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Twomey's new gTLD plan (not), and the .travel fix|
posted by michael on Friday August 01 2003, @05:40AM
ehasbrouck writes "At Montreal, the ICANN board "resolved [03.113] that the President
is requested to provide to the Board, no later than 26 July 2003,
a detailed plan and schedule for development of an appropriate long-term
policy for introduction of new gTLDs into the domain-name system using
predictable, transparent, and objective procedures, including at least
the following elements:
The deadline has passed, but I can't find this report on the ICANN Web
- completion of the presently ongoing review of the results of the
new-TLD proof of concept initiated in 2000;
- obtaining advice and analysis on issues pertinent to such a
long-term policy from appropriate sources;
- commencement of a well-focused Policy-Development Process within the
Generic Names Supporting Organization on such a long-term policy; and
- consultation with ICANNís Advisory Committees and other Supporting
"Meanwhile, ICANN staff seem to have had trouble coordinating their fix
the new sTLD criteria to ensure approval of .travel. The "Travel
Corporation", a front group set up by IATA to satisfy critics of IATA's
inability to represent the entirety of the community of interest in .travel
(but which still represents only the travel industry, not travellers),
has filed comments on the ICANN staff draft sTLD criteria. The TPC
obviously thinks of .travel as a fait accompli -- have you ever seen any
other gTLD applicant express such certainly about their future approval?
But the TPC is concerned that the elaborate scheme for sponsorship of
.travel by IATA and ICANN's cronies at the Tralliance Corp., with the TPC
as captive "policy maker" but not actual sponsor, might not satisfy ICANN's
newest rules. So they are lobbying to get the rules rewritten, again,
to ensure their approval. The point is to enable IATA and Tralliance to
co-sponsor .travel, using the TPC -- nominally representative and neutral,
although in reality neither -- as policy rubber-stamp to
give legitimacy to the application, without even the formality of
actually handing over sponsorhip to the TPC.
ICANN's comment-munging system made the TPC comments difficult to
decipher, even if you can find them, so I've attached a text version below.
(The comments are
You have to download the attachment, change the file extension from ".bin"
then open it in Microsoft Word.)
The Travel Partnership Corporation
Board of Directors:
Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC (Chairman)
Kevin Dobby, IATA
Alain-Philippe Feutre, IH&RA
William A. Maloney, CTC, ASTA
Michael D. Gehrisch, IACVB
Birger Backman, UFTAA
Tom Jenkins, ETOA
Michael Crye, ICCL
Peter de Jong, PATA
July 28, 2003
Dr. Vinton G. Cerf
Mr. Paul Twomey
President & Chief Executive Officer
for Assigned Names and Numbers
4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Reference: The .travel Top Level Domain
Dear Dr. Cerf:
Dear Mr. Twomey:
We have been following ICANNís progress with regard to introducing
sponsored top-level domains for a considerable time, and have encouraged
the ICANN Board and its Chief Executive on several occasions to make this
matter a top priority. The travel and tourism industry -- as is well known
to the world at this juncture -- is facing unprecedented challenges. In
these uncertain times, we view .travel as a vital component in our drive
to galvanize our industry and to respond effectively to travelersí needs as
we look to the sectorís recovery.
We note that a draft RFP for sTLDs is now open for public comment and,
as the Chairman of The Travel Partnership Corporation (TPC), I would like
to comment on two issues that we feel are most important.
The first issue refers to the timeline that has been detailed within the
RFP. We look to ICANN to ensure that this timeline is maintained. If the
timeline is maintained, it will effectively be three years since our
.travel sTLD application was originally filed and, with all due respect,
we believe that that is long enough to wait for the approval of .travel.
Having watched as the anticipated RFP for sTLDs was first introduced as a
Criteria Paper, in Rio de Janeiro, in March 2003 and posted for 6-weeks of
public comment; followed by the Draft, which was introduced in Montreal, in
June 2003, and the Boardís unexpected decision to provide for an additional
8-weeks of public comment, the TPC is keen to see the final RFP posted
promptly following the August 25th closing of the public comment period.
More specifically, we call on ICANN to assure the community that there will
be no further delays and that the 18-week process will roll out as it is
currently defined, with an anticipated award of .travel by December 2003.
The second issue we would like to comment on is ICANNís narrow
definition of the term "sponsor." The legal form of the "sponsor," in our
opinion, is not the relevant factor. Rather, any legal entity which has
the ability to commit the necessary managerial and financial resources on
behalf of the constituency it serves -- coupled with a policy making body
representative of the constituency -- should be allowed to sponsor a sTLD.
Therefore, we strongly recommend that ICANN expand its definition of the
term "sponsor" to allow both for-profit and not-for-profit entities to
sponsor new sTLD applications without any bias towards one or the other.
We hope that these views will help you with your deliberations, and look
forward to seeing the posting of the final RFP in early September 2003.
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Twomey's new gTLD plan (not), and the .travel fix
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The Fine Print:
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If you take their definition of "sponsor" at face value, then any applications, sponsored or unsponsored, meets this criteria.
An "unsponsored" application magically becomes "sponsored" by the applying entity.
With that said, take the above letter, replace .travel with .web, and I could say the same.
It's time for ICANN to simply create objective criteria and apply them to the 40 or so remaining applicants. The testbed is over - it's time to finish what was started in 2000.
Ambler On The Net [ambler.net]
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