Budget provisions relating to Domain Tasting
The recently issued Issues Report on Domain Tasting was originally requested by the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) with support from several GNSO constituencies. The Report identified the ICANN Budget Process as one of the possible vehicles for addressing domain tasting. Specifically it noted that ICANN already charges Registrars a transaction fee (currently $0.22) per domain name for domain names that are added and kept past the 5-day Add-Grace Period (AGP). The report also noted that ICANN reduces the per-registrar variable fee for small registrars who do not use the AGP for more than 5% of their names added to the registry, and who do not excessively use techniques to re-register names as soon as they are deleted.
PIR reports that their recently implemented $0.05 restocking fee has (to date) been an effective measure to reduce the use of the AGP for .org.
The ALAC requests that ICANN consider charging registrars part or all of the $0.22 fee for names deleted during the AGP. This could be done in all cases, or only for registrars that have a significant percentage of AGP deletes, similar to the practice governing the "foregiveness" of the per-registrar variable fee.
Although this may be only a partial solution to the problem, it will surely reduce domain tasting at least to some extent. It is expected that Registrars will pass this expense on to Registrants who use the AGP. As such, the outcome will be some combination of: a) domain tasting will decrease; or b) this measure will serve to increase ICANN revenue at the expense of domain tasters.