[ga] gTLD Comments on .org (PLEASE POST ON NC LIST)
The following are the public comments of the gTLD constituency (the
"Constituency" or "we") on the final report of the Task Force on the
divestiture of .org which was approved by the Names Council as a consensus
policy recommendation to the ICANN Board. We have no comments on the Final
Report itself that can be meaningfully expressed in a public comment,
however, we note that certain opinions have been voiced in the discussion of
the latest drafts and subsequent to the Final Report's issuance. The
Constituency is so concerned by these statements, that we are submitting the
following comments to establish our position on the same.
We are particularly concerned by the view expressed by the Business
Constituency and Non-Commercial Domain Name Holders Constituency that the
"market position of existing dominant providers are not entrenched nor
enhanced through participation in, taking an interest in, or contracting to
deliver critical services to, the new .org management organization."
Any such restriction or prohibition on the participation, interest or
contracting ability of certain "dominant" providers raises significant
concerns. Defining "dominant" providers, actors or service providers is not
easily accomplished, and has not been done. As a result, existing
registrars, registries, ISPs (i.e. AT&T, British Telecom, IBM, etc.) could
be arbitrarily excluded from providing contract services.
Such a prohibition is also fundamentally anti-competitive and may ultimately
add to the cost of services provided by the registry. By restricting the
ability of the .org registry to choose its contractors or service providers
and creating an artificial exclusion of certain market players, there will
be less competition for services, and lower costs to the registry may well
be forgone if the excluded parties are indeed offering the most competitive
prices. Moreover, the limitation may also exclude provision of services by
the most efficient and reliable parties, thereby hindering the performance
of the .org registry.
Forcing the registry to pay higher prices for whatever they procure results
in a higher cost structure for effected registries and this higher cost
structure is eventually passed along to registrants. ICANN intervention
into the ability of the .org registry to sub-contract or otherwise work
with, seek participation from "dominant players" is not only outside of the
scope of ICANN's mandate and mission, it also imposes a tax on registrants
and eventually makes the registration service less interesting in the
For each of the foregoing reasons, the Constituency strongly objects to the
view that there be any restriction upon the .org
registry's ability to freely seek participation or contracting services from
any players or actors that it deems capable of
ensuring the secure and reliable operation of the domain.
Jeffrey J. Neuman, Esq.
Chair, gTLD Registry Constituency
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