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SRS Implementation Terms of Reference 19/09/01

Shared Registry System
Technical Implementation
Terms of Reference

Written by: Doug Mercer
On: 19 September 2001
Version: 1.0








Next Steps

Distribution List



The Internet Society of New Zealand Incorporated (InternetNZ) is committed to the implementation of a shared registry system (SRS) for the management of the .nz ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain). ccTLD register is currently managed by a fully owned subsidiary company, The New Zealand Internet Registry Ltd (trading as Domainz), which operates the registry and is the sole registrar. Accredited and unaccredited resellers and individuals currently access the .nz registry via Domainz, either using an e-mail template or completing standard forms via the Domainz web site.

The achievement of a shared registry system for the .nz domain requires the implementation of new shared registry software that enables authorised registrars to interface with the register through a secure means and exercise more autonomy in their business relationships with registrants.

This document defines the terms of reference of the project to specify, procure, and implement a technical SRS solution. It does not cover the non-technical aspects of the SRS Implementation Project.


Recent years have seen considerable turmoil within the global Internet community with respect to the administration of Domain Names and Assigned Numbers. Control of these functions has passed from IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), a US Government sponsored non-profit organisation to ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a non-profit corporation formed specifically to take responsibility for the IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions. Within New Zealand, responsibility for the .nz domain name space rests with InternetNZ.

International changes to Internet governance have required New Zealand to respond. A National Summit was held in April 1999 to develop New Zealand's position on governance and intellectual property issues, presented to subsequent ICANN meetings. In December 1999, at InternetNZâ??s AGM, a motion was carried that the InternetNZ Council to set up an open working group to investigate a full proposal on possible shared registration systems and other registry models after consultation with Domainz.

The SRS Working Group, chaired by John Hine of Victoria University of Wellington, was established on 31 March 2000 with the following terms of reference:

  1. Ascertain the requirements and views of the New Zealand Internet community with respect to the appropriate framework for a shared registration system including the rights, responsibilities and relationships among the Registry, Registrars and Registrants.
  2. Determine any constraints placed on a shared registry system by any RFC or other national or international convention applicable to the .nz name space.
  3. Recommend to the ISOCNZ membership new and/or revised policy on a shared registration system including:
    1. Rights, responsibilities, obligations and duties of Registrants, Registrars and the Registry.
    2. Any limitations that should be placed on the business or technical relationships between Registrant/Registry, Registrant/Registrar and Registrar/Registry.
    3. Any quality of service performance requirements that should be placed on the Registrars, Registry and/or Registrants.

The Final Report of the SRS Working Group, Review of Registry Structure of the .nz ccTLD (The Hine Report), was published on 20 October 2000. Its recommendations were accepted in principle by the InternetNZ Council on 26 October 2000.

A Shared Registry Implementation Oversight Committee (IOC) was established on 10 October 2000. The IOC meets monthly and reports to the InternetNZ Council. It is tasked with oversight of the SRS implementation and does not have a role in day to day decision-making.

The first stage in the implementation of the recommendations arising from The Hine Report was the preparation of a Green Paper. It was commissioned by Peter Dengate-Thrush, chair of InternetNZ, from Sue Leader, InternetNZ Executive Director, on 2 December 2000. The Green Paper set out to define the context in which the issue of a competitive SRS arises and list the various implementation options which exist, and the issues which consequentially arise. It did not attempt to select a preferred course. The Draft Green Paper was provided to the IOC on 29 January 2001 and made available for public consultation on 2 February 2001. It was intended to follow the Green Paper with a White Paper.

Concurrent with the activity initiated by InternetNZ, Domainz issued a closed Request for Proposal (RFP) for the supply of a registry solution for the .nz ccTLD on 26 March 2001, with a closing date of 17 April 2001. Domainz were driven primarily by the need to replace their current Domain Registration System (DRS) which at that stage was considered unreliable and a potential threat to their ability to securely manage the .nz ccTLD. Four responses were received to the RFP and these are awaiting formal evaluation.

In May 2001, Rose Percival was appointed as SRS Implementation Manager to assist with the planning, design, and rollout of the new shared registry recommendations. On 22 May 2001, she recommended that rather than release a single paper, a series of consultative documents would be released, with each document covering an aspect of the SRS Model. This approach was accepted by the IOC. Since her appointment, Rose has published the following documents for consultation.

  • The SRS - Draft Operational/Business Rules v1.3 - 14 August 2001
  • The SRS - The Business Model for Running the Register v1.0 - 14 August 2001
  • The SRS Model for the .nz ccTLD Registry 26 June 2001
  • The SRS - High Level Requirements 18 June 2001
  • The relationship of the ccTLD manager to InternetNZ
  • The Registrar Authorisation Contract and the Registry Connection Agreement [pending]
  • The Registrar-Registrant Contract [pending]

A Technical Project Manager, Doug Mercer, was appointed and commenced work on 3 September 2001 to manage the implementation of the SRS technical solution.


The key objective of the SRS Implementation Project is to implement a shared registry system to replace the existing DRS managed by Domainz, one which supports the model described in The Hine Report and later documents. Key second-level objectives are:

  • to define and agree the business requirements of the SRS
  • to define and agree any technical requirements of the SRS;
  • to propose an implementation approach (eg. buy or build);
  • to procure or develop SRS software;
  • to implement the SRS;
  • to migrate all information from the existing DRS to the SRS.


In Scop

The following items fall within the scope of the SRS Technical Implementation Project.

  1. Implementation of a shared domain name register and associated maintenance functionality.
  2. Implementation of a billing system enabling the registry to invoice registrars for the domain names they have registered.
  3. Implementation of software to enable Domainz to function as a registrar during the transition to a fully competitive SRS environment. This includes screen-based access to the SRS and a billing system.
  4. DNS "pushâ" software to interface seamlessly with the existing DNS.
  5. Multi-layer security software controlling access to the system and its components.
  6. Sample program code and a test environment to assist registrars with the development of their interfaces to the SRS.
  7. Migration of existing data into the new system.
  8. A full operating environment for the SRS, including all necessary hardware, software, backup/recovery procedures, etc.
  9. A signed contract, or formal arrangement, with a party chosen to manage the operation and support of the SRS for an initial period, including Service Level Agreements.
  10. A development and test environment for on-going development and support.

Out of Scope

The following items fall outside the scope of the SRS Technical Implementation project.

  1. Development of SRS interfaces in registrar systems.
  2. Development of SRS policy.
  3. Contractual arrangements between SRS stakeholders.
  4. Any organisational restructuring necessitated by the SRS.


The following constraints govern the implementation of the SRS.

  1. The project will be strongly committed to the use of globally accepted technical standards and protocols, providing they do not compromise the SRS requirements. A strong preference will be shown for standards that are XML-based. Should no purpose-built registry standards or protocols (eg. RRP, EPP) prove viable, commercial standards for transacting business on the web will be adopted (eg. ebXML, SOAP).
  2. All software developed specifically for the SRS will be written in accordance with the â??Open Sourceâ?? model, as defined by the Open Source Initiative (OSI), and as such will be made freely available. Notwithstanding this, the resilience, stability and security of the SRS environment are paramount and will not be developed using Open Source software if this functionality would be compromised.
  3. Wherever appropriate, existing Domainz resources will be utilised, including hardware, software, and people.


Following is a list of the stakeholders of the SRS Implementation Project and their roles and responsibilities.


Role and Responsibility

InternetNZ Council

  • Establish and monitor the IOC
  • Approval of budget presented by the IOC

SRS Implementation Oversight Committee (IOC)

(Robert Gray - Chair

Drew Whittle

Jordan Carter)

  • Establish and monitor the SRS Implementation Project
  • Report monthly to the InternetNZ Council
  • Manage the SRS Implementation Project Budget
  • Approve SRS Implementation Project expenditure
  • Appoint and manage the SRS Implementation Project Manager
  • Sign-off authority on SRS Implementation Project documentation

SRS Implementation Manager

(Rose Percival)

  • Day to day management of the SRS Implementation Project
  • Report monthly to the IOC
  • Develop the SRS Implementation Project Budget
  • Develop and manage the SRS Implementation Project plan
  • Develop consultation processes
  • Develop and gain agreement on SRS policy, contracts, requirements, etc
  • Appoint and manage the SRS Technical Project Manager
  • Liaise with business stakeholders

SRS Technical Project Manager

(Doug Mercer)

  • Report weekly to the SRS Implementation Manager and Domainz
  • Develop and manage SRS Technical Project plan (as part of the overall Implementation Project plan)
  • Define system procurement/development methodology
  • Establish and manage technical project team
  • Liaise with business stakeholders when necessary

Domain name Resellers and Service Providers

  • Project documentation supplied through the InternetNZ web site
  • Source of information on the current system, business rules and processes
  • Invited to seminars and presentations for key phases of the project


  • Consulted on transition and implementation issues
  • Source of information on the current system, business rules and processes


A core group with representatives of future registrars will be established for detailed consultation on business and technical issues.


An entity will be identified to speak on behalf of the new registry for detailed consultation on business and technical issues.


Next Steps

The next stage of the project will include the following concurrent activity:

  • preparation of a high-level project plan;
  • implementation of project management processes including: risk and issue management; change request process; project reporting;
  • definition and agreement of the business and functional requirements of the SRS;
  • formal evaluation of RFP responses.

Distribution List

Copies of this document, and other important project documentation, will be distributed to the following;

  • IOC Committee Members;
  • SRS Implementation Manager;
  • SRS Technical Project Manager;
  • Executive Director, InternetNZ;
  • Chief Executive, Domainz;
  • published on the InternetNZ web site.


These terms of reference were agreed by the SRS Implementation Oversight Committee on 21 September 2001.

©2001 The Internet Society of New Zealand
Last updated 1 October 2001

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