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EOI Comments

  • To: draft-eoi-model@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: EOI Comments
  • From: Jon Nevett <jon@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 12:19:54 -0800

In November, I urged ICANN not to adopt an EOI process -- 
http://forum.icann.org/lists/eoi-new-gtlds/msg00060.html.  I posited that the 
only way to introduce a fair and effective process would be to make it 
mandatory, engage in a public outreach effort, and finalize the key rules.  
Once ICANN engages in the outreach effort and finalizes the rules, I argued 
that it might as well move forward with accepting full applications instead of 
incurring the delays that would be caused by a bifurcated application process.  

While I still agree with my November position, I do, however, agree with the 
staff recommended form of the EOI.  In other words, if we are going to have an 
EOI process, the staff recommendations seem to me to be the best implementation 
of such a process.  An EOI that isn't mandatory or doesn't provides some 
benefit to the applicant would be worthless.  Too many applicants wouldn't 
participate.  The fee must be high enough to avoid speculation and only be 
refundable in extreme circumstances.  There must be a communications campaign 
to ensure that the public is aware of the process.  The rules must be final or 
as close to final as possible before the EOI or pre-applications are accepted.  

I also agree that the applied-for strings should be made public, but that 
objections to specific strings should not be made during the EOI process.  
Rather, those concerns should be raised during the formal objection process.  
By publishing the names, however, the community would have more time to work on 
preparing such objections and applicants could begin discussions to try to 
resolve potential string contentions.  The publication of the EOI names should 
not be used by the community to derail New TLDs because of a few potentially 
objectionable applications.  If so, New TLD critics actually could apply for 
problematic strings in a clandestine manner with a goal of derailing the 
process.  Contact information for each string should be made public.  Any other 
information collected should not be made public, as it could be used for 
anti-competitive means.  I would envision that ICANN would publish the EOI 
application information in a similar fashion to the 2000 TLD application 
information (see 

In terms of a timeline, we need to start the communications period as soon as 
possible -- absolutely before the Nairobi meeting.  That period is the long 
pole in the tent and should start right away.  We should announce that ICANN 
will take pre-applicaions sometime in late July and the final rules for such 
pre-applications will be announced no fewer than 30 days prior to ICANN the 
application deadline.  We do not need the rules finalized prior to announcing a 
pre-application window.  In the United States, there are public outreach 
campaigns about voting on election day on a certain date in November.  These 
occur well before the candidates in such elections are finalized.  We should do 
the same with EOIs.  

If we accept EOI applications in late July, that would leave the community the 
next 6 months to discuss, finalize, and implement any changes based the few 
outstanding issues.  Any issue that isn't outstanding as of Nairobi, should be 
absolutely final.  Without a deadline, we will continue to talk about the 
process with no end in sight.  The folks who are being paid to delay New TLDs 
will continue to offer procedural roadblock after roadblock.  We should have a 
Draft Applicant Guidebook v.4 ready for Board approval at the Brussels meeting 
and then accept EOI applications 30 days or so thereafter.  After the EOIs are 
accepted, we could look at the number of applications, make any necessary minor 
tweaks to the root scaling process, and begin accepting final applications in 
4Q10.  There is no reason to wait until after the December meeting to issue the 
Final Applicant Guidebook.  We have been working on this for far too long and 
ICANN has been losing too much credibility with slipped deadlines to build in 
another 5 month delay (August-December) unless it is absolutely necessary.  

Thanks for the opportunity to comment on these issues.

Jon Nevett
President, Domain Dimensions, LLC

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