ICANN ICANN Email List Archives


<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index    

Summary & Analysis of Public Comments

  • To: "allocation-framework@xxxxxxxxx" <allocation-framework@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Summary & Analysis of Public Comments
  • From: Patrick Jones <patrick.jones@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 13:43:18 -0700

Summary and Analysis of Public Comments for:
Single-Character Second-Level Domain Name (SC SLD) Allocation Framework

The public comment period on the Single-Character Second-Level Domain Name (SC 
SLD) Allocation Framework document ran from 13 June to 13 July 2008. 12 
comments were received. The public comments on this forum are archived at 

High-level Summary of Comments Received

Of the twelve comments received, eight comments were from registries (DotCoop, 
DotMobi and VeriSign), or members of the DotMobi Policy Advisory Board. These 
comments were in support of the use of the Registry Services Evaluation Process 
by these respective registries and in support of the different allocation 
methods for SC SLDs proposed to date.

Overstock.com submitted a comment in agreement with the proposed Allocation 
Framework, with suggestions for improvement. A comment was also received from 
eBay (the registrant of X.com through its PayPal subsidiary). Two other 
individuals submitted comments. None of the comments were against the 
allocation of SC SLDs.

General Comments

Antony Van Couvering provided a comment in support of the auction of 
single-character names, but requested that ICANN provide a rationale for why 
the reasoning for the reservation has changed. See 
http://forum.icann.org/lists/allocation-framework/msg00000.html. ICANN staff 
responded to Mr. Van Couvering by separate email, directing him to the Annex of 
the Allocation Framework document and the Final Report of the GNSO Reserved 
Names Working Group.

Charley Chacko suggested "holding back few names that can be segregated for 
physically challenged/disable people."  See 

Comments in support of Pending Registry Services Proposals

Caroline Greer of DotMobi submitted a comment in support of alternatives to the 
auction model.  Her comment cites to the Allocation Framework document and 
"ICANN's acknowledgement that a one-size-fits all allocation approach may not 
work for all registries." See 

She wrote that DotMobi has proposed a Request for Proposals (RFP) process. The 
RFP process would attempt to ensure that "new content, features and services 
are made available to mobile Internet users and that the full potential of 
these domains is truly recognized."  According to DotMobi, the stated purpose 
of RFPs for single-character .MOBI names is not to generate profit, but rather 
to allocate the domains to those who have an interest in enabling mobile 
friendly content for the benefit of end-users.

Ms. Greer notes that DotCoop has also proposed a RFP model, and asserts 
"Registries are in the best position to determine the most appropriate 
allocation model for the domains that they operate."

Andres Kello, a member of the DotMobi Policy Advisory Board (PAB), expressed 
his strong support for the DotMobi allocation of SC SLD names via an RFP 
framework. See http://forum.icann.org/lists/allocation-framework/msg00003.html.

"The RFP process allows the Registry to filter potential candidates for a 
domain, ensuring that the best qualified candidate with a proven development 
plan, time line, and track record that best benefits the ecosystem, is granted 
the domain.

"Single Character Second Level domains are particularly useful and valuable in 
the .mobi extension because of their short nature - there simply is no shorter 
alternative - making them considerably easier to type in on a mobile device.  
So it would make sense for these highly-coveted domains to be granted to the 
person or company with the absolute best development plan for it - as 
determined by mTLD - in order to maximize their potential, rather than to the 
company or individual with the biggest wallet - as determined by a highest bid."

Charles Mok, another member of the PAB and Chairman of ISOC Hong Kong, 
supported DotMobi's RFP proposal for allocating single character second level 

He wrote "the RFP process is fair and more beneficial to the whole community, 
in coming with the best plan for developing these domains which are in 
shortest, limited supply.  An auction would not be a good approach as most 
likely these will fall into the hands of those who are not actually using them, 
and those who would have the best ideas especially community-based campaigns 
that will be most useful in promoting the whole community for .mobi will not be 
possible, as they will likely not be able to compete in an auction."

Mr. Mok noted parallels between the dotAsia domain "pioneer" process and the 
dotMobi proposal. He also suggested that the RFP be made open and transparent 
and fair to all. See 

John Levine, a member of the PAB, echoed the earlier comment from Mr. Kello and 
wrote that "single letter domains are a particularly important resource for 
.MOBI, because of the constrained user environment on mobile devices. Short 
names are both memorable and easy to enter on a phone's tiny keyboard. It is 
important to allocate this important resource to entities that will provide 
diverse and useful services to mobile users, rather than to speculators as 
would likely happen were the names to be auctioned or issued 

He also identified "prior RFPs have resulted in highly usable sites such as 
weather.mobi, so we can anticipate similar success for the one-letter RFP 
process." See http://forum.icann.org/lists/allocation-framework/msg00005.html.

Michael O'Farrell, Chair of the DotMobi Advisory Group and member of the PAB, 
wrote in support of "the dotMobi registry's recommendations, proposal and 
approach for allocating single-character second-level .mobi domain names 
through a self-managed and self-regulated RFP process; guided, counseled and 
monitored by dotMobi's ICANN approved at-large sponsoring community members."

Mr. O'Farrell echoed previous comments submitted by PAB members. He added that 
"the dotMobi registry RFP approach would be available to all stakeholder 
communities versus an auction that could limit the availability of the 
single-character second-level .mobi domain names to a few industry speculators 
(who could potentially outbid the merits of made-for-mobile Internet service 
delivery, utility and universal availability solely for future speculative 
capital gain)." See 

Vittorio Bertola, a PAB member, asserted that ICANN should not dictate or 
mandate "from the top specific allocation methods, uniform to all gTLDs" as 
this "goes well beyond ICANN's coordination role."

Mr. Bertola noted that "ICANN should feel free to forbid allocation methods 
that do not seem fair or do not guarantee even opportunities for access, or to 
require that policies are adopted through appropriate public consultation and 
representation processes," and that ICANN should "allow registries to make 
their own proposals and submit them to ICANN for the assessment about their 
fairness (and there already are policy processes to that effect), so that 
policies can be tailored to the specific gTLD and that diversity in the gTLD 
space can be preserved and maximized."

Mr. Bertola wrote "auctions seem to me an inappropriate method [of allocating 
SC SLDs]...this is even more true in gTLDs that are community-based." He 
suggested that specific methods of allocation vary from gTLD to gTLD.

He also addressed the use of funds derived from the allocation of SC SLDs and 
concluded his comments finding "the current proposal excessively top-down and I 
think that ICANN should accept the proposals by several registries to allow 
different allocation methods." See 

Carolyn T. Hoover, CEO of DotCoop, explained that the ".coop TLD has proposed a 
model for allocating single character domain names that would require the 
requesting registrant to provide information concerning their use of the domain 
to ensure that the domain will be actively used by the interested registrant in 
a manner that will be of value to the co-operative community."

"dotCoop does not plan to sell these names for more than the normal price and 
... [wants] to be able to ensure that co-ops that can use the names to the best 
purpose for the community can compete equitably with those that may have more 
funds available.  That approach is better aligned with the co-operative 
principles which are the primary focus of our charter."

She also acknowledged "with the Registry Services Request Process providing 
opportunity for comment from the Internet community, the appropriate method for 
each TLD will likely be identified whether it is an auction, through RFP's or 
by another process not yet proposed." See 

Susan Kawaguchi, counsel for eBay, wrote requesting clarification that any 
allocation method adopted by ICANN would not apply to previously registered 
single-character domain names, such as X.com (owned by eBay through its 
purchase of PayPal), or to any other single character domain name that is 
currently registered.

eBay did not offer an opinion on the allocation method proposed in the 
document, but "believes it essential to clarify the range of domain names to 
which the method would or would not apply." See 

Comments specific to the Allocation Framework

Chuck Gomes, on behalf of VeriSign, submitted the following comments in 
response to ICANN's solicitation for 'Public Comment on Single Character Name 
Allocation Framework'.

·       VeriSign supports the goal of using excess funds of any single 
character name allocation process for top-level domains for benefit of the 
greater Internet community.
·       The diverse models for allocation of second-level domain names 
represent one of the key values of a competitive market and that value should 
be continued with regard to any special allocation mechanisms for single 
character names for existing gTLDs.
·       VeriSign notes that an auction model may be appropriate for some gTLD 
registries and not others. In cases where an auction might be used, the 
particular type of auction model used might vary according to the gTLD.
·       Transparency and accountability of the funds resulting from the 
allocation of single character names is important.  To the extent that any such 
funds become a revenue source for ICANN, that portion of funds should be 
subject to Board oversight via ICANN's budget process.
·       The allocation of two-character second-level domain names via Registry 
Services approval process appears to be working well and VeriSign believes that 
this approach is an appropriate way to deal with the diversity of existing 
·       VeriSign submitted to ICANN its proposal for the allocation of single 
and two-character domain names through an auction method as recommended by 
ICANN.  VeriSign believes that the proposal would provide a way to benefit the 
greater Internet community. *VeriSign's proposal is pending resolution of open 
questions raised by ICANN.

See http://forum.icann.org/lists/allocation-framework/msg00008.html.

Chuck Warren submitted comments on behalf of Overstock.com, which desires to 
register the single-character name O.com. Overstock's comment supported the 
general framework document and suggested some improvements. Overstock called on 
ICANN's Board "to approve an allocation mechanism that meets the broadly 
supported comments provided through the extensive comment processes that ICANN 
has undertaken."

Although Overstock supported the allocation framework, Overstock noted that the 
allocation framework "must recognize and take into account 'existing rights' of 
parties who have demonstrated use in certain strings" by including "a form of 
sunrise process that prequalifies parties to participate in the 
auction/allocation processes."

Overstock supported a managed auction process "for those letters where there is 
a documented and well-established history of public use of a single letter 

Overstock agreed that funds derived from allocation of SC SLDs go to benefit 
the interests of the broader interests of ICANN stakeholders consistent with 
the bottom-up Strategic Planning Process/Operational Plan and budget process. 
Suggested uses included a contribution to ICANN's reserve fund.

Overstock called for a transparent and well-documented process, that is 
market-based, operated by a third party, using well-publicized procedures.

 Overstock wrote "there needs to be a strengthened ICANN by investing further 
resources in the Reserve Fund of the organization.  Adequate reserve 
fund/contingency financial resources are, in fact, in the eyes of many in the 
business community, a critical element of security and stability of any 

"I join others in the ICANN community in believing that the Board should, in 
establishing the mechanism to receive the proceed from the allocation process, 
provide for safeguards over the use of the funds, ensuing accountability, and 
remaining fully consistent with the Strategic Plan/Operating Plan/budgeting 
process so that the community would have confidence that there is not mission 
creep in any way."

See http://forum.icann.org/lists/allocation-framework/msg00011.html.

Patrick L. Jones
Registry Liaison Manager &
Coordinator, ICANN Nominating Committee
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers
4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Tel: +1 310 301 3861
Fax: +1 310 823 8649

<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index    

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy