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Comments Regarding Expressions of Interest Process

  • To: draft-eoi-model@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Comments Regarding Expressions of Interest Process
  • From: Michele Neylon Blacknight <michele@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2010 21:04:39 +0000


I would like to state my comments for the current Expressions of Interest 
("EOI") process, and appreciate the opportunity to make my views heard.

I support Expressions of Interest I support anything that will move the process 
forward. Whether that is EOI, a variant of it or something else. 

There is discussion about the $55,000 (USD) submission fee.   I support a lower 
fee because it's fairer.  While the "open" or more "commercial" new TLD 
projects would not have any issue with a $55k fee I still have reservations 
about treating all TLD applicants in the same manner financially.

I think that some of the cultural / linguistic and regional applicants, for 
example, have very strong cases for having their own namespace. I also think 
that using financial power as a blocker is unreasonable and that for those 
types of applicants the emphasis should be on the operational aspects of the 
application process.

There is also a question about whether Expressions of Interest should be 
mandatory for those applying for a new TLD.  New TLD applicants should be 
required to submit an EOI.  While I support the concept of using EOI to clear 
the water I can see why some people may oppose this view. However I still think 
that a community driven process that moves things forward should be welcomed.

The current EOI model will provide refunds of the submission fee only in 
extraordinary circumstances, or unless ICANN is unable to accept new TLD 
applications by a particular date.  Refunds should be granted on demand  If 
people decide that after whatever comes out of all this that they simply cannot 
proceed with their application then they should get a refund.
Apart from anything else, for the smaller community and regional applicants 
funding at any level may be a contentious point and the flat refusal to provide 
any refund would be a bad idea.
It might, however, be prudent to levy an administrative fee eg. 10% - though 
this would depend on how ICANN handles the fees. If they are placed in an 
interest earning account then the funds would actually help ICANN with the 
entire process, as they'd earn interest

ICANN's draft EOI model contemplates a four-month communication period prior to 
accepting EOI submissions. Four months is too long for the communications plan. 
 While I do agree that ICANN needs to make itself more appealing to the general 
public I also firmly believe that a lot of people have spent a lot of their 
time and energy working on new TLDs. To expect them to wait any longer is 
Anyone who has a serious interest in new TLDs either knows about them by now or 
has been living in a cave somewhere.

Finally, there is a question about whether data collected from EOIs should be 
made public. ICANN should publish all strings and applicants.  Transparency is 
probably the sanest way to deal with this. Once the process moves forward 
applicants won't be able to hide anyway, so why not come out now and gain an 

ICANN needs to either move forward with TLDs now or shelve the entire process. 
There has been far too much dithering about it and this is not helped by the 
way that ICANN announces a lot of these processes. If you were not an ICANN 
insider you'd have expected new TLDs to already be up and running based on the 
PR spin put out during the Paris ICANN meeting.  

Michele Neylon 

[This comment comes via the ICANN comment form found at 
  This form provides brief descriptions of the issues and allows easy comment 
on the Expressions of Interest process.]

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