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CCNSO logo.png
Industry: ccTLDs
Founded: 2003
Key People
Lesley Cowley, Chairwoman
Byron Holland, Vice-Chair
Giovanni Seppia, Rep to NomCom
Bart Boswinkel, Support and Adviser
Kristina Nordström, Secretariat
Gabriella Schittek, Contact and Coordination

ccNSO is the acronym for Country Code Names Supporting Organization, which is an advisory body within ICANN created by and for ccTLD managers. The ccNSO is a consortium of working groups and the ccNSO Council, and it works in conjunction with other supporting organizations and bodies within ICANN.

As of June, 2012, the ccNSO has 137 members, with Paraguay (.py) being the latest to join.[1]


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.[2] 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 Montreal in June, 2003.[3]

The ccNSO is the forum for global discussions and debates regarding issues related to ccTLDs.

In order to nurture consensus, the ccNSO also offers a platform for technical cooperation and development of practical skills for ccTLD managers. The best practices among ccTLD managers are shared within Working Group forums for improved development and cooperation. They also then share their recommendations with the ICANN Board.[4]

During the last few years of activity, the ccNSO has mainly focused and worked on the development of fast track ccTLD introduction in conjunction with IDNs, as well as the implementation of ccTLD changes according to ICANN's bylaws.[5]

ccNSO Membership

In order to become a ccNSO member an application must be filled out; however, there are no fees or costs incurred by becoming a ccNSO member. Joining the ccNSO is easy but is limited to to ccTLD Managers, as per the ICANN Bylaws Article IX).[6]

The following rules apply:

  1. Membership of the ccNSO is open for all ccTLD managers responsible for managing an ISO 3166 country-code top-level domain;[7]
  2. Any organization managing an IDN ccTLD is eligible for ccNSO membership;
  3. Multiple memberships are not given to entities that work with synchronized ccTLDS.[8]

ccNSO Responsibilities

Besides supplying and providing a platform for technical cooperation and a forum for ccTLD related problems and issues, the ccNSO has other responsibilities, such as:

  • Advising the ICANN Board on global policies related to ccTLD issues.
  • Policy development through the ccNSO Council.
  • Cooperate with ccTLD managers and stakeholders of ICANN;
  • Organize effective working groups.

ccNSO Council

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 councillors lead many ccNSO discussions and aim to develop official community positions for their board recommendations. Between the 3 ICANN conferences the council makes a point of meeting via conference calls.

There are 3 councillors per global region, and also 3 councillors 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 councillors representing 5 regions. The additional 3 chosen by the NomCom are chosen to represent a business perspective from outside the ccTLD community. All councillors are able to be re-appointed following the conclusion of their term.[9]


Current councillors include:[10]


Asia Pacific


Latin America

North America

Nominating Committee Appointees

The ccNSO also contributes one member to ICANN's NomCom, this position is currently held by Giovanni Seppia.[11]