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Afilias and Neulevel - Two mini-verisign's in the making?

  • To: <biz-tld-agreement@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Afilias and Neulevel - Two mini-verisign's in the making?
  • From: "Ameet Arurkar" <ameet@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2006 11:40:29 +0530

With regard to the proposed Agreement changes for the .info, .biz and the .org 
domain name gTLD's, I would like to place forward my observations:

1. ICANN does not stand to gain any overt monetary benefit on the proposed 
changes. Their proposed fee escalation seems to increase at a reasonable rate 
of inflation from $ 0.15/domain/year in 2007/8 to $ 0.20/domain/year in 
2008/9/10 to $0.25/domain/year in 2011/12 and this (according to me), is a 
reasonable increase.

2. The other parties that stand to gain from these proposed changes are:

a. The .info registrar - Afilias (www.afilias.info)
b. The .biz registrar - Neulevel (www.neulevel.biz)
c. The .org registrar - Pir (www.pir.org)

Now let us probe for some more information available on each registar's 
respective website - 

Afilias manages the .info registry, provide back-end core registry services for 
PIR (the .org registrar) and also to the CC Tld's  .IN (India), .SG 
(Singapore), .BZ (Belize), .SC (Seychelles), .VC (St. Vincent) , .AG (Antigua), 
.GI (Gibraltar), .LA (Laos) and .HN (Honduras) registrars. Their website says 
"Afilias was formed in September of 2000 by a group of industry leading domain 
name registrars in recognition of the need for increased competition in the 
domain name industry at the registry level". No futher information is provided 
about who these 'Domain name Registrars' are/were.

Ok lets go to Neulevel. Neulevel is owned by Neustar Inc, who are not only 
manage the .BIZ registry but also the .US registry. They have been allowed to 
form the .kids.us second level domain extension as well. In addition they 
manage the .CN and the .TW gTLD's.  

That's not all. They also 'manage' alongwith Cordance, the i-names Global 
registry service (GRS) for the @name digital address.

As for PIR, we have already seen that PIR's registry back-end is provided for 
by Afilias.

The reason I have outlined the above is so that we now know clearly that 
Afilias and Neustar/Neulevel are the only two corporate entities who will gain 
from these proposed changes. We first had a Verisign dominating the registry 
scene and now we have these two mini - verisign's who have managed to capture a 
substantial chunk of the registrar pie. 

What will we see next? Lifting of price controls for the .US and other domains 
listed above?

I strongly OPPOSE any such arbitary proposals which have been formed without 
taking into account the opinions of the main participants in this Industry. 
Unless all views are taken into account, this proposal will be nothing short of 
'dictatorship'.

Ameet Arurkar
a.k.a 'Premium Domains' on DNF, NP, DP & SP



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