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Question for the Public Forum - ICANN, Verisign and Competition

  • To: <vancouver@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Question for the Public Forum - ICANN, Verisign and Competition
  • From: "Richard Henderson" <richardhenderson@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2005 23:58:39 -0000

Please could you convey this question on the .com agreement to the Public Forum 
on Friday or Saturday:

Who will actually benefit from the ICANN-Verisign Agreement apart from ICANN 
and Verisign? In the context of ICANN's commission to act as steward over the 
fair distribution of the DNS, and the condition of promoting competition as set 
out in its MoU with the DoC, how do the ICANN staff and Board justify a "deal" 
which offers a perpetual monopoly, guarantees built-in price hikes, and sets 
out terms not available to other registries?

In the context of its commitment to the *whole* internet community, why did it 
not encourage a bidding process and seek to bring down prices; why did it elect 
to couple the resolution of other legal matters with the unrelated issue of 
finding the best terms for the Internet community with regard to the .com TLD; 
why did it fail to involve its own constituencies in a negotiation process 
based on "bottom-up" consensus; why did it hand Verisign a package which 
provides so little incentive to drive prices down and customer service up?

Why are the Internet Community and ICANN's own constituencies being foisted 
with a privately-brokered deal which seems to be presented "top down" and which 
seems to be to the advantage of Verisign, but also seems to threaten the 
interests of other entities as well as the competitive imperative upon which 
the MoU is supposedly grounded?

Richard Henderson

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