ICANN: New Registrar Agreement Covers Most Registrations

ICANN logoOver 88 percent of domain names covered by new protections

Less than six months after new registrant protections were approved by the ICANN Board, over 88 percent of all generic domain names are now covered.

The protections include improved ways of storing data that require registration companies to submit to more stringent rules. These are included in a revised contract between ICANN and registrars, called the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA).

Since the revised RAA was approved on 21 May 2009, 650 registrars have voluntarily agreed to be bound by the new agreement; collectively they represent 88 percent of all generic top-level domains registered. In return, those that have signed the new agreement are recognized by ICANN on its listing of accredited companies.

Under their existing contract, registrars are not required to sign up to the new RAA until their existing agreement ends, but they can voluntarily sign up early. The high level of coverage achieved to date is due primarily to these voluntary early adopters.

ICANN CEO and President Rod Beckstrom said of the high sign-up rate: “The fact that the vast majority of generic domain names are now covered by these protections is a clear sign of the industry’s goodwill and its commitment to effective self-regulation – especially since some of these protections come at a cost to the companies themselves. It is an extraordinary achievement in a very short time.”

Some of the additional protections afforded registrants under the new contract include:

  • Enhanced enforcement tools to assure registrar compliance with ICANN policies
  • Enhanced data escrow requirements to protect registrants that use privacy or proxy services
  • A Registrant Rights & Responsibilities document
  • New requirements placed on resellers
  • Improved contact information requirements
  • Registrar required training program

“Registrars and the ICANN community successfully collaborated to make sure consumers are well protected while respecting the competitive marketplace ICANN has made part of its mandate,” said Mason Cole, Vice President of Oversee.net and chair of the Registrar Stakeholder Group. “It’s encouraging to see how quickly and assertively registrars have adopted the terms of the new agreement.”

As an aid to potential registrants, ICANN has added an indicator on each of our public lists of registrars to show which registrars have adopted the 2009 RAA. See:

To read this ICANN announcement in full, see:
icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-24nov09-en.htm