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Wednesday, February 08, 2006


IAB Liaison Report on New TLDs

Thomas Narten serves as the Internet Architecture Board's liaison to the ICANN Board. This is his Report:

"PDP started on introduction of new TLDs:

The GNSO has kicked of a Policy Develoment Process (PDP) to come up with a revised process for the introduction of new TLDs. There is a widespread feeling that the efforts to date at creating new TLDs have been problematical, and no one seems to be happy. While the ICANN PDP process calls for a very short time frame for getting things done (completely unrealistic, IMO, if the goal is a reasonable document), it seems to be understood that the timeline is a problem and that the process will take longer. But how much longer is unclear. Also, there is some fairly serious concern (among some) that some quality/deep thinking needs to be done on the introduction of new TLDs, yet the existing process is far from guaranteed to achieve that."

We agree with Thomas that the existing process is not yielding quality or deep thinking on new TLD policy. Several constituencies have simply regurgitated prior position papers (some over three years old) and most constituencies have devoted no more than a few days to discussions on the topic (with only a very few constituency members participating). The ICANN GNSO Council has yet to discuss or debate a single new TLD issue and we are already ten weeks into the PDP process. Pathetic.

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