Comment on Retiring Country Code Top-Level Domains
I am writing in my personal capacity only and please accept my comments as my personal opinion and not that of any of the organisations that I work for.
My involvement with cctld's has spanned over ten years and has been from an end user perspective as well as researcher, reseller, advisor, educator and member of the governing boards of two tld's. I have some formal training on the DNS as well as thousands of interactions and transactions with dozens of registries, registrars and registrants. I am also a founding member of the CCNSO IANA working group. Through my involvement in these areas I am well aware of the issues presented in the discussion paper.
I understand that registrants may lose their domain names in this process and I am of the opinion that as long as they are allowed to comment, registrants are prepared for any outcome (else they will have to become prepared very quickly). We cannot foresee all possible risks, but we need to obtain more experience in this before we can best understand.
With respect to your guiding questions:
1. Should IANA adhere to the ISO-3166 standard and remove top- level domains from the DNS root that become transitionally reserved (i.e. retired)?
2. If so, by what process should this be conducted?
ICANN Board ratification. The ICANN board should call for public comment for each of retiring cctld - on a case by case basis - before making the final decision.
3. What implementation timeframes for removal should be specified?
Once the ICANN board have ratified the decision, it should go into the IANA ticketing queue as low or medium priority. When the IANA reach that ticket, the 'removal' action should be effected.
4. If removal is test-based, what specific milestones should signify removal from the root zone?
5. What pre-emptive right, if any, should existing operators have toward a new code that covers an area previously serviced (in whole, or in part) by another code?
6. In the event there is more than one code for a particular country available for its use (e.g. GB and UK), what policy should govern their status?
This should be handled on a case by case basis. No set policy should be adopted until more examples have been dealt with. i.e. it should be handled the same as any retiring cctld, where the ICANN board calls for public comment and subsequently makes their final decision.