[wildcard-comments] Technical Cost-Benefit
- To: <wildcard-comments@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: [wildcard-comments] Technical Cost-Benefit
- From: "Ray Fassett" <ray@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 12:08:03 -0400 (EDT)
- Reply-to: ray@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Sender: owner-wildcard-comments@xxxxxxxxx
I believe it is important to understand that entities operating under
contract can, and often do, take action based upon their interpretation of
such contract. In this example, Verisign has taken a controversial action
that, inherently, has placed ICANN in a "reactionary" role that includes
receiving comment from the community.
If final analysis concludes that ICANN needs to "react" in such way as
to "turn of" the action taken by Verisign but then is unable or unwilling
to do so, it will then face a serious credibility issue. But, in this
light, it is also important to recognize that there are many for-profit
entities with business models built around the dominant market share
position of .com and that these entities are very in tune with the action
Verisign has taken (for obvious reasons) whereas a vast majority of
Internet users world wide would have little if any idea that ICANN "needs
to react" to anything. This does not, however, negate the impact of
negative credibility towards ICANN dependent upon the final perception of
its "reaction" by the community, especially the technical community, to
Verisign's recent action.
Many in the technical community are today advising ICANN that the use of
wild cards in the dominant com/net registry to be of material compromise to
the stability of DNS. But, this is also the same technical community that
has advised ICANN to where it has, over the 5 years of its existence,
proactively restrained competition at the registry level for the purpose of
maintaining a stable DNS with the known result that the operators of the
com/net registry would remain dominant to the user community.
It would seem this is a cost-benefit relationship of where: 1) ICANN is
advised to proactively guard the market share position of a single registry
entity for the purpose of a stable DNS and 2) ICANN is advised that this
registry entity has taken action deemed harmful to the stability of DNS by
way of its dominance in the market place.
How is ICANN to maintain credibility when, on the one hand, it is being
successfully proactive in maintaining a stable DNS as it s being advised to
do but, as a result of this, is then placed in a very reactionary position
to continue the same?
I think the answer lies in the cost-benefit relationship. ICANN should
simply state, as its formal reaction to the recent action implemented by
Verisign, that such results of wild cards in the com/net registry are of
less risk to DNS stability than would otherwise occur by way of systematic
introduction of new competition at the registry level. I think this would
be an honest response and reaction. Whereas a stable DNS has been
maintained by ICANN by way of proactive restraint of registry competition,
the market share dominance of a single TLD has been protected thus being a
cost to the desired benefit to the user community. If looked at and stated
in this way, I believe ICANN can provide a reactionary response today that
will maintain its credibility moving forward.
It is not so much whether Verisign is "doing the right thing". Same for
any formal reaction by ICANN. The consideration is the impact upon the
user community. The technical community has so far opinioned to ICANN that
wild cards harm stability due to existing community reliance
upon .com/net. ICANN needs to simply state that this is a cost to the
benefit of proactively overseeing a stable DNS that has included guarding
the market share position of the dominant registry TLD operator, as it has
been advised to do.
Upon such a response, ICANN may then desire to defer back to the technical
community whether an adjustment to the cost-benefit relationship is in
order for the best interests of a stable DNS. But, for now, ICANN should
simply state that the benefits of maintaining a stable DNS have, up to now,
outweighed the costs of the same if in fact use of wild cards in com/net
are deemed to be harmful to DNS stability.