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Jon Nevett EOI Comments

  • To: <eoi-new-gtlds@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Jon Nevett EOI Comments
  • From: "Nevett, Jonathon" <jnevett@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Nov 2009 22:39:57 -0500

I thank the ICANN Board for requesting that the community comment on a
New TLD Expression of Interest (EOI) concept, as well as those who are
advocating in favor of the EOI proposal.  It is refreshing to see that
ideas that come up from the community are reviewed and evaluated in a
transparent manner in a relatively short timeframe.  With that said and
based on the following rationale, I, in my individual capacity, do not
support the EOI concept.  I believe that it would provide little benefit
to the New TLD process and would cause a delay in the introduction of
New TLDs.
First, I agree with the EOI proponents who argue that in order for an
EOI process to be successful in gauging the number of New TLD
applications, there must be a substantial fee and there must be some
benefit to applicant.  Without a substantial fee, the number of EOIs
would be artificially high.  Why not put in EOIs for a large number of
applications if there is some benefit at little cost?  Similarly,
without a benefit to those who file an EOI, the number would be
artificially low.  Why would an applicant show its proverbial cards
without receiving a benefit over potential applicants who don't file an
EOI?  As such, any successful EOI process must have a fee and provide
benefits to the participants at the detriment to those who do not
participate.  For example, according to the main proponents of the EOI
process, only those who pay a fee and file an expression of interest
would be considered when applications are taken.  Entities that don't
file an EOI would be precluded from consideration. 
Second, it would be inappropriate for ICANN to accept EOIs and preclude
entities that don't file an EOI from eventually applying for TLDs
without a public outreach effort that ICANN is planning.  Obviously,
ICANN shouldn't preclude potential applicants without engaging in a
public outreach effort and informing them of the New TLD opportunity.  
Third, it would be inappropriate for ICANN to accept EOIs and preclude
entities that don't file an EOI from eventually applying for TLDs until
the rules of such New TLDs are set.  How could a business evaluate its
risks and make a decision on whether to invest in an application until
the rules are finalized?  For example, at this point a registrar
wouldn't know whether it could apply for a new TLD at all, let alone
whether it would be able to distribute the name; a trademark holder
would not know exactly how its marks would be protected; and all
applicants would not know the costs that ICANN might impose on a
registry operator in efforts to combat malicious conduct.  
Therefore, if there must be a benefit of the EOI process at the
exclusion of those who don't file an EOI and ICANN must engage in its
public outreach plan prior to accepting EOIs and the rules must be
finalized prior to accepting EOIs, what is the benefit of the EOI
process?  Why not just start accepting full applications at that point?
Based on the number of full applications ICANN receives, it could
establish an equitable plan for root allocation.  Why bother introducing
a new process that would require staff time and resources?  There does
not appear to me to be a sufficient benefit to ICANN or the community to
proceed with a two-step process, which would necessarily cause a delay
in the ultimate introduction of New TLDs.  As someone who supports the
introduction of New TLDs, who is frustrated with the delays and
roadblocks, and who is cognizant of the consumer demand and marketplace
benefits, I urge ICANN not to adopt an EOI process, but to move swiftly
to resolve the outstanding issues and to move forward with accepting
applications for New TLDs forthwith.   
Thanks again for ICANN's consideration of this issue.
Jon Nevett


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