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A Registrant Counter-Proposal

  • To: revised-settlement@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: A Registrant Counter-Proposal
  • From: Danny Younger <dannyyounger@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Feb 2006 18:19:15 -0800 (PST)

As a member of the .com registrant community I have
one primary objective with respect to the proposed
ICANN-VeriSign settlement agreement:  to convince the
ICANN Board that it is not necessary to grant VeriSign
the fee increase stipulated in the revised .com
agreement -- this is because an alternate scalable
revenue stream is available that would better serve
the needs of both parties.

The proposal:

The most recent VeriSign registry report has made it
clear that over 20 million .com domain names were
deleted in the month of October during the add grace
period.  As VeriSign is providing a service that
enables registrars to use the add grace period in a
manner that goes well beyond its original purpose
(which was to protect registrants from the
consequences of inadvertent typographical errors
during the registration process), this registry should
be entitled to put forward for consideration a New
Registry Services proposal that establishes a
reasonable fee for names dropped during the five day
add grace period.

As anyone with a calculator can readily see that even
a meager ten cent fee for these deletions at current
rates would yield yearly revenues far in excess of
that which the proposed seven percent fee increase
would generate, we have the basis for a sufficient and
scable alternative revenue source.

This proposal benefits millions of registrants and
impacts only a very few -- in fact, the only parties
impacted by this proposal would be the handful of
registrars that are currently getting a free ride from
VeriSign for add grace period deletions and which
would have to actually start paying for services
rendered.

Since such add grace period deletions have been rising
steadily and can be expected to continue to increase
in conjunction with the growth of the domain
monetization industry, it is quite likely that the
ultimately agreed upon fee will end up being a matter
of just a few cents per deletion -- a sum so low that
even potentially impacted registrars will assuredly
find a way to adjust their business models without
undue difficulty.

Further, even if this tiny sum should somehow manage
to raise competition concerns, the beauty of this
proposal is that such contingencies are covered in the
New Registry Services process which offers recourse to
competition authorities that would make an impartial,
objective and independent decision on the matter.

Yes, certain provisions would have to be made so as
not to penalize registrars for legitimate transactions
during the add grace periods (typos, fraud protection
management, etc.), but I am confident that both ICANN
and VeriSign in consultation with the registrar
constituency can arrive at acceptable formulations.

Who wins with this proposal?

-- The 43 million .com registrants win as they will
not have to bear the burden of an unwarranted price
increase
-- ICANN wins as it no longer needs to justify
granting a monopoly the right to raise prices in
perpetuity
-- VeriSign wins as it now can satisfy both its
shareholders and its .com registrants
-- As a whole, the registrar constituency wins as it
no longer needs to develop new marketing plans based
on new costs for .com registrations

... and as for the few registrars that might be
impacted by this proposal... sorry guys, you didn't
expect to get something for nothing for ever, did you?

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