August 6, 2001
The Honorable Donald L. Evans
14th & Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230
We are writing with respect to the Internet Corporation for Assigned
Names and Numbers (ICANN) process for selecting new Internet Top Level Domain Names
(TLDs). We are heartened that you share our views, as reflected in your May
25, 2001 letter, encouraging ICANN to expeditiously initiate a new TLD round.
the Committee's February 8, 2001 hearing in the Telecommunications and the Internet
Subcommittee, we heard from applicants who had submitted proposals for new TLDs but
were passed over by ICANN during its most recent round of TLD selections. Many of
these proposed TLDs, such as ".travel," and ".web," appear to offer both innovation
and a framework for increased competition.
In addition, there is pending in the
Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee a bill that would require the Department
of Commerce to negotiate with ICANN to chose an entity to operate a ".kids" domain.
".kids" would provide a safe place for children to access the Internet, a goal we
all strongly support. We believe there is a clear desire being expressed by businesses,
citizens and Members of Congress to see some true diversity in the current TLD environment.
With the demand for new domain names by businesses and consumers outpacing supply,
we support your efforts in encouraging ICANN to speed their TLD selection process.
We expect that ICANN will act without discrimination or bias against any worthy applicant,
including those applicants from the last selection round as well as those organizations
that have opted to utilize alternative roots to propagate their TLDs.
February 8th hearing, the Subcommittee Members and witnesses stated that the current
TLD selection process was in need of revision. We believe that the process should
be based on established objective criteria and be carried out in a transparent process
with clear accountability and processes for redress. These factors should be taken
into account as ICANN moves forward with the selection of new TLDs. We ask that the
Department of Commerce continue to closely monitor this process. The Committee on
Energy and Commerce, for its part, expects to hold more hearings throughout this
Congress to monitor ICANN's progress.
We would appreciate periodic updates by
your Department. Please contact any or all of us, or have your staff contact Kelly
Zerzan, Majority Counsel at (202) 226-2424, Will Nordwind, Subcommittee Counsel at
(202) 225-2927, Brendan Kelsay, Minority Professional Staff at (202) 226-3400, or
Colin Crowell, Legislative Assistant for Rep. Markey at (202) 225-2836, should you
have any questions or concerns. We look forward to hearing from you further on this