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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    IANA ccTLDs Interested in Running IANA
    posted by michael on Saturday February 08 2003, @12:50PM

    As previously noted, the Department of Commerce issued an obscure notice (through the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), not the first place I would look), soliciting comments on NTIA's plan to grant ICANN an up to three year extension of the peculiar a zero-dollar IANA procurement contract. If no one responded with an expression of interest within ten days -- which expired Thursday -- DoC/NTIA/NOAA would go ahead and sole-source award the contract to ICANN.

    Just because someone else expressed interest does not mean that there would an opportunity for competitive bids; and even if there were competitive bids, it wouldn't mean that DoC might not pick ICANN anyway (how do you have price competition on a zero-dollar procurement?).

    Well, it seems someone else is interested. We've been given permission to publish a letter from Nominet Chairman Dr. Willie Black to Nancy Victory (.pdf), strongly requesting that DoC consider a competitive bid, stating that CENTR would be interested in bidding, and requesting that -- whoever gets the job -- NTIA makes sure the contractor does it right. In particular the letter complains of ICANN's "not clearly separating its policy consensus-making role from its operational role." [Update: 02/10 19:33 GMT by M: links to news coverage.]

    Dr. Black's letter suggests that CENTR is applying to run IANA, and I'm told that this application will be built on the principles CENTR set out in ccTLD Requirements for International Coordination of the Domain Name System (May, 2002), which was CENTR's response to the Lynn Plan. It's unclear if they got their expression of interest in by the deadline; indeed, given that Dr. Black's letter is addressed to Nancy Victory and not the contracting officer, I'm uncertain whether the contracting officer will even be allowed to consider it in deciding whether to sole-source to ICANN or solicit competitive bids.

    The letter also notes that some ccTLDs have been discussing "the possibility to distribute regionally the management of the database of Top Level Domain managers which is used to produce the data for the "A"-root and subsequently all Internet root servers." Sly hint or veiled threat?

    [Update: 02/10 19:33 GMT by M:News coverage: Interesting long article in the Register -- suggests among other things that CENTR did not formally submit an expression of interest to bid on IANA by the deadline, if only because it didn't have time to get consensus of its members.

    Understated coverage in Europemedia.net, under the headline ICANN and US government accused of internet tyranny]

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      Related Links  
  • The Register (UK)
  • ICANNWatch.org
  • IANA
  • IETF
  • Nominet, the .uk registry
  • Nancy Victory
  • US Nat'l Telecom & Info Admin.
  • ccTLD Requirements for International Coordination of the Domain Name System
  • M
  • Interesting long article in the Register
  • ICANN and US government accused of internet tyranny
  • previously noted
  • an obscure notice
  • National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration
  • letter from Nominet Chairman Dr. Willie Black to Nancy Victory
  • More on IANA
  • Also by michael
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