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Nkom's supervisory role for national domain name administration

Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom) monitors the registry for Norwegian country code top level domains, including .no, .sj and .bv. The supervisory role is authorised in the Domain Regulations, cf. Section 7-1 and 10-1, second paragraph of the Electronic Communications Act. The registry for the three country code top level domains is UNINETT Norid AS (Norid). Currently only .no is open for registration.

The principal framework (Domain Regulations and Electronic Communications Act) for the country code top level domains

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has established the principal framework for the administration of all Norwegian top level domains in the form of the Electronic Communications Act and Domain Regulations

The Domain Regulations stipulate certain fundamental requirements for the administration of our national top level domains in order for this important public resource to be administered in a manner that ensures public availability, cost efficiency and high technical quality. In addition, the administration must be non-discriminatory, ensure openness and predictability, safeguard the interests of internet users, safeguard national interests and take into consideration the international development of the internet.

In addition to the above-mentioned regulation, ordinary Norwegian law, implemented EU Directives and international standards which Norway has pledged to follow, can set frameworks for Norid's administration of .no.
With regard to the Electronic Communications Act and the Domain Regulations, Nkom will be the premise provider to the Ministry of Transport and Communications if Nkom is of the view that there are grounds for amendments to acts or regulations.

Allocation under the .no name policy

Norid has formulated and makes continual adjustments to the so-called name policy for .no. The name policy for.no is the practice laid down in writing which Norid follows for the administration and allocation of domains under .no. The name policy shall ensure that the use of .no takes place in accordance with the interests of the Norwegian internet community and in line with the frameworks established in the Domain Regulations and Electronic Communications Act. At the present time the internet community is, in reality, the entire Norwegian community.

Formulating details in the regulations, for example the number of domain names an individual domain subscriber can have, is left to the Norwegian internet community on condition that the final result does not breach the Domain Regulations or the Electronic Communications Act.

Nkom's supervisory role when administering Norwegian country code top level domains.

In its role as supervisor of Norid, Nkom has the following main tasks:

  1. Norid uses different methods for uncovering whether it is necessary to amend the regulations and requests for amendments can come from all interested parties.
    Nkom is involved in the advisory body Norpol, which has representatives from both the authorities and user interests and which provides recommendations to Norid for the administration of .no.
    Nkom also has supervisory responsibility with regard to the name policy and that potential changes to this do not conflict with laws and regulations. When Nkom itself uncovers the need for changes we will also provide recommendations concerning this.
    It is a requirement in the Domain Regulation that, prior to making decisions and significant changes to the .no name policy and procedures, the Domain Complaints Committee must obtain viewpoints from user representatives and the authorities. Nkom monitors that changes comply with the requirements in laws and regulations.
  2. Nkom verifies that Norid, as the administrator of the national top level domains, operates within the applicable framework, cf. Electronic Communications Act, Domain Regulations. Nkom is also responsible for verifying that the Domain Complaints Committee follows the same framework as the registry itself.
  3. The domain name is a resource for which use and national regulations must be viewed in connection with the international development of the Internet. Norid's administration of .no is therefore strongly associated with the on-going work at the American organisation, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and their activities with the worldwide administration of domain names. Nkom is responsible for monitoring the international developments at ICANN where we represent the Norwegian authorities in the so-called Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) which provides authoritative advice to ICANN for their administration policy. Norid is also involved with ICANN in the so-called Country Code Names Supporting Organisation (ccNSO). 
  4. Nkom's supervisory role also entails responsibility for following up regular meetings between the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Nkom, Norid and other players within the Norwegian domain name industry.

Nkom is responsible for following up and assessing individual appeal cases in which Nkom is the correct appeals body in relation to Norid and their administration of .no. Requests from the public with specific proposals for amendments to the regulations or requests for more detailed information about the background to the rules must be forwarded on or presented to Norid as the party responsible for the name policy.