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Username: griffiths
Date/Time: Sun, November 5, 2000 at 7:48 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: Charges from suppliers seem to be abnormally high


The time is long overdue for the introduction of a personal name registry, and on the surface this appears to be a well implemented solution.  Closer inspection of the application reveals some curiously high costs from supplying organisations and raises the question on the relationships that they may have with the applicants.

During the first year, over $20,000,000 is spent on hardware and software.  In the first quarter $5,700,000 is being spent on software development, and $3,500,000 on hardware, although no specific details could be identified as to who these suppliers were, nor what was being acquired for this very considerable sum of money.

In the first year there are 87 employees, who cost a total of $8,800,000 - this is probably the most highly resourced registry of all the applications.

There is no information on capital provision, where this will be raised from, and what it will cost..  Furthermore, the cash requirement using the best scenario is $31,000,000 (in the worst demand situation it rises to 52,000,000), which can only start to be repaid during the third year of operation.  After fours years, there is only a 50% cover on the repayment stream - no details on cost of capital could be found in the pro-forma financials.  This would be a highly speculative investment under these terms which would not be favourably received by most investors.

The pricing structure also seems to be deliberately set up to favour large holders of domain names by providing them with advantageous pricing, the determinants being both the number of domains held in .per and in other domains.  No mechanism is detailed on how this would be verified.  Neither of these mechanisms helps to provide a level and equal playing field for all registrars.

The concept that users will update their WHOIS information every 90 days is probably optimistic, although the process of using a reminder might be usefully adopted by other applicants.

However, the measures that have been set in terms of identifying and measuring the successful introduction are a useful concept that should be adopted by any successful applicant.


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