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.COM Public Comments and Facts

ICANN Public Comment is a mechanism that gives the ICANN community and stakeholders an opportunity to provide input and feedback. Public Comment is used in the policy development process, and to guide implementation work, reviews, and operational activities of the ICANN organization.

On 3 January 2020, the Public Comment opened for the proposed amendment to the .COM registry agreement between ICANN and Verisign, Inc. Details of the proposed amendment were announced at that time. In the weeks since the announcement was made, several articles have been written that perpetuate misunderstandings of ICANN’s role in setting .COM wholesale pricing, as well as key elements of the new proposed framework for working together on initiatives related to the security, stability, and resiliency of the Domain Name System (DNS) in the form of a binding Letter of Intent (LOI) between the two organizations.

As announced by the U.S. Department of Commerce on 1 November 2018, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Verisign agreed to extend and modify the Cooperative Agreement, under which .COM fees are governed. The amendment to the Cooperative Agreement provided Verisign the pricing flexibility to change its .COM Registry Agreement (RA) with ICANN to increase wholesale .COM pricing. Specifically, the flexibility permits Verisign to pursue with ICANN an up to seven percent increase in the prices for .COM domain names, in each of the last four years of the six-year term of the .COM Registry Agreement. The proposed agreement updates the .COM Registry Agreement (RA) to reflect those changes. ICANN is not a price regulator and defers to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Justice for the regulation of pricing for .COM registry services.

Reports of the agreement between the U.S. Department of Commerce and Verisign were published by several news sources, including Domain Name Wire, Broadcasting+Cable, and Investor’s Business Daily.

The Amendment to the agreement also delivers several important commitments:

  • Enhanced technical and reporting obligations in line with the Base RA
  • Public Interest commitments related to combatting DNS Security threats, in line with Spec 11 of the Base RA
  • Requirements for the Implementation of the Registration Data Access Protocol

Public Comment is an important part of ICANN’s processes and is fundamental to the multistakeholder model of Internet governance. I encourage all stakeholders to get involved and submit their comments before it closes this Friday, 14 February 2020.

You can read more about the proposed agreement and submit your comments here.

Once the Public Comment period closes, ICANN org will review all comments received and prepare and publish a summary and analysis report.


    Bob June  01:29 UTC on 12 February 2020

    Verisign should not be allowed to increase the wholesale price to registrars for .COM domains under any conditions. Increasing the price for registrars will increase the price for all internet users. The current price for registrars should be sustained or decreased. Moreover, there should be an upper limit to the price at which registrars can offer domain names to individual customers. But of course, in order to guarantee that registrars provide a high quality service to their customers they should be given enough profit margin. The final goal should be the affordability of the INTERNET for everyone. The basic principle should be that the INTERNET as a huge public library or public virtual space should be easy and affordable to access for all people on the planet and anyone who wants to have presence online (no matter where they are from) should be able to afford it. In the current digital age constant increase on the prices of domain names etc is like putting price on air and on each breath one takes. The current price is high enough and it shouldn't become any higher!!! Rather, ICANN should think of lowering the current wholesale prices and make sure that registrars for .com and other domain names cannot increase their offers beyond a certain limit.

    CHRISTOPHER STANLEY STARR  16:55 UTC on 13 February 2020

    I have chronic health issues and have been trying to attempt to build a home business so i can have the opportunity to work from home during my very bad days, the major issue has been finding something online based i can do from home, evry cost counts when you have to rebuild your entire life when its half over, this will vastly increase the price i have to pay to keep a domain, and probably will spend the end for any chance i have to move life forward, I implore you to reconsider what seems to be a guarantee in soaring costs for the consumers, whether your intentions are pure or not, dont let your want for a quick payout make you forget what service you provide in modern society, we trust you to keep the average person trying to improve their lives in mind, this will breed nothing but distrust in icann's reputation as a reputable honest actor, this will only hurt you in the long run despite what seems like id imagine positive gains in the short run, thank you for listening

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."