Neustar Comment on Joint SO/AC Working Group on New gTLD Applicant Support Snapshot
Neustar wishes to express its support for the effort by the Joint SO/AC Working Group on New gTLD Applicant Support (JAS-WG) to develop a sustainable approach to evaluate and propose recommendations for providing support to applicants requiring assistance in applying for and operating new gTLDs. Neustar agrees that, in some limited circumstances special consideration should be given to Applicants proposing certain types of gTLDs, who otherwise would not have the financial means or access to resources or expertise required to participate. The JAS-WG in its current draft document, presents an analysis of the costs associated with application fees, and makes a number of very practical recommendations that would reduce the cost of participation. Given the very limited number of Applicants who would be eligible under the proposed criteria, the costs savings outlined would not seem to have a significant impact on the overall funding for new gTLDs, while opening the process to some Applicants who would otherwise not be able to participate. Neustar is particularly supportive of the staggered fee approach recommended by the WG, and the use of some portion of any auction proceeds to provide a partial refund of application fees to qualified applicants. Since the minimum annual fee of $25,000 would likely be very challenging for some disadvantaged Applicants, Neustar also supports the elimination or reduction of fees for disadvantaged applicants, but only in circumstances where registration volumes do not support payment of the annual minimum. The qualifications identified by the JS-WAG document appropriately targets ethnic and linguistic communities in the initial/pilot phase while providing preference to applicants geographically located in Emerging Markets/Developing countries and in languages whose presence on the web is limited. The document also presents appropriate criteria for determining who would not qualify for special support. Some additional thought should be given, however, to the evaluation process for those Applicants who wish to participate, including the timing and resources required. The transparency of the process, including information about the Applicants, the details of the program applications, as well as financial or other support received is particularly important to foster confidence in the program. It is Neustar's intention to participate in the program by providing support of some kind to qualified Applicants. We look forward to future progress, and wish to express its thanks the members of the JAS-WG for the excellent work completed to date, for what is a very good cause. Jeffrey J. Neuman Neustar, Inc. / Vice President, Law & Policy 46000 Center Oak Plaza Sterling, VA 20166 Office: +1.571.434.5772 Mobile: +1.202.549.5079 Fax: +1.703.738.7965 / jeff.neuman@xxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:jeff.neuman@xxxxxxxxxxx> / www.neustar.biz<http://www.neustar.biz/> ________________________________ The information contained in this e-mail message is intended only for the use of the recipient(s) named above and may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient you have received this e-mail message in error and any review, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately and delete the original message.