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[registrars] Teleconference Notes and Consensus Analysis


I have completed the amalgamation of the three sets of notes from
yesterday's teleconference. I have made one or two corrections based on
feedback from members that has been sent my way. If there is anything else
that need be corrected, hopefully it can wait until our faithful secretariat
returns from his adventures in the Pacific.

Also, based on Brett Fausetts claim that "...a conference call among
registrars to discuss the proposed Verisign wait list service showed no real
consensus over anything at all" on his ICANN.Blog
(http://www.lextext.com/icann/) led me to conduct a simple analysis of the
major points of consensus that were present on the call. I have no included
any conclusions, but rather, simply extended on Rick Wesson's spreadsheet
that he forwarded here yesterday. This analysis can be found at
http://www.byte.org/rc-deletes/deletes-vote-analysis.html Apologies in
advance to those that might have browser problems with it - it is an Excel
Workbook saved as HTML.

The text version of the telecon notes are below, Word and Acrobat are



ICANN DNSO Registrar Constituency
Members Teleconference Notes: 01.09.02 16:00 - 18:00 EST
Re: Verisign WLS and Competitive Proposals
Purpose: To define Constituency consensus and position on the various
Chair: Rick Wesson, ExComm

Proposal Presentations
VRSN: not present on call.

AfterNIC: presented RRS.

Registrar Commentary & Statement of Position
Allwest Communications - Opposed to WLS, Opposed to AfterNIC, Affirm status

Enom - Opposed to WLS. Supports everything except WLS even at lower price.
So many things wrong that he doesn't know where to start. It removes
differentiation amongst the registrars. Increases FUD amongst registrants
(will tell registrants that it is an insurance policy).  It appeals to a
limited market (the educated ones). Bottom of the barrel proposal (in
relationship to the others presented).  More comments on the RC list.
Affirm AfterNIC.  Affirm status quo.

GoDaddy - Oppose WLS.  Will not participate at any price. Conflict of
interest, even prior to this with the registry.registrar connection.
Extends scope of natural monopoly and limits registrar competition. Cost to
Verisign is minimal, or it should be. Registrant protection not taken into
account, it should be. Willing to take legal remedy. Possibly favor the
MIT/Tucows proposal, but not prepared to fully support it without further
examination.  More than a 15-day grace period, propose 45 waiting period.
Status quo is best but willing to explore other options. Against AfterNIC's
auction model.

CORE - Oppose WLS.  Oppose AfterNIC's proposal.  Echo other's comments
specifically with regard to the ethical problems and the rights of the
existing registrant. Tucows/MIT proposal seems to be better than the status
quo, but more work and consultation is required.

PSI-Japan - Concerned about lotteries, not taking a position on specific
proposals at this time. Abstaining "not confident to render a decision on a
specific proposal".

Register.com - Opposed to WLS.  Supports RRS.  WLS: Prices are too high.
Margins will be razor thin.  Concerns about moving further innovation into
the registry thus increasing the scope of their monopoly.  Speculator angle
also causes some concern -guarantees of acquisition will promote technical
gaming of the FCFS.  No comment on MIT/Tucows. Not happy with status quo.
Affirm AfterNIC.

InterCosmos - Opposed to WLS.  Likes the concept of the WLS, does not like
the price.  Recognizes that SnapNames is in the corner if this proposal
isn't accepted.  Will likely offer it due to competitive concerns. Not a fan
of auctions, therefore opposed to the RRS proposal. Doesn't like the status
quo -  4 or 5 registrars are soaking up all of the connections. The registry
should give us more options.  If VeriSign imposes the service we would offer
it.  Not a big fan of auctions. Opposed to the status quo. Abstain on the
MIT/Tucows proposal. Opposed to WLS as it currently stands.

DomainBank - Echo's Intercosmos comments. WLS has a long way to go, but in
theory it sounds like it may offer an even playing field. Opposed to WLS,
RRS, status quo and abstain on the Tucows/MIT proposal.

eMarkMonitor - Abstains on all proposals. Observations on WLS, would
encourage a longer grace period, followed by notices to earlier registrant
etc. Pricing is high. Probably opposed to RRS model.

NSI-Registrar - Have not yet formalized comments on any proposal.  Neither
abstaining nor endorsing nor opposing.

ActiveISP - Not part of business model, in a listening mode and abstaining
on all proposals.

MelbourneIT - There are two issues here - favors a technical solution to the
technical problem and a business approach to the "new business proposal".
VRSN has a requirement to provide minimum service levels and prices to
registrars.  Further work is required on the WLS proposal.  Pricing is too
high. Supports the WLS proposal, but only with modification. The technical
problems still need to be resolved.  The WLS proposal simply moves the
problems around. Does not support the RRS proposal.  Abstain on the
Tucows/MIT proposal, oppose the status quo.

BulkRegister - Believes that the WLS proposal is anticompetitive. Is
positioned in the marketplace as benefitting consumers when in fact it does
not because of the anti-competitive attributes. Must be careful of consumer
perception because of the positioning. The concept is okay, but increasing
the scope of the monopoly is not. Opposed to WLS.  Opposed to status quo.
Would support a hybrid proposal generated from a mix of the current
proposals as none of them completely solve the problem. Opposed to Afternic
proposal for business reasons.  Abstaining on the Tucows/MIT proposal in
favor of a hybrid.

Dotster - Opposed to WLS. Echoes Paul's comments. Favors the competitive
registrar model. Totally bad deal for the consumer. These are lawsuits
waiting to happen for consumers. Not sure that Dotster can even implement it
on their site because of technical concerns. Potential for gaming is too
high. No incentive for losing registrars to delete names. The registry and
snapnames will be the primary beneficiaries. Opposed to anything that has an
up-front cost to the end consumer unless the registrar delivers a domain
name to them in their accounts. Opposed to all current proposals.

Joker - Opposed to WLS. Not sure if that matters however. This is his
biggest concern. The right way to solve this problem would be a joint effort
run by registrars. Opposed to all other proposals.

Tucows - Opposed on the grounds that the current proposals do not provide
sufficient guidance, insight or definition to sufficiently discern on a
policy, business or operational level what the impact on our operations and
revenue will be. Further definition of the proposals and consultation with
the community must occur. Echo's MIT's comments. Favors - a technical
solution to the technical problems that NSI is experiencing. Favors - a
variable pricing model to the new business proposal.  Favors -
accountability to the various stakeholders (registrars, registrants etc.)
Abstain on Tucows/MIT proposal.

CORE - Opposed to WLS, RRS.  Ok with the status quo.  Affirms the Tucows/MIT

Schlunde - Opposed to WLS and RRS. Improve the status quo.  Abstain on
Tucows/MIT proposal.

Mediaventure - pass, not on call.

IARegistry - Opposed to WLS.  Abstain from the AfterNIC proposal.
Modifications to that proposal are possibly the way to go. Has tabled an
alternative hybrid proposal that he believes requires further attention.  In
favor of status quo. Favor MIT/Tucows Proposal. Disappointed that this gets
fast-tracked and transfers policy gets ignored.

Speednames - Opposed to WLS. Opposed to Tucows/MIT proposal. Opposes RRS
proposal.  Opposed to Status Quo. Supports the statements of Ross Rader and
Bruce Tonkin made earlier on the call.

NameScout - Opposed to RRS, in favor of status quo.  Once the bulk batch
deletes go away, the status quo become sustainable. Favors Tucows/MIT
proposal, but probably requires further work. Opposed to WLS as it is
currently written. This option needs further exploration and is not opposed
to a parallel registry.

Alice's Registry - Opposed to WLS.  An opt-out needs to be implemented if
the WLS does get implemented. Gives registrants further choice -
counter-insurance, insurance on IP. Opposed to the price and disappointed
that the registry hasn't shown interest in displaying the status of the
subscription on any forum.  Opposed to RRS and status quo.  In favour of
Tucows/MIT proposal.

Round-up: the way forward:

Stubbs (NC) - Concerns about current situation. Creating situation to
justify price increase.  Limitation number of connections. VRSN should be
able to provide technical solution without additional price increase.

Broitman (RCOM)- Concerned about SLA.

Wesson (Chair) - recommend a drafting team to present a counter-proposal for
discussion within the RC.

Stubbs (NC) - serious concerns with Verisign's behavior. May try to use this
to leverage a price increase.  Have cut back connections and may use this to
justify economic concerns that they may create. Verisign has more than
adequate resources to devote to resolving the technical issues.

Broitm an (RCOM) - how can the registry modify the terms of service (ie -
connections) without consultation or explanation.

Nyholm (SpeedNames) - Is Chuck Gomes (Verisign Registry) on the line? Could
Wesson or Palage provide a heads-up on Verisign's next steps? How will
Verisign receive the proposal?

Wesson (Chair) - Cannot speculate. Let's try and keep things in order. Keep
responses short and to the point. When will Verisign have the bulk batch
deletes taken care of?

Beckwith (Verisign) - Don't know yet. Need a response from the internals. I
will forward an answer when I get it.

Registrar Questions & Answers/Further Comments

AWRegistry - No further comments.

Enom - How many names does NSI-Registrar have queued for deletion? Will the
queues be cleared before the WLS gets implemented?

Beckwith (Verisign) - Same question as Rob's basically. Don't know, but I
will forward more information to the list.

Godaddy - No further comments on this. What can we do when VRSN rolls this
out anyways? I'd be surprised if they made any changes or cancelled the

Wesson (Chair) - Have asked this question of staff.

Broitman (RCOM) - ICANN wants us to treat this informally. They want us to
take this to a number of constituencies with registrars acting as the
primary stakeholder.  Pretty confident that VRSN will not be able to move
forward as written arbitrarily.

Stubbs (NC) - probability that this may never get released. More likely that
they will cancel the program and go in for a price increase.

Wesson (Chair) - Spoke to someone to an analyst that claims that they are
projecting a 40% increase in revenue next year.

RCOM - Useful to talk a little bit about the concept of auctions. Flat
pricing model allows for too much gaming by registrars. Lets insiders take a
crack at the opportunity. Shouldn't be dismissing the auction model so

DomainBank - No other comments.

eMarkMonitor - Membership should rank the proposals so that we know where to
focus our efforts.

Verisign - No further comments.

ActiveISP - No further comments.

MelbourneIT - This is classed as a registry service and therefore
constitutes a price increase. They need ICANN approval. Constituency needs a
position on WLS.  Constituency also needs a position on the best way to go.
We don't want to confuse the two. This could lead to endless proposals.

BulkRegister - Concerned with the process of how we handle this. Public
perception is that this is a done deal.  If they manage to get it rolled
out, then this is really a done deal. I wonder how much power the
constituency has after this occurs. When we speculate on ideas and it goes
out to the public, perception becomes reality.

Dotster - No further comments.

Tucows - Echo's MIT comments, favors the creation of a position statement
and separately a counter-proposal.

CORE - Ditto.

??? - Ditto

IARegistry - WLS should be completely turn-down. They should fix the
technical problem. Verisign-registry is a datawarehouse and should stay out
of our business.

SpeedNames - Afraid of violent opposition. This does us a disservice. The
proposal does have potential - we need to look at proposals that make us
money.  We should work with Verisign on this.

NameScout - Agrees with MIT, Tucows and IARegistry. We've already vetted the
other proposals already - we need to make sure that we have a position on
the WLS as a constituency. The biggest problem currently is with the price.
Other proposals have merits, but they should be dealt with separately.  We
shouldn't be rewarding the monopoly however if the problem goes away as
IARegistry has indicated.

Palage (ExComm) - Adjustments to price talk about net increase, its

Tonkin (MelbourneIT) - ICANN can't unreasonably withhold...

Palage (ExComm) - Talks about net increases...

Rader (Tucows) - Some of the terms are very defined...to the
accountants...perhaps Ken Stubbs could clarify.

Hall (NameScout) - Nothing to stop NSI-Registrar from hoarding names and
then grabbing the money when they see a subscription come through. We need
to comment on the WLS. Comments should be constructive.

Wesson (Chair) - We need to formally reply to the WLS proposal, need to form
a drafting team. Need volunteers. We also need a policy on how registrars
delete domains. We can discuss this further on the list and at our meeting.

Volunteers: Broitman (RCOM), Tonkin (MIT), Stahura (eNom), DiCarlo
(Dotster), Wascher (IARegistry)

Tonkin (MelbourneIT) - Time is of the essence.

Stubbs - The community is following this closely. We need to make sure that
the goals of the document and the presentation are clear.



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