or discounted should first discuss the circumstances with the relevant sub-group chair or the CWG co-chairs. In the event that the matter cannot be resolved satisfactorily, the group member should request an opportunity to discuss the situation with the Chairs of the chartering organizations or their designated representatives. If there is still no resolution, the matter could be referred to the ICG.


Chartering Organization support for any Draft Transition Proposal and the Final Transition Proposal


Any Draft or Final Transition Proposal will be reviewed by each of the chartering organizations in accordance with their own rules and procedures, which will determine whether or not to adopt the recommendations contained in it, explain their rationale, and develop alternative recommendations if appropriate. The Chairs of the chartering organizations shall notify the co-chairs of the CWG of the result of the deliberations as soon as feasible.


Draft Transition Proposal


In the event that one or more of the participating chartering organizations elects not to adopt one or more of the recommendation(s) contained in the Draft Transition Proposal, the co-chairs of the CWG shall be notified accordingly. This notification shall include at a minimum the reasons for the lack of support. The CWG participants may, at their discretion, decide to reconsider the recommendations, post the recommendations for public comments and/or incorporate appropriate changes into the Supplemental Draft Transition Proposal to the chartering organizations.


Following submission of the Supplemental Draft Proposal (if any), the chartering organizations shall discuss and decide in accordance with its own rules and procedures whether to adopt the recommendations contained in the Supplemental Draft Proposal. The Chairs of the chartering organizations shall notify co-chairs of the CWG of the result of the deliberations as soon as feasible


Final Transition Proposal


After receiving the notifications from all chartering organizations as described above, the co-chairs of the WG shall, within ten working days after receiving the last notification, submit the Final Transition Proposal to the Chairs of all the chartering organizations, which shall include at a minimum:


a)    The Final Proposal as adopted by the CWG, including references to any initial or draft CWG documents to inform the discussion of the ICG;

b)    The result of deliberations by the organizations;

c)     A clear record of how consensus has been reached for the proposal in the CWG.


In the event one or more of the chartering organizations do(es) not support (parts of) the Final Proposal, the Final Proposal should clearly indicate which parts are fully supported and which parts that are not, and which chartering organization dissents from the CWG view. 


In the event that no consensus is reached by the CWG, the Final Report will document the process that was followed and will be submitted to the chartering organizations to request possible suggestions for mitigating the issues that are preventing consensus. If consensus can still not be reached, the Final Report will document the processes followed, including requesting suggestions for mitigating the issues that are preventing consensus from the chartering organizations and will be submitted to ICG for their suggestions for mitigating the issues that are preventing consensus. If consensus can still not be reached, request for closing the CWG should be made to the chartering organizations.


Transition Proposal Submission


The Final Proposal will be submitted by the CWG to the ICG in accordance with the method agreed between the CWG co-chairs and the ICG representatives of the chartering organizations.


Modification of the Charter:

In the event this charter does not provide guidance and/or the impact of the charter is unreasonable for conducting the business of the CWG, the co-chairs shall decide if they think the charter needs to be modified.


In the event it is decided that the charter needs to be modified to address the omission or unreasonable impact, the co-chairs may propose to modify the charter. A modification shall only be effective after adoption of the adjusted charter by the chartering organizations in accordance with their own rules and procedures.

Problem/Issue Escalation & Resolution Processes:

All participants are expected to abide by the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior.


The co-chairs are empowered to restrict the participation of someone who seriously disrupts the working group. Generally, the participant should first be warned privately, and then warned publicly before such a restriction is put into place; in extreme circumstances, this requirement may be bypassed. This restriction is subject to the right of appeal as outlined above.

Closure & Working Group Self-Assessment:

The CWG will consult with the ICG representatives to determine when it can consider its work completed. The CWG and any sub-working groups shall be dissolved upon receipt of the notification of the Chairs of the chartering organizations or their designated representatives.

Section VI:  Charter Document History






















Staff Contact:








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