Incumbent Registry NeuStar Loves ICANN 'Reform'
Date: Friday August 09 2002, @05:01AM
Topic: ICANN Staff and Structure

Supporting my thesis that the only friends ICANN has left are those who are employed by it or make money off it, incumbent registry NeuStar, which stands to lose a packet if its oligopolistic position as operator of one of the few ICANN-approved new TLDs were subject to competition from a horde of new entrants, has written to NTIA's Nancy Victory saying, NeuStar Supports ICANN's Blueprint for Reform. I don't suppose that this letter will hurt NeuStar in its bid to be the next .org registry, either. Unless the qualifiers to its support turn out to have teeth. Updated.

Note, incidentally, the code phrases: NeuStar supports "ICANNís statement of its Core Values, including in particular, the promotion of a sustainable competitive environment for gTLD Registries and ICANN-Accredited Registrars" -- that means not too much competition for Neustar, please. NeuStar does include a few qualifiers in its support,

NeuStar also recognizes that the current system can and should be improved. ICANN needs to (i) reform its decision-making processes to provide for greater transparency and accountability, (ii) ensure that the views of all Internet stakeholders are heard, particularly those that are most impacted by the proposed ICANN policies (iii) create an effective advisory role for governments, and (iv) devise an adequate mechanism for the creation of sufficient financial and personnel resources to carry out its mission.
It's hard to know what to make of this. On the one hand, one could read it as saying that NeuStar is just fine with the concept of not having end-user representation on the board if that is what its regulator (ICANN) wants. Might impact the business model. On the other hand, real transparency, real listening to persons impacted (e.g. end-users, registrants, would-be registrants, would-be registries), and real accountablility would be revolutionary developments. In the context of a letter entitled "NeuStar Supports ICANN Blueprint," though, it's hard to believe that NeuStar means these terms in their full-blooded state, and even harder to believe that Nancy Victory will read the letter as asking her to do something to achieve these ends. And without her (or Congress) it's unlikely to happen.

UPDATE: I've had email from Jeff Neuman at NeuStar saying that what they meant by focusing on "the promotion of a sustainable competitive environment for gTLD Registries and ICANN-Accredited Registrars" was, (1) to distinguish themselves from the ccTLD debates and (2) to make the point that contrary to the VRSN position, NeuStar thinks some regulation [would that be anti-WLS -mf?] is needed to enhance competition.

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Re: Incumbent Registry NeuStar Loves ICANN 'Reform
by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Friday August 09 2002, @05:21AM (#8446)
User #2810 Info
The improvements NeuStar wants may be a milder echo of the points made by VeriSign and some US Republican Senators. If the WLS is approved, how long would it take for NeuStar to bring it? -g
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Re: Incumbent Registry NeuStar Loves ICANN 'Reform
by RFassett on Friday August 09 2002, @07:06AM (#8449)
User #3226 Info | http://www.enum.info
As difficult as it might be to do so, imagine an environment where a system for adding new TLD's is in place and wholesale price de-regulation exists (the latter being what Verisign recently voiced as their specific concern with ICANN). The .biz TLD has already chosen its strategy being that of low wholesale pricing to influence a large volume of registrations. Basically, a strategy of competing head-to-head with .com for the same "business" target market without any real identifiable separation. This is the model they chose for their registry.

If the projections submitted in October 2000 are now considered unrealistic for .biz, can you guess what their projections might look like today with price deregulation and new TLD's coming into the market place picking apart niche markets within .com? (note: serving a niche market is NOT the same as requiring restricted and/or sponsored TLD's for this purpose as the current applicants of .org each "say" in their application).

New TLD's are not even on ICANN's agenda. For this reason alone, Neustar (and its registry model) is going to just lie down.

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Re: Incumbent Registry NeuStar Loves ICANN 'Reform
by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Sunday August 11 2002, @05:16AM (#8456)
User #2810 Info
Bret Fausett's icann.blog points out another everything is swell letter from NeuStar and the other newbie registries. -g
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