7 April 1994 - it was the very date when Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has introduced entry about ccTLD .RU into its ccTLD global database.
Tumultuous events preceded this entry: in 1992, with issuing of biliteral code for Russia and its admission in ISO 3166-1 list (in compliance with which IANA assigns ccTLD domains) three Russian organizations independently submitted to IANA applications for the right to manage Russian ccTLD. The TLD delegation policy (see RFC 1591) provides for IANA’s non-interference into disputes of this sort. Russian Internet community faced a difficult challenge.
On 4 December 1993 the largest national Internet-service-providers - Demos Plus, Techno, GlasNet, SovAm Teleport, EUnet/Relcom, X-Atom, FREEnet, convened a meeting and worked out a compromise. Specifically, they signed an Agreement “On Terms and Conditions for Management of zone .RU”. Management and technical support of the Russian ccTLD .RU was commissioned to a nonpartisan organization, Russian Institute for Public Networks (RIPN). Meanwhile, feeling the need to develop a policy for registration of domain names in ccTLD .RU, representatives of firms who had signed the Agreement founded Coordination group for ccTLD .RU (group of experts which subsequently included 28 representatives of telecommunication companies and academic networks, see. http://www.cgroup.ru).
It is common knowledge that Internet is a rapidly expanding and evolving environment. While back in 1994 the majority of Internet-users were representatives of scientific and academic community; in 1998 it evolved into the Mecca for business community. Structural changes came on the back of the rapid Internet commercialization. These changes occurred in gTLDs such as .com, .net, .org and in many ccTLDs:
- Liberalization of registration terms and conditions, facilitation of registration procedure (which resulted in a surge in the number of registered domain names, in a reduction in domain costs, because registration was done automatically or with a minimum manual labor);
- Development of competitive environment in the field of domain names registration (introduction of the institution of registrars, which allows clients to select the level of service meeting their requirements, whereupon prices are set by market);
- Engagement in the development of policy for domain names registration of representatives of different internet-community groups (efficient interaction between these groups plays a positive role in the process of self-regulation and rapid development of the Internet)
Elaboration of new organizational scheme which meets the contemporary level of Internet’s development required a thorough and in-depth analysis, balance of interests, and engagement of maximum broad number of individuals whose activities were connected with domain names in the process in order to create a stable ground for development of the national domain. This is why the coordination process took about two years in Russia.
In 1999, Coordination Group for ccTLD .RU took a decision to modify the scheme of domain names registration at .RU and set up an institution of independent accredited registrars: while remaining Technical center for ccTLD .RU, RIPN transferred functions of second-level domain name registrations to independent companies professionally engaged in registration proccess of domain names at .RU and, though competitors, they enjoyed equal rights for access to main register of ccTLD .RU. Pioneer registrar in January 2001 became RIPN’s subsidiary company RU-CENTER, shortly followed by “Garant-Park-Telecom”.
Since 1 June 2001 registration of domain names at ccTLD .RU is exercised by registrars accredited by Coordination Center for TLD RU. They are responsible for protection of domain names administrators’ interests, enhancement of quality of services and introduction of new ones.
Creation of Coordination Center for TLD RU in 2001 became a milestone in the development of ccTLD .RU. Three Russian public organizations, Regional Nongovernmental Center of Internet Technologies, Union of Internet Operators, and Association of Documental Telecommunications, which represent interests of Internet users, operators of communication services, government agencies and entrepreneurs, founded CC for TLD RU, thus mandating trust to the new organization and ensuring collegial principle of decision making proccess. Yet another founder became RIPN Network Information Center. In order to preserve consistency, Coordination group for ccTLD .RU became a background of Committee №1 - advisory body at CC for TLD RU's structure.
In 2002 Coordination Group for ccTLD .RU took decision on self-liquidating and transfer of its functions to Coordination Center for TLD RU, which was to develop new terms and conditions and organize all works at ccTLD .RU on professional basis. CC for TLD RU was mandated to develop terms and conditions for registration of domain names .RU, accreditation of registrars and development of prospective projects connected with evolution of the Russian ccTLD. In order to ensure a stable functioning of ccTLD .RU, RIPN was commissioned to exercise functions of Technical center of ccTLD .RU, to maintain the database of registered domain names and provide technical support of ccTLD .RU and DNS system in Russia.
On 4 January 2006 data on new manager of ccTLD .RU - Coordination Center for TLD RU, were entered in the core database of IANA. On 25 March 2007, in its capacity of Russian national registry CC for TLD RU formalized relations with ICANN by means of exchange of official letters.
On 18 February 2009 Coordination Center for TLD RU signed an Agreement on interaction with RF Ministry of Telecom and Mass Media. Subject of the Agreement became coordination of fundamentals underpinning development of the domain names registration system at ccTLD .RU and its technological infrastructure on the basis of consideration of mutual interests and coordination and interaction between all stakeholders within Russian Internet community and RF government agencies.
Since 2009 maintenance of the main register and domain names registration system at Russian TLDs transferred from RIPN to Internet Technical Center (ITC), which was co-founded by CC for TLD RU. Foundation of ITC as a new highly professional technical center that specialized on DNS infrastructure of Russian segment of the Internet support and interaction with accredited registrars, was caused by extreme growth rate of .RU and start up of the second Russian national domain - Cyrillic ccTLD IDN .РФ. ITC and its supporting system of DNS nodes are key element of internet critical infrastructure in Russia. ITC provides equal access to the main register and addressing system for all accredited registrars.
In 2010 Coordination Center fot TLD RU became an adminstrator of new Cyrillic ccTLD IDN .РФ. IANA entered data about .РФ to the root name servers on 12 May 2010. Domain .РФ became the fourth delegated IDN ccTLD in the world. This event was preceded by huge prior job of CC for TLD RU in order to come to agreement with all Russian stakeholders about selection of name for the IDN ccTLD and its administrator. An Agreement on interaction between RF Ministry of Telecom and Mass Media and CC for TLD RU concerning operation of ccTLD IDN .РФ was signed on 7 April 2010.