­Crushing.JPG­December 20, 2008, New York City - Connecting.nyc Inc. submitted comments to ICANN on the draft RFP (Request for Proposals) for new TLDs on December 15th. While we compliment ICANN for the many positive steps it has taken toward enabling cities to have TLDs, we took issue with several points in the 100+ page draft RFP. Our most significant concern is with the financial requirements suggested in the draft RFP:

  • One-time Application Fee - $185,000
  • Annual Registry Operator Fee - $75,000
  • Financial Stability Assurance - $40,000 surety bond per year (est.)
  • Per-name Fee - $.25

The first three of these will alter the nature of our operation and the type of financing we seek. (And they will have a huge negative impact on small registries, for example, should the Iroquois nation seek a TLD.)

But for New York City the per-name fee is the most troubling. Our comments present several scenarios where per-name fees will crush DNS innovation. Here are a few examples from those comments: 

By way of example consider the way per-name fees will inhibit our experimenting with the DNS’s role in advancing city life. For example, some are suggesting that civic discourse might be enhanced by issuing a second level name to each registered voter. Will we be able to consider such a project with the proposed fees? With 3,944,000 registered voters, and a $.25 fee per name, we’d need an additional $1,000,000 in ICANN fees to explore this possibility.

There are several ways to remedy this, one being that fees for names identifying things, locations, and foundation civic needs - education and health - ­ be excluded from the per-name charges. We will be discussing this alternative with ICANN.

We had several other concerns and suggestions with our full comments available here. (Commons photo courtesy of sam.)

Learn more about The Campaign for .nyc on our wiki pages.

Filed December 20th, 2008 under City-TLDs, Innovation, Domain Names, Civics, Education, ICANN

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