Comments from ISPCP Constituency
The following comment represents the views of the Internet Service Provider & Connectivity Providers Constituency. Tony Holmes ISPCP Chairman ISP & Connectivity Providers Constituency Constituency Comments on New gTLD Program - Draft expression of Interest/Pre-Registrations Model The ISPCP welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Draft expression of Interest/Pre registration model. The new gTLD program will have a strong impact on both ISPs and Network Operators, and the ISPCP considers the stability and security of the DNS is of prime importance to ISPs and the community that it serves. The ISPCP is reviewing the Expression of Interest (EoI) concept with great interest, and asks the board to consider the following issues in its discussion of the EoI. EoI may be a pragmatic approach and, as we go forward, and a more reliable tool to measure the true level of demand for new gTLDS of different categories. While many concerns remain regarding the EoI process and circumvention of the DAG, the ISPCP is mindful of the beneficial impact of the EoI. The data collected will help clarify and address two of the overarching issues: - Economic demand and impacts - Root scaling issues. It will also provide to ISPs and Network operators useful information that could assist in preparing for this fundamental change. For the EoI data to be fully representative, and to minimize gaming, the EoI should be mandatory for the first round of applications, and for the same reason, a deposit should be required. The ISPCP supports the principle that the deposit should be refundable if the new gTLD program is not launched within a specific period of time that would be known to all EoI candidates. But what is not clear is the timeline in which this is expected to happen and what the conditions will look like for launch of the EoI applicants. We understand that there may be amendments to the Applicant Guidebook and major changes to the RFP following the analysis of the results of the EoI. It is indeed important to assess the interest of the community for this process and amend the process accordingly to better serve it. However, if such amendments are required and have a significant substantive impact on a particular application because of its nature or characteristics (e.g. string or category of application/applicant), the EoI could create false expectations. We ask that ICANN elaborate on the contractual issues that will arise if the Applicant Guidebook conflicts with the EoI process. The EoI objectives are to clarify the impacts of the RFP related to the overarching issues. In this respect, we do not see the value of making public the participant and string information without the explicit consent of the requestor. Knowing the character string and the requestor's identity will not help evaluating the impacts for the above issues. Worse, in the absence of mechanisms in place like appeals, contention/dispute resolution, etc, such disclosure will result in confusion or legal actions without any mechanism in place for the potential applicant and/or its contender(s) to address them. This can only create confusion and uncertainty. A potential applicant should therefore be granted confidentiality for the string requested and/or on its identity if it so requests and public information should be restricted to what is necessary for the community to address in an efficient way the overarching issues. The EoI should aim to help to solve or to have a better view on overarching issues, not to create more confusion in the process, nor to further delay the process for gTLDs expansion. The EoI is a useful tool to gauge impact of the new TLD process, however there needs to be greater clarity and consideration of the concerns raised by the community prior to its launch.