I want to answer two aspects of the new TLDs process.
A clear YES to the introduction of new TLDs. The first round in 2000 (proof of concept) did not succeed in the aspect of introduction of competition on the registry level. Currently we stil have a monopoly structure in the gTLDs.
The ICANN bylaws clearly state that ICANN has the obligation to promote a competitive environment. This could only be done in removing a part of a TLD from a monopolist (no option now) or in giving new space / new gTLDs to other registries. I strongly believe that there are new creative ideas around, which could enhance the name space and foster competition.
The allocation of new TLDs through actions is a very bad idea. Instead, comparative evaluations should be applied.
Auctions would favour participiants of the market, who still have a majority and therefor the financial strength to be the highest bidder. Startups with fresh ideas would have much lower chances.
On the other hand, auctions are no garanty that the highest bidder is the best for a TLD. We have seen this in Germany some years ago with the auction of the license of UMTS (3 generation of mobile phones).
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