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The questions ICANN should reflect upon before considering any TLD removal

  • To: cctld-sunset-comments@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: The questions ICANN should reflect upon before considering any TLD removal
  • From: "Olga P" <gargolga@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2006 12:39:25 -0800


ICANN should carefully reflect upon any proposed TLD removal and
answer the following very reasonable guiding questions:

1) How many current users would be affected by the removal of said
TLD? If more than a certain number (somewhere in the range of 10-50
thousand would be reasonable), the domain name should not be removed.

2) What number of said domain's current users belong to academic and
scientific communities? Unless the number is negligible, removal of
the domain would be disruptive to their collaborators and
correspondents in other countries, and the domain should not be
removed as its removal would affect not merely private individuals and
corporate entities but the very academic and research institutions
that played a pivotal role in the creation of the Internet.

3) Are new users still joining the TLD in question in non-negligible
numbers? Is domain-name registration in said TLD adequately managed?
If yes, there is no need to remove it.

4) Most importantly, a "litmus test":  IS THE PROPOSAL TO REMOVE A TLD
MOTIVATED BY POLITICS? If yes, it must be immediately abandoned.

Of the TLDs currently considered for deletion, .SU most clearly fails
all four above-listed removal criteria .YU, in my opinion, is a
borderline case.

Indeed, the .SU top-level domain is very much alive. It is home to
such internationally renowned organizations as the Moscow State
University (msu.su), Novosibirsk Institute of Nuclear Physics
(inp.nsk.su), St. Petersburg State University (uniphys.spb.su), Omsk
University (univer.omsk.su), Protvino Institute for High Energy
Physics (ihep.su), The Joint Institute for Nuclear Research
(jinr.dubna.su), which is an international laboratory that is similar
in its structure and mission to CERN, the birthplace of the WWW, and
many others.

Moreover, the countries that used to be members of the Soviet Union
continue to remain a single "cultural space," united by a common
language, common cultural interests in literature, music and art, and
by a massive amount of common, indivisible cultural heritage. In fact,
in this particular respect - a common culture that they thrive to
maintain - the nations of the former USSR are much closer to one
another than the nations of the European Union or, say, Asia. At a
time when TLDs such as .EU and .ASIA are being introduced, the idea to
remove .SU as an "umbrella" TLD for the region that it covers has no

Answers to your Guiding Questions:

Guiding questions:

1) No - unless the number of the TLD's users is negligible.

2) ICANN should gauge the potential negative impact of removing a
particular TLD on the international Internet community. TLD removals
that are guided primatiry by politics should be abandoned at this
stage. Then, ICANN should seek comments from the existing users who
will be affected; if the number of negative comments is sufficiently
large, the TLD should be allowed to remain.

3) Once a decision to remove a TLD is made, it should be made public;
however, second-tier domain name registration should be allowed to
continue for more 5 years. After 5 years, the decision to close a TLD
should be reviewed: if the use of the TLD slated for deletion has
indeed declined over these 5 years, then second-tier domain-name
registration should stop and the TLD should be removed after an
additional 15 years of operation of existing domains, unless there is
a substantial change in circumstances.

4) A test? This is funny. Almost like the idea of testing a switch to
driving on the right side of the street in Great Britain by asking
taxicabs to switch first, as a test case :-) No test.

5) Corporate lawyers would be best qualified to advise ICANN on this
matter. My advice: stay away from opening a Pandora's box.

6) If a country changes its name, it should be able both to operate
its old TLD (indefinitely) and to request a new one. Example: the
United States is allowed both to operate its old TLDs (.gov, .mil,
.edu, etc.) and its new TLD (.us).

Best regards,

Olga P.
Senior Systems Engineer
Sunnyvale, California

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