Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Trust in the next new gTLD round

Potential new gTLD applicants are exposed prior to submitting their application, below is a suggestion to protect them from potential bad behaviors.

This is an email that I sent to an ICANN insider. I am myself a member of several working groups but I was not able to locate the right one to submit this suggestion. I received an answer with the right directions and it appears that this issue is already taken into account, which is a good thing for future applicants...if lobbyists and other ICANN insiders can't block this from being taken into account.

Email sent
Dear "Whoever", 
There is a suggestion that I would like to do for the next AGB* but I have no idea where I should submit it and if there is still time for this.
I faced this problem in round one and I strongly believe that it makes sense to consider it.
I think that new gTLD applicants should be able to submit their application before they have to choose a back-end registry provider. The reason for this is to avoid an idea of a TLD project to go in the ears of another applicant with deeper pockets.
New gTLD applicants are obliged to select a backend registry provider for their application to enter the ICANN validation process. Allowing them to submit without a backend registry (how: I don't know), would increase chances of the applicant to be able to finalize his project.
Trust/Confidentiality is an issue and an application that a backend registry provider will lose to another is just a word pronounced to other potential applicants. Whatever NDA is signed, an applicant is at risk when having to meet several backend registry providers to discuss his project.
It makes sense, for an applicant, to be able to meet with a backend registry, after ICANN has accepted his application. Before that is a high risk.


What is the idea?
The idea is to protect potential new gTLD applicants from speaking too loud and too early; an obligation when consulting potential partners to submit a new gTLD application. Of course, everyone is honest - we all know this - and I am not targeting back-end registry providers here but putting such a solution in place would:
  1. Limit the number of multiple new gTLD applications in the next round (unless it is decided that applications are validated on the basis of first come first served);
  2. Fasten the process to validate applications at ICANN.
If a new gTLD applicant can demonstrate upfront that his intention is to work with one "already ICANN accredited back-end Registry", can't he then contract with him after his application was validated by the ICANN?

Brokers: get prepared!


* "AGB" stands for Applicant Guidebook: the bible to submit a new gTLD application to ICANN.

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