Jackson Hts., New York, August 5, 2011 - Connecting.nyc Inc. last week filed comments on a Further Notice of Inquiry issued by the NTIA on a proposed contract with IANA (Internet Assigned Numbering Authority.)  IANA is responsible for the global coordination of the DNS Root, IP addressing, and other Internet protocol resources. 

Our comments focused on the formation and demonstration of consensus associated with filing an application for a new TLD, a vital task as public engagement is central to the optimization of the TLD’s operation and  equitable distribution of the resource.

The proposed IANA contract would require that it assure that community “consensus” was behind applications for new TLDs. We supported the consensus requirement, and we offered as guidance the point-based guidelines the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uses to assess local engagement in Choice Neighborhood applications. For example, the HUD guidelines state:

Resident and Community Engagement – 3 points. For this rating factor, you will be evaluated based on the extent to which you demonstrate that you have involved and will continue to involve neighborhood residents (including residents of the targeted public and/or assisted housing), local businesses, and community organizations in a sustained, informed and substantive way in the development and implementation of the Transformation Plan. Your application should demonstrate the impact of their involvement in shaping the vision for the neighborhood.

(1) Points will be awarded to the extent that your application:

      (a) Describes how residents of all ages as well as community-based organizations and local businesses are, and will continue to be, well informed and substantively engaged in the neighborhood transformation planning and implementation process. Explains key roles these interested parties have played in shaping the development of the Transformation Plan, and how you will ensure that local stakeholders’ concerns remain at the forefront of decision-making moving forward;

      (b) Includes a summary of representative resident and community recommendations and concerns from meetings and other forms of communication and an explanation of how this resident and community input has been addressed through the components of your proposed Transformation Plan;

      (c) Describes the capacity building, training, and other supports that have been and/or will be provided to residents and the community in order to increase informed, substantive, and sustained participation in the development and implementation of the Transformation Plan and ensure long-term accountability to the proposed vision; and

      (d) Describes your system for tracking and monitoring local stakeholder satisfaction and how this has aided and will aid you in assessing and adapting your ongoing Resident and Community Engagement strategy.

(2) You will receive up to 3 points if you demonstrate that you have a feasible, well- defined, and high-quality Resident and Community Engagement strategy, which addresses all of the above criteria.

(3) You will receive fewer points for failure to address all of the above criteria, failure to address the criteria in a sufficient manner, and for lack of specificity.

(4) You will receive zero points for failure to demonstrate that your Resident and Community Engagement strategy addresses any of the above criteria or your application does not address this factor to an extent that makes HUD’s rating of this factor possible.

As well, we pointed to other consensus assessment resources in our comments which are available here.

Learn more about our overall effort from our Wiki Home Page

Filed August 6th, 2011 under Oversight, NTIA, Civics, Education, Governance
  1. In the NTIA’s recent RFP for an entity to run the IANA function, the consensus clause was modified from:

    “For delegation requests for new generic TLDS (gTLDs), the Contractor shall include documentation to demonstrate how the proposed string has received consensus support from relevant stakeholders and is supported by the global public interest.”


    “The contractor shall verify all requests related to the delegation and redelegation of gTLDs are consistent with the procedures developed by ICANN. In making a delegation or redelegation request, the Contractor must provide documentation verifying that ICANN followed its policy framework including specific documentation demonstrating how the process provided the opportunity for input from relevant stakeholders and was supportive of the global public interest.”

    There seems to be a watering down from “consensus support from relevant stakeholders” to “opportunity for input from relevant stakeholders”. However, the “documentation verifying that ICANN followed its policy framework” phrase links back to the Guidebook and consensus policy. I suspect this is one of those “full employment for lawyers” policy changes:)

    Comment by Thomas Lowenhaupt on November 22, 2011 at 10:08 am

  2. In addition, there’s the Independent Objector process - http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/independent-objector-position-description-21nov11-en.pdf - and other hoops an applicant must jump through.

    But clarity with regard to city applications, and the proper level of public engagement and support, still requires some weegieing to discern.

    Comment by Thomas Lowenhaupt on November 22, 2011 at 12:18 pm

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