Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.
Please see attached PDF public comment on the proposed renewal of the .NET Registry Agreement with Verisign.
The total value of the proposed ICANN .NET Registry award contract to Verisign is $1.17 billion in fees over a six-year term from 13.2 million registrants - who have no choice but to pay higher fees. And in exchange, ICANN will receive $59.4 million in fees from Verisign.
Please see attached PDF for full public comment by TurnCommerce Inc.
ICANN has two options:
Option 1: Heed the advice of the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division and thousands of stakeholders who have called for ICANN to put TLD contracts out for competitive tender – and use the bidding process to ensure that domain registration fees are offered at reasonable price and terms guided by the forces of the competitive process.
Option 2: If ICANN is not willing to put the .NET Registry Agreement out for competitive tender and completely ignore its competition mandate – then it has an obligation to the global Internet community to perform the required work to determine if the current $9.92 fee cap and the 10% yearly escalations are appropriate. This includes hiring an expert economist, conducting a full economic study and sharing the results with the community, looking at the cost of other registry operators, and ensuring fees are reasonable.
Doing neither should seriously call into question the entire ICANN multi-stakeholder model of Internet Governance.
We are at a pivotal point for ICANN. Does ICANN want to continue protecting Verisign and its money printing machine – and continue to ignore the global stakeholder community – or does ICANN want to live up to its mandate and promote competition within the Domain Name System?