The Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) is a body within ICANN created by and for ccTLD managers. It provides a forum for topical issues relating to ccTLDs from a global perspective.
The ccNSO provides a platform for nurturing consensus, technical cooperation, skill-building, and facilitating the development and implementation of best practices for ccTLDs and their managers.
The ccNSO provides ccTLD managers a way to work together with other stakeholders and communities, such as the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) and the Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO).
Membership in the ccNSO is open to all managers of an ISO 3166 country-code top-level domain. The managers must apply, but there are no fees or costs incurred by becoming a ccNSO member. A ccTLD registry operator's participation in the ccNSO is entirely voluntary. Likewise, they do not have to adopt nor are they bound by ICANN consensus policies; ccTLDs can operate without interference from ICANN.
The ccNSO is overseen by its council, which is in charge of coordinating the functions of the larger group and managing its policy recommendations. The councilors lead many ccNSO discussions and aim to develop official community positions for their board recommendations. Between the three ICANN conferences, the council hosts meetings via conference calls.
There are three councilors per global region, and three councilors are chosen by ICANN's NomCom. A term on the Council lasts three years, and the election cycle is staggered so that each year there are a total of 18 councilors representing five regions. The three chosen by the NomCom represent a business perspective from outside the ccTLD community. All councilors are able to be re-appointed following the conclusion of their term.
Current councilors include:
- Ali Hadji Mmadi (Term ends March 2024)
- Biyi Oladipo (Term ends March 2025) (Vice Chair)
- Souleymane Oumtanaga (Term ends March 2023)
- Jiankang Yao (Term ends March 2024)
- Jordan Carter (Term ends Mar 2025) (Vice Chair)
- Ai-Chin Lu (Term ends March 2023)
- Irina Danelia (Term ends March 2024)
- Nick Wenban-Smith (Term ends March 2025)
- Giovanni Seppia (Term ends March 2023)
- Jenifer Lopez (Term ends March 2024)
- Demi Getschko (Term ends March 2025)
- Alejandra Reynoso (Term ends March 2023) (Chair)
- Sean Copeland (Term ends March 2024)
- Pablo Rodriguez (Term ends March 2025)
- Stephen Deerhake (Term ends March 2023)
Nominating Committee Appointees
- Tatiana Tropina (Term ends at AGM 2024)
- Olga Cavalli (Term ends AGM 2025)
- Javier Rua-Jovet (Term ends at Annual Meeting 2023)
ccNSO Policy Development Process
The ccNSO develops and recommends global policies to the ICANN Board for issues relating to ccTLDs. These processes are managed by the ccNSO Council and typically organized through Working Groups. One of the key issues on which the ccNSO has made policy recommendations was on the introduction of Internationalised Domain Name (IDN) ccTLDs. The process is as follows:
- The ccNSO Council, ICANN Board, a Regional ccTLD organization, an SO/AC, or 10 members of the ccNSO requests an Issue Report.
- The ccNSO Council appoints an issue manager, who determines whether the issue is within the scope of ccNSO, which is defined and limited in the ICANN Bylaws.
- If the issue falls within ccNSO's scope and the Council approves the Issue Report, a formal PDP begins, with the ccNSO Council giving public notice and opening a Public Comment period.
- The ccNSO Council appoints a Working Group to develop the policy and submit an Initial Report for the Public Comment Period.
- The WG reviews the comments and produces a Final Report, which it sends to the GAC for input.
- The ccNSO engages in a two-stage vote. First, the ccNSO Council deliberates over the Final Report. If the council approves, then it makes recommendations to ccNSO members. Second, the members vote and if they approve, the ccNSO submits the Final Report to the ICANN Board.
- The ICANN Board votes on the Final Report recommendations.
One of the biggest complaints with the structuring of ICANN's DNSO came from ccTLD registry operators, who felt that the supporting organization was mainly concerned with gTLDs and that they needed their own separate organization. On October 29, 2002, the country code managers emphasized their dissatisfaction by withdrawing completely from the DNSO. This action prompted and expedited the replacement of the DNSO with the GNSO, which was created in December 2002. Work began on creating the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) in September 2002, culminating in the creation of the ccNSO at ICANN 17 in June 2003.
On August 29, 2019, Meridian Institute (MI) released the final report of its review of the ccNSO. The review asked whether 1) the ccNSO has a continuing purpose in ICANN; 2) structural or operational changes would improve the ICANN body's effectiveness; and 3) ccNSO is accountable to all stakeholders. To answer these questions, MI conducted 45 targeted stakeholder semi-structured interviews, administered an online survey resulting in 78 complete responses from 111 individuals, observed ICANN 63 and ICANN 64, and gathered feedback from the Review Work Party (RWP), at ICANN 64 and ICANN 65, and the Public Comment proceedings.
|Issue||Recommendation 1||Recommendation 2||Recommendation 3|
|Continuing purpose||Generate materials that articulate the value of theccNSO to potential, new, and current members|
|More participation, diversity, and leadership needed in WG/Committees||Amend Annex B of the Guidelines to say that the Call for nominations, Selection Process, and Selection Criteria shall employ a 1/3 quota system for individuals with < 3 years||Make a roster of volunteers and their contact information||Standardize the process for nominating/appointing WG Chairs|
|IANA Naming Function Review Team||Bylaws should allow the 3 ccNSO seats to be geographically diverse and membership-neutral|
|CcNSO Council||Limit the number of consecutive terms a Councilor can serve, with an option for a waiver if needed (the 2010 ccNSO Review included this recommendation, but it was not adopted then due to lack of feasibility across all regions)|
|CcNSO Meetings Programme Committee||Small regional group discussions are needed, followed by small group topical discussions to encourage more participation||ICANN should provide real-time scribing of ccNSO meetings|
|Onboarding||Translate ccNSO course on the ICANN Learn portal into most common languages||Streamline the mentorship program||include newcomer resources on the website|
|Accountability||Immediately update the website, which is the most outdate of all SO/ACs||CcNSO Council should adhere to council practice guidelines||Future Independent Examiners should have access to archived mailing lists and be able to join as an observer to the mailing lists|
Review Work Party Response
|Communications Materials||N||The pool of next-generation ccTLD managers is very limited; it is not worth the effort||Will make an "outreach and engagement framework"|
|1/3 quota||N||Too limiting and members rely on their employers to be able to participate|
|Volunteer roster||N||Tried it before; didn't work|
|Standardize process for nominating/appointing WG chairs||N||Only an issue of perception; members know about the process|
|IANA Team||N||Already implemented|
|Limit consecutive council terms||N||Too hard to find other councilor candidates|
|More participation at ccNSO Meetings Programme Committee||N||Already offer virtual meetings|
|Real-Time scribing||Y||Will continue to ask for the service||It is up to ICANN|
|Improve onboarding||Y||Will continue to ask for the service||It is up to ICANN|
|Better mentorship program||Y||Will begin thinking about a framework|
|Newcomer resources||Y||Depends on improvement to website||Difficult and not urgent|
|Update website||Y||Will send a letter to ICANN Board; top priority||It is up to ICANN|
|Adhere to guidelines||N||Council already does; the agenda and decision list are published in time|
|IE access to mailing list||Y||Depends on information shared||Only for verification purposes|
For more information on the ccNSO, visit the official website at ccNSO.ICANN.org.
- CcNSO General Information
- ccNSO Membership
- Who are the true multi-stakeholders in ICANN CircleID 17 Sep 2013
- ICANN's NomCom
- Bylaws Annex B
- Elections, ccWHois.org
- CcNSO Review Executive Summary (p. 6)
- Ccnso Review Report Recommendations (p.p. 59-62)
- CCNSO Feasibility Assessment and Implementation Plan