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WHOIS ARS Phase 2 Reporting

This page provides the results from the Phase 2 Accuracy reports.  Phase 2 examines both syntax and operability accuracy of WHOIS contact information over several dimensions, focusing on rates of conformance by contact mode (Email, Telephone or Post) to the requirements of RAAs (2009 RAA or 2013 RAA).  

Cycle 1 Summary - December 2015

  • For syntax accuracy, there was a drop in telephone number accuracy from Phase 1. The drop in telephone number accuracy seemed to be due to an increase in missing country codes among the telephone numbers sampled for Cycle 1.
  • 87 percent of email addresses, 74 percent of telephone numbers and 98 percent of postal addresses met all operability requirements of the 2009 RAA.
  • 65 percent of domains passed all operability tests for all contact types (registrant, administrative, technical) and contact modes (email address, telephone number, postal address).

Cycle 2 Summary - June 2016

  • 99 percent of records had at least one contact mode (email, phone, or postal address) that can be used to establish contact.
  • 98 percent of postal addresses, 76 percent of telephone numbers and 91 percent of email addresses met all operability requirements of the 2009 RAA.
  • 70 percent of domains passed all operability tests for all contact types (registrant, administrative and technical) and contact modes (email, telephone and postal address)

Cycle 3 Summary - December 2016

  • 97 percent of records had at least one email or telephone number meet all operability requirements of the 2009 RAA, which implies that nearly all records contain information that can be used to establish immediate contact. 
  • 97 percent of postal addresses, 72 percent of telephone numbers and 90 percent of email addresses met all operability requirements of the 2009 RAA.
  • 65 percent of domains passed all operability tests, which is about five percent less than Cycle 2. Besides natural sample variation, one possible reason could be market changes and the growth of domains in certain regions.

Cycle 4 Summary - June 2017

  • 98 percent of records had at least one email or telephone number meet all operability requirements of the 2009 RAA, which implies that nearly all records contain information that can be used to establish immediate contact. 
  • 97 percent of postal addresses, 69 percent of telephone numbers and 94 percent of email addresses met all operability requirements of the 2009 RAA.
  • 65 percent of domains passed all operability tests, which is on par with Cycle 3. Across all 4 cycles of Phase 2, full operability has remained steady between 65 and 70 percent.

More Information on Cycle 1 (Dec 2015) Findings

Syntax Accuracy

Our analysis finds that approximately 99 percent of email addresses, 83 percent of telephone numbers, and 79 percent of postal addresses met all of the baseline syntax requirements of the 2009 RAA, as shown in the table above. For syntax accuracy, there was a drop in telephone number accuracy from Phase 1. This change cannot be attributed to effects of Phase 1, however, since Phases 1 and 2 overlapped (i.e., Phase 2 Cycle 1 data was pulled before the conclusion of Phase 1). For over 75 percent of domains, the contact information in the registrant, administrative, and technical contacts is identical for all three contact modes, revealing why accuracy rates among the three contact types are all similar. 

 

Table 1. Syntax Accuracy

 

E-mail

Telephone

Postal Address

ALL 3 Accurate

All 3 Contacts Accurate

99.1% ± 0.2%

83.3% ± 0.7%

79.4% ± 0.8%

67.2% ± 0.9%

 

Other findings include:

  • The syntax reasons for error had very similar distributions to those in Phase 1.
  • The drop in telephone number accuracy seems to be due to an increase in missing country codes among the telephone numbers sampled for Phase 2.
  • For postal addresses, the vast majority of errors in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 were due to missing fields that were required such as city, state/province, postal code, or street.

 

Operability Accuracy

In terms of operability accuracy, our analysis finds that approximately 87 percent of email addresses, 74 percent of telephone numbers, and 98 percent of postal addresses met all of the baseline operability requirements of the 2009 RAA, as shown in the table above. Sixty-five percent of domains passed all operability tests for all contact types (registrant, administrative, technical) and contact modes (email address, telephone number, postal address). Unlike for syntax accuracy, the contact mode with the highest rate of passing all operability tests was postal address. The mode with the lowest rate of passing all operability tests was telephone numbers.

 

Table 2. Operability Accuracy

 

E-mail

Telephone

Postal Address

ALL 3 Accurate

All 3 Contacts Accurate

87.1% ± 0.7%

74.0% ± 0.9%

98.0% ± 0.3%

64.7% ± 0.9%

 

Other findings include:

  • Of those email addresses that failed operability, the majority (10 percent) bounced while very few were simply missing.
  • Of the telephone numbers that were present, but failed operability, there were roughly equal numbers that were disconnected, invalid, or that simply did not connect.
  • For the small numbers of postal addresses that failed operability testing, almost half did not have an identifiable or easily deduced country.

 

For the full report, see here. For additional result summaries, see here

More Information on Cycle 2 (Jun 2016) Findings

Overall Accuracy

In Cycle 2, our analysis found that 99 percent of records had at least one contact mode of the three contact types that met all syntax and operability requirements of the 2009 RAA, which implies that nearly all records contain information that can be used to establish contact.  In only 1 percent of records were there no contact modes for any contact type that met syntax or operability requirements. 

Syntax Accuracy

The syntax accuracy analysis finds that approximately 99 percent of email addresses, 85 percent of telephone numbers and 77 percent of postal addresses met all of the baseline syntax requirements of the 2009 RAA for all three contacts. Compared with Cycle 1, our analysis finds that 85 percent of telephone numbers met all syntax requirements of the 2009 RAA, increasing slightly from 83 percent in Cycle 1 and aligning more closely with Phase 1 findings (86 percent). Full syntax accuracy of an entire WHOIS record (all three contact types for all three contact modes) to the requirements of the 2009 RAA was approximately 67 percent for the gTLD population as a whole.

 

Table 1. Syntax Accuracy

 

E-mail

Telephone

Postal Address

ALL 3 Accurate

All 3 Contacts Accurate

99.2% ± 0.2%

85.3% ± 0.6%

77.3% ± 0.7%

67.2% ± 0.8%

 

Other findings for syntax include:

  • Regional variations of syntax accuracy were greatest for postal address, which ranges from 44.6 percent accurate (Africa) to 96.7 percent accurate (North America).
  • The most common reason for telephone syntax error in most regions was incorrect length, but in North America the most common reason for error was a missing country code.
  • For postal addresses, the vast majority of errors in each study have consistently been due to missing fields that were required, such as city, state/province, postal code or street.

 

Operability Accuracy

In terms of operability accuracy, 98 percent of postal addresses, 76 percent of telephone numbers and 91 percent of email addresses met all operability requirements of the 2009 RAA. 70 percent of domains passed all operability tests for all contact types (registrant, administrative and technical) and contact modes (email, telephone and postal address), which is about a 6% increase from Cycle 1.

Table 2. Operability Accuracy

 

E-mail

Telephone

Postal Address

ALL 3 Accurate

All 3 Contacts Accurate

91.4% ± 0.5%

76.0% ± 0.8%

97.7% ± 0.3%

70.2% ± 0.8%

 

Other findings for operability include: 

  • Regional variations of operability accuracy are greatest for telephone, which ranges from 63.7 percent accurate (Asia-Pacific) to 85.3 percent accurate (North America).
  • The contact mode with the highest rate of passing all operability tests was postal address.  The mode with the lowest rate of passing all operability tests was telephone numbers.
    • For the small numbers of postal addresses that failed operability testing, almost 40 percent of those did not have an identifiable or easily deduced country.
  • For operability errors for email addresses, about 8.5 percent of the email addresses bounced, compared to less than 1 percent being missing.

 

For the full report, see here

More Information on Cycle 3 (Dec 2016) Findings

Overall Accuracy

In Cycle 3, our analysis found that 97 percent of records had at least one email or telephone number meet all operability requirements of the 2009 RAA, which implies that nearly all records contain information that can be used to establish immediate contact. Only three percent of records had contact information that met neither email nor telephone operability requirementss. 

Syntax Accuracy

The syntax accuracy analysis finds that approximately 99 percent of email addresses, 89 percent of telephone numbers and 75 percent of postal addresses met all of the baseline syntax requirements of the 2009 RAA for all three contacts. Full syntax accuracy of an entire WHOIS record to the requirements of the 2009 RAA was approximately 67 percent for the gTLD population as a whole. Compared to Cycle 2, this was approximately a 1 percent decrease. Table 1 provides the accuracy breakdown by contact mode as well as the changes from Cycle 2, presented as 95 percent confidence intervals.  

 

Table 1. Syntax Accuracy

 

E-mail

Telephone

Postal Address

ALL 3 Accurate

All 3 Contacts Accurate

99.6% ± 0.1%

88.5% ± 0.6%

74.7% ± 0.8%

66.6% ± 0.8%

Change (C3-C2) 0.4% ± 0.2% 3.2% ± 0.9% -2.8% ± 1.1% -0.8% ± 1.2%

 

Other findings for syntax include:

  • Regional variations of syntax accuracy were greatest for postal address, which ranges from 41 percent accurate (Asia-Pacific) to 97 percent accurate (North America).
  • The most common reason for telephone syntax error in most regions was incorrect length, but in North America the most common reason for error was a missing country code.
  • For postal addresses, the vast majority of errors in each study have consistently been due to missing fields that were required, such as city, state/province, postal code or street.

 

Operability Accuracy

The operability accuracy analysis finds that approximately 90 percent of email addresses, 72 percent of telephone numbers and 97 percent of postal addresses were found to be operable for all three contacts (administrative, technical, and registrant). Full operability accuracy of an entire WHOIS record was approximately 65 percent for the gTLD population as a whole. Compared to Cycle 2, this was approximately a 5 percent decrease. Table 2 provides the accuracy breakdown by contact mode as well as the changes from Cycle 2 presented as 95 percent confidence intervals. 

Table 2. Operability Accuracy

 

E-mail

Telephone

Postal Address

ALL 3 Accurate

All 3 Contacts Accurate

90.1% ± 0.5%

72.4% ± 0.8%

96.8% ± 0.3%

65.1% ± 0.9%

Change (C3-C2) -1.2% ± 0.7% -3.6% ± 1.1% -0.8% ± 0.4% -5.0% ± 1.2%

 

Other findings for operability include: 

  • Regional variations of operability accuracy are greatest for telephone, which ranges from 60 percent accurate (Asia-Pacific) to 83 percent accurate (North America).
  • The contact mode with the highest rate of passing all operability tests was postal address.  The mode with the lowest rate of passing all operability tests was telephone numbers.
  • For operability errors for email addresses, about 10 percent of the email addresses bounced, while less than one percent of the records were missing the email address.

 

For the full report, see here

More Information on Cycle 4 (June 2017) Findings

Overall Accuracy

In Cycle 4, our analysis found that 98 percent of records had at least one email or telephone number meet all operability requirements of the 2009 RAA, which implies that nearly all records contain information that can be used to establish immediate contact. Less than two percent of records had contact information that met neither email nor telephone operability requirementss. 

Syntax Accuracy

The syntax accuracy analysis finds that approximately 99 percent of email addresses, 89 percent of telephone numbers and 87 percent of postal addresses met all of the baseline syntax requirements of the 2009 RAA for all three contacts. Full syntax accuracy of an entire WHOIS record to the requirements of the 2009 RAA was approximately 79 percent for the gTLD population as a whole. Compared to Cycle 3, this represents a 13 percent increase. However, as noted in the report, this increase is owed largely to improved exception-processing standards by the ARS process for postal addresses. Table 1 provides the accuracy breakdown by contact mode as well as the changes from Cycle 3, presented as 95 percent confidence intervals.  

 

Table 1. Syntax Accuracy

 

E-mail

Telephone

Postal Address

ALL 3 Accurate

All 3 Contacts Accurate

99.5% ± 0.1%

89.5% ± 0.6%

87.4% ± 0.8%

79.3% ± 0.8%

Change (C4-C3) -0.1% ± 0.2% 1.0% ± 0.9% 12.7% ± 1.1% 11.7% ± 1.2%

 

Other findings for syntax include:

  • Regional variations of syntax accuracy were greatest for postal address, which ranges from 66 percent accurate (Africa) to 98 percent accurate (North America).
  • The most common reason for telephone syntax error in most regions was incorrect length, but in North America the most common reason for error was a missing country code.
  • For postal addresses, the vast majority of errors in each study have consistently been due to missing fields that were required, such as city, state/province, postal code or street.

 

Operability Accuracy

The operability accuracy analysis finds that approximately 95 percent of email addresses, 69 percent of telephone numbers and 97 percent of postal addresses were found to be operable for all three contacts (administrative, technical, and registrant). Full operability accuracy of an entire WHOIS record was approximately 65 percent for the gTLD population as a whole, and has held steady as compared with Cycle 3. Table 2 provides the accuracy breakdown by contact mode as well as the changes from Cycle 3 presented as 95 percent confidence intervals. 

Table 2. Operability Accuracy

 

E-mail

Telephone

Postal Address

ALL 3 Accurate

All 3 Contacts Accurate

94.5% ± 0.5%

68.9% ± 0.8%

97.2% ± 0.3%

65.4% ± 0.9%

Change (C4-C3) 4.4% ± 0.7% -3.5% ± 1.1% 0.4% ± 0.4% 0.3% ± 1.2%

 

Other findings for operability include: 

  • Regional variations of operability accuracy are greatest for telephone, which ranges from 46 percent accurate (Asia-Pacific) to 84 percent accurate (North America).
  • The contact mode with the highest rate of passing all operability tests was postal addresses, with 97 percent.  The mode with the lowest rate of passing all operability tests was telephone numbers, at 69 percent.
  • For operability errors for email addresses, the vast majority of errors were from an email address bounced (95% of errors), compared to the error of a missing email address (5% of errors).

 

For the full report, see here