.com Agreement Submission
December 7, 2005 Vint Cerf, Chair, ICANN Board of Directors Members of the Board of Directors ICANN Via email As per the request of the ICANN Board of Directors at the recent meetings in Vancouver, B.C. for continued public comment, this submission respectfully expresses the views of NameScout Corporation, an ICANN accredited registrar, to the recently proposed ICANN/VeriSign .com Registry Agreement. While we are aware that the ICANN Board is looking for concrete suggestions we would like to begin by expressing our strong opposition to the proposed .com deal with VeriSign and offer the following reasons and recommendations for what we consider to be an acceptable course of action: 1. The proposed deal was brokered in a manner that is in opposition to the ICANN PDP and goals of bottom-up consensus and transparency. By using the .com agreement as a bargaining chip in a lawsuit settlement, ICANN has violated their responsibility to their constituencies and damaged their own credibility within the internet community. We recommend you separate the VeriSign lawsuit from the .com agreement as bundling the two represents a clear conflict of interest. 2. It allows VeriSign to increase prices over the next seven years, when market indicators and market demands suggest future price decreases. We recommend you open the .com agreement to a competitive bid process. 3. As the world's dominant gTLD, this agreement puts the future of .com in the hands of a for-profit monopoly whose business practices can have serious and far-reaching impact on the overall growth of the market. Price increases will negatively impact registrars and registrants alike. We recommend periodic competitive rebids of the .com and other registry operation contracts. 4. Potential new registry services will stifle innovation and competitiveness in periphery .com markets and may have repercussions for registrars and registrants. We recommend deletion of sections dealing with new registry services in favour of a narrow definition of monopoly registry services to be modified only through ICANN's existing consensus-based policy-making processes. In addition, this agreement may be used as a standard for future registry agreements for other TLDs, causing a ripple effect for the future competitiveness of the overall industry. Simply put, it is unacceptable to allow the business terms of the internet to be defined by a lawsuit settlement agreement with a monopoly organization. Sincerely, Dave Chiswell CEO NameScout Corporation NameScout Corporation is an accredited ICANN Registrar offering domain registration, web hosting and email services.