• The .NYC Advisory Board

last modified June 8 by tomlowenhaupt

The .NYC Advisory Board and related public outreach efforts for the .nyc TLD are explored here.


CAB-characters-with-people.jpg

(Commons photo courtesy of avistadecerdo.)

Meeting Reports
Responsibilities

The Board's role includes:

"Meet four times per year and communicate through email to exchange ideas. Board members are to serve for a one-year term and will work on the following responsibilities:

        • Quarterly Board Meetings

        • Provide feedback on the development of .nyc including strategies for using, delegating and marketing the top level domain

        • Discuss future uses of the domain including public utilities, smart city ideas and future planning uses such as email addresses for residents

        • Act as a community ambassador  to provide updates to your constituency or sector, and relay feedback to the group

        • Provide input into policy and content for community.nyc" 

Beyond these fundamentals, the founding documents provide that the board's scope is to be decided by its members.

Board Members

    The .NYC Governance Structure

    The following stakeholders are involved with the .nyc TLD. How they relate and how does the Advisory Board's findings influence the TLD's development?

    • Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) - The city's contract administrator.
    • Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) - Through the Chief Digital Officer, facilitates government and public input to refining the contract.
    • NeuStar Inc. - Holds 5 year contract to operate and market .nyc TLD.
    • .NYC Advisory Board - See responsibilities above.
    • Connecting.nyc Inc. - In its role as an At-Large Structure, connects city residents and organizations with ICANN processes.
    • ICANN - Provides technical oversight of the .nyc registry.
    • Public - Expresses its desires through the above entities.

      nyc-advisory-board-organization-chart-preliminary.png

    Open Questions
    
    1. The scope of the CAB.
    2. What budget is required to operate the CAB, where does it originate, and how is it used? (Source possibilities: city government, crowdsourcing, NeuStar marketing funds, and grants.)
    3. How can New York share with the 38 other cities that have submitted applications for their TLDs?
    4. How should cities share Best Current Practices for operating TLDs? (See IETF working group - see RFC 2026.)

    Points of Contact

    1. This is a wiki and you can directly enter your thoughts on this page. (If you're not a wiki member, register here.)
    2. Email ideas to info@connectingnyc.org

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      In June 2012 the city of New York applied to ICANN for the right to develop the .nyc Top Level Domain. Its application requested the right to issue millions of .nyc domain names that could serve as a digital grid with an impact similar to that of the street grid, which shaped our city during the industrial era. Like the old, this new grid will guide residents, visitors, and businesses to our city's resources and be a factor in determining our city's economic vitality and quality of life.

      New York is not alone in this endeavor as 38 other cities have applied for their TLDs. How well New York weaves its domain names into its traditional and digital infrastructure might well determine our city's competitive position vis-a-vis other global cities.

      Circumstance resulted in the city's application for .nyc being submitted without the opportunity to draw upon our city's innovative digital culture: its entrepreneurs, artists, universities, technologists, and financial sector. Nor was the city able to assess how these domain names would affect digital activists or its traditional civic, community, and cultural life prior to its submission.

      But with a goal of being a state-of-the-art digital city and global hub of digital development, it was recognized that the city needed to carefully plan for .nyc's arrival. Policy decisions on who gets what name, under what conditions, for how long, and for how much were needed to assure the efficacy of the New York City's digital infrastructure.

      Connecting.nyc urged the city to create a review and oversight structure that mirrored the Internet's standard governance structure, and that it initiate planning processes that are inclusive, participatory, with lateral sharing in both online and face-to-face venues. 

      A Digital Roadmap On-Ramp

      Following up on earlier statements about engaging the public in developing plans for the .nyc TLD, the city first announced its plan for public engagement in a August 2012 Digital Roadmap,

      “...the City of New York will establish a community advisory board and convene public listening sessions to encourage meaningful input into the development of the .nyc strategy.” 

      The Community Advisory Board's responsibilities and membership were subsequently established, as shown in the sidebar. Its organizing meeting was held on May 2, 2013. Processes and points of interface with the TLD's policy and administrative apparatus are still being determined. This wiki page was created to inform and engage in that discussion and to engender discussion about directions the CAB might take. Comments are encouraged via the Points of Contact at right.

      Steps Toward Inclusive, Participatory Public Engagement

      Public engagement in planning and oversight of New York City's TLD through the CAB presents a promising opportunity to hear city residents views about the role a TLD can play in creating a more prosperous and livable city.

      With a TLD's scope, features, and capabilities a new territory for most city residents, education will be essential part of public engagement. Seeding conversations with background and experience on the opportunities a TLD presents will be an important aspect of the CAB's responsibilities. As the CAB is without staff or budget, how this is to be accomplished is the first hurdle. A Kickstarter-like campaign, possibly through Neighbor.ly is one funding mechanism.

      The CAB's existence should prove beneficial to TLD's review by ICANN, as a demonstration of community engagement. However, the Board's lack of tangible support might shed a negative light on the city's commitment.

      Long term, institutionalizing an effective CAB and a public engagement platform will empower residents to drive innovation and create a more livable city.

      The CAB's activities should also provide insight into standards, best practices, and governance for the other global cities seeking TLDs.

      Recommendations

      Our initial thoughts on duties, process, and outcomes:

      • Duties – The Internet is not mentioned in the 1987 city charter, but developments of similar scope must go through a Uniform Land Use Review Process. ULURP requires that plans having a significant impact on communities be reviewed by affected Community Boards. Modeling it upon ULURP, the CAB should be required to hear from all sections of the city - each of the 59 community boards or blocks of them as determined by the boards in consultation with the elected Borough Presidents. Outreach efforts should “seed” policy questions to facilitate public engagement with the issues. Long term, the CAB should look toward sustaining tasks such as:

        • Support innovation, investment, and competition in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and related areas across the regional economy and encourage creativity in the development and use of the Internet and ICT goods and services as a leading area of innovation;
        • Facilitate convergence of digital networks, devices, applications and services, and promote ubiquitous access to ICT networks and services, calling the attention of regional governments to the major implications of such developments;
        • Contribute to strengthening the resilience and security of information systems and networks as well as the protection of privacy to enhance trust in the use of Internet and ICT goods and services;
        • Foster co-operation with cities globally and facilitate the development, and, as appropriate, the co-ordination of their policies at the national and international levels;
        • Promote exchange of experience among cities in the information, computer, and communication policy areas, including the development of indicators to measure the information society.
      • Process – A salaried executive director should be selected by the CAB. The executive director's responsibilities should include facilitating communication between CAB members, and CAB members and the public. Relating to the listening sessions, the director shall:

        • Schedule and organize a series of public "listening sessions" before the city's community boards, minimally one session per borough. Listening sessions are to be scheduled and coordinated in consultation with the community boards.
        • Invitations to listening sessions are to include policy "seeds" that present issues, options, and possible impacts. Invitations should be distributed by city government, especially the community boards, civil society, the business community, and through readily available digital channels.
        • Listening sessions are to be webcast and archived.
        • A wiki and discussion venue for digital participation are to be made available for those unable to participate in the face to face meetings. 
        • At the conclusion of six month listening session the CAB shall consolidate face -to-face and digital input and present its consensus for review by city lawmakers.
      • Events - Engaging the public in planning .nyc's future will be particularly challenging as few are aware of the potential. The following events might prove beneficial.

        • Topic paper seeding
        • Hackdays
          • The Third Level
          • Privacy and the  Sustainable City
          • K-12 + Education Programs
          • Economic Development
          • Policing the .nyc TLD 
        • Borough Hearings
        • Outcomes – Recommendations of the CAB, when not precluded by the NeuStar contract, are to be appended to the current agreement. Implementation is to be monitored by the CAB. Recommendations outside the scope of the extant contact should be brought to the contractor or other responsible entities for consideration. 

        • Long Term - Top Level Domains are just part of a state-of-the-art digital infrastructure. High speed access and literacy training are other critical elements. While the CAB now needs to focus on the city's TLD, as the immediate challenges move toward resolution, perhaps its portfolio should be expanded to cover all critical resources. 

        Related Resources

        • Participatory Budgeting - A few NYC council districts are experimenting with participatory budgeting. Lessons on membership and decision making are to be found in the Participatory Budgeting Rule Book.
        • Wiki Government - Beth Noveck's excellent book on using wiki technology to improve public participation in government.
        Danish Tech Panels - Several times a year the Danish government convened a panel of fifteen ordinary citizens scientifically selected to represent the diversity of the Danish population to help study and recommend policy guidelines for a particular technology. (Note: The panels ceased operating in May 2012.)

        Organic Resources

        Beyond the traditional outreach and engagement efforts, the organic growth of the Internet governance name-set - At-Large.nyc, governance.nyc, IG.nyc, etc. - can aide residents in identifying and interacting with the governance process. 

        .NYC Advisory Board Meeting Reports and Other Links

        Related Resources

        • Participatory Budgeting - A few NYC council districts are experimenting with participatory budgeting. Lessons on membership and decision making are to be found in the Participatory Budgeting Rule Book.
        • Wiki Government - Beth Noveck's excellent book on using wiki technology to improve public participation in government.
        • Danish Tech Panels - Several times a year the Danish government convened a panel of fifteen ordinary citizens scientifically selected to represent the diversity of the Danish population to help study and recommend policy guidelines for a particular technology. (Note: The panels ceased operating in May 2012.)

        Key .nyc Pages