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Re: [wg-c] Choosing the intial testbed
For the selection of new gTLDs, especially the selection of the ones for the
initial testbed, I share the concern voiced by others that picking a TLD, in
the absence of a specific proposal from an organization/company to operate
the TLD registry, would not be optimal.
While we could certainly pair TLD proposals with technically competent
registry providers, NSI, or any other registry operator, is unlikely to
bring the same passion and commitment to, for example, a .naa as is the
Indigenous Nations of North America.
Or, what happens when, in a WG's divine wisdom, it picks a TLD name that no
registry wants to run? This is not inconceivable, as some frequently
suggested chartered TLDs (.xxx) may impose such high costs (screening,
content management) or legal liability as to make them unacceptable for
anyone to actually operate.
In the recent report, Jonathan wrote that the Working Group is now turning
to "the mechanism through which new gTLDs and registries should be
selected." I think the selection process in the initial testbed ought to
link those two concepts, and any voting be tied to a vote on both the gTLD
name and the gTLD registry operation. Otherwise, it may very well be that a
popular gTLD name either has no registry operation tied to it or is tied to
a registry that is not competent.
This suggestion is not meant to preclude, in any way, the possibility that a
gTLD would be paired with a non-profit shared registry.
That said, once the gTLD/registry proposals are submitted, Jamie's polling
suggestion seems a fine way to gauge the relative consumer demand for some
percentage of the new gTLDs. The results of GA votes, membership votes,
recommendations of constituencies, or any other such data all should be
presented to the Names Council with the new gTLD recommendations, together
with a recommendation on how the NC ought to make the final recommendation
to the ICANN Board. (e.g., "the WG recommends that the NC select 1/3 based
on popularity, 1/3 based on constituency recommendations, and 1/3 to satisfy
minority interests that would not win a popularity contest").
But the NC, and ultimately the ICANN Board, should be selecting from among
complete proposals for a gTLD coupled with a registry.