[council] Statement of the ISPCP
The basis for our recommendations to the Names Council is that there are no
other alternatives than agreeing without modification to either the
proposed agreements (occasionally referred to as "Plan B") or the
agreements between ICANN, Network Solutions, Inc., and the United States
Department of Commerce that were approved on 4 November 1999 and were
signed on 10 November 1999 (also referred to as "Plan A").
We explicitly acknowledge the extraordinary efforts by the negotiators of
ICANN and Verisign required to formulate the new proposal. We further
welcome the fact that ICANN staff and Verisign representatives have done
everything possible to explain the Agreements and fill in the information
gap which the DNSO alludes to in the Names Council resolution cited above.
We are particularly grateful for the way that Louis Touton and Roger
Cochetti made themselves available at short notice on 19 March for a
conference call with the constituency.
In our discussions as a constituency we have concluded that the advantages
that "Plan B" has over "Plan A" are not great enough to justify a
recommendation that ICANN adopt the new, proposed agreements.
Our reasoning is reflected in these key points:
1. The new agreements appear to overemphasize the importance of splitting
off the .org registry. The .org domain is a low-revenue and problematic
registry to operate. There is no obvious advantage to having .org managed
by an independent and less experienced registry. It is in the interests of
the ISPCP that .org remain stable - a new, less experienced registry may
imperil this goal.
2. The proposed agreements offer USD 200m over 10 years to support R&D and
infrastructure development. However, there is no explanation of how this
money is to be spent and it is likely simply the minimum amount that
VeriSign would spend anyway to run the registry over that period.
3. "Plan B" appears to support better coordination of whois databases by
requiring VeriSign to make its database available to a centralized
database. However, ICANN has not even decided on a centralized scheme yet,
nor is it clear who the administrator of a centralized database would be.
Furthermore, if such a scheme is instituted, VeriSign can hardly refuse to
We find no compelling reason to abandon the existing Agreements between
ICANN and VeriSign and adopt the new proposal.