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Username: rlangsford
Date/Time: Tue, October 17, 2000 at 8:12 AM GMT (Tue, October 17, 2000 at 1:12 AM PDT)
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.01 using Windows NT
Score: 5
Subject: Dot Web Registry...


           I've just spent the last 3 hours reading through this excellent public forum on the newly proposed top level domains, and at the letter 'W' have about hit the bottom, so will contribute my comments for what they're worth before my eyeballs cloud over entirely:

1) At this point it has not been officially decided which TLD's will be accepted in this first round of extensions, but .web has generated by far the most interest and deserves to be one of the first selected. Emerging nations and technological latecomers deserve a second chance at registering short, understandable names within a generic top level domain whose status will be perceived on a par with .com, .net and .org.

2) This body has been empowered to take actions to decentralize control over the issuance of domain names, and to make positive changes which will affect the Internet and global commerce and communications for years to come. How will the decisions of its voting members be recorded in history? Will its actions be respected and based in methodologies accepted as binding by international law rather than being mired in a morass of lawsuits and challenges? At minimum, any member of ICANN who serves to benefit financially by the granting of registry to one applicant over another should disqualify himself from voting on that matter.

3) The rollout of this first round of new TLD's will be the litmus test by which the effectiveness of this body's decisions are judged. From what I have read, IODesign has laid much of the groundwork for developing and implementing an alternative top level domain registry, and over the years has attempted to work within the framework of a moving target of regulatory agencies to legitimize the concept that independent, non-centralized registries can work together. It has proven this is possible and is backed by a consortium of registrants who support its intents. These same registrants provide a working testbed of sites which can be rolled into existing root servers instantaneously. The system is burned in and ready to appear on web browsers within hours of the flip of a virtual switch.

4) Those thousands of existing registrants are, like IODesign, pioneers of the very processes ICANN is seeking to implement and at very least should not be penalized by the decisions of this body in the unlikely instance that IODesign is shown to be an unworthy applicant. These registrants should be given first priority with whoever ultimately operates the .web registry before opening the floodgates to the masses. In fact, it would probably be most equitable in the issuance of all new domains to limit each registrant to perhaps no more than 10 choices within the first week to discourage massive speculation.

In conclusion, I feel IODesign most closely matches the spirit of what is intended by the issuance of new TLD's. They operate as an independent alternative to the existing TLD operators, they have an infrastructure and user base developed over years, and have invested the needed time and money to make the .web domain work properly.

--Rich Langsford 


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