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Afilias' Comments on the Proposed Expression of Interest

  • To: "draft-eoi-model@xxxxxxxxx" <draft-eoi-model@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Afilias' Comments on the Proposed Expression of Interest
  • From: Brian Cute <brian.cute@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 30 Jan 2010 14:39:17 -0800

Afilias supports the proposed Expression of Interest (EoI) since it will
provide useful data to ICANN and the community that will facilitate
fact-based decision making as ICANN attempts to resolve outstanding issues
in the newTLD process.   A mandatory EoI with a fee set at a reasonably
high, but not prohibitive level, is appropriate to ensure useful data about
the number of applicants and the proposed strings.  A well conceived and
executed four month communications exercise is also critical to ensuring the
validity of the EoI.
Afilias maintains that the EoI should not be structured to promote gaming or
to create a market for ³slots² held by respondents.  The proposed mandatory
nature of the EoI provides certainty and a hedge against skewed data with
regard to the ultimate number of applicants in the newTLD round.  A
³voluntary² EoI could provide an incentive to refrain from responding to the
EoI in order to gain knowledge about actual demand for specific strings and
knowledge about strings for which no EoI occurred.
Afilias appreciates concerns that have been raised about process issues
regarding the proposed EoI.  With ICANN operating in a new post-Joint
Project Agreement era, and under the terms of the Affirmation of
Commitments, all members of the ICANN community should recommit themselves
to respecting and ensuring that ICANN policy-making  and decision-making
follow transparent and predictable procedures.  This is the surest guarantor
of ICANN¹s continued credibility on the global stage.  At the same time,
should the ICANN Board decide to defer a decision on the EoI to the Nairobi
meeting to address process concerns (a short one month delay), Afilias urges
the Board to make a definitive decision on the EoI in Nairobi.  Any
additional delay would push the EoI closer in time to the intended launch
date of the newTLD round in 4Q 2010.  Such delay would put off the
collection of useful data by ICANN and would call into question the very
utility of the EoI should it occur too close in time to the actual launch
date of the newTLD round.  Such a scenario would risk further delay that
could unnecessarily degrade confidence in ICANN.

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