Please Issue a Final Applicant Guidebook
Writing in my personal capacity. Dear ICANN Staff and Board,Thank you very much for your years of patience, stamina and hard work on the introduction of new gTLDs. I've attended many ICANN meetings and sessions on the topic and am continually amazed by the entire community's efforts and faithfulness to the bottom-up consensus building multi-stakeholder process.
However, I do have a grave concern. In order for the bottom-up consensus building process to work, we need each participant to be dedicated to reaching consensus. I'm afraid in the last year I have seen a growing rift in the community, where constituents are digging in their heels around a certain topic rather then striving for consensus and conclusion. It seems to me the some groups are calling for further delay for any reason.
An example of this are the comments asking for the GPML to be added to the DAG. This idea was not strongly supported by the IRT panel, and most people in the ICANN community felt it was a bad idea. There was no consensus. That is why it didn't make the DAG3 cut. Yet there are comments on the DAG3 from BBC, Hearst, and Adobe complaining that the GPML is missing. Does this now mean the GPML will be added to the next version?
Please ICANN staff and board, close an issue when it has been decided by consensus (or lack of!) from the community. Endless rounds of comments have my head spinning. More and more often I find myself asking, "Wait, isn't this an issue I heard about 3 years ago? Wasn't that topic decided by the gNSO last year?" In order to protect ICANN's role as a LEADER in establishing the FORWARD movement of the internet, we need to have some FINAL decision making.
I'm all for world peace and the end of hunger, but I don't expect those issues to be solved in an gTLD applicant guidebook.
The ICANN model is amazing. It is slow but works well. Some concessions must be made. Folks standing in the way of ICANN's mission and mandate need to work toward consensus rather than continue to carry the "STALL MORE LONGER!" banner. This tactic only works if the ICANN staff and board permits it.
Remember your mandate to introduce competition and innovation in the domain name space. As constituents lose faith in this process because of delay after delay, the model erodes. Its time to act. You risk extreme loss of credibility otherwise.
Let the market decide if there is demand for new TLDs. We don't need an economic report. It was made clear from the inserts in the bags at the Seoul ICANN meeting, 90% of them were selling new gTLD services. If providers did not sense market demand they would not gear up for providing those services.
If the City of Paris did not believe there was a demand for .PARIS domain names they would not have issued an RFP and chosen a registry partner to provide those services. This government expressed faith in the ICANN promise of introduction of new gTLDs. How long are they expected to remain in a holding pattern?
Demand is not missing. A time line is. My friends already have a difficult time understanding how I spend a majority of my work hours. Please give us a FINAL Applicant Guidebook and an application opening date so everyone will know we're for real.
With Very Best Regards, Elaine Pruis