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ICANN Proceeds With Batching… For Now

Adrian Kinderis

Yesterday, ICANN released a statement to confirm its intention to evaluate new Top-Level Domain applicants in batches using the proposed timestamp system (digital archery) to determine the batches.

Whilst this is not the result I was hoping for, I was not surprised by this move.

In the past week ARI Registry Services has sent two letters to the ICANN Board and their staff expressing our concern about the current batching and digital archery systems. Several other stakeholders within the community have done the same.

Whilst ICANN must be commended for hitting their deadlines and sticking to the timeline, we still don't believe that the notion of batching is necessary and we will continue to press these concerns with ICANN. This is a position that has gathered much support within the community during the past week.

With the batching system now open, ARI Registry Services will participate and support our clients through this difficult process. However, we hope that ICANN is still committed to communication and consultation with the community and that they are open to receiving constructive feedback — even if it means reassessing the need to proceed with batching.

It is understandable that ICANN feels a certain amount of pressure now to hit its deadlines and deliver what it has promised, especially after the TAS issue in April. However, a stubborn and inflexible approach — without due respect for the ramifications on applicants — will only further disgruntle an already frustrated audience.

So my message to ICANN is quite simple; 1) Continue to consult with the community and seek feedback and constructive criticism about the batching system; 2) Continually work on the operational efficiencies and evaluate the need for the digital archery and batching process; 3) Consider eliminating the batching process if operational efficiencies are identified between now and when the results are published.

Whilst the digital archery window is now open and applicants will have to participate, it does not mean ICANN needs to implement the results it produces. ICANN must be nimble and adaptable with this program. We still maintain our position that batching is not required and hope ICANN is able to re-evaluate its position.

I thank the community for their support and encourage all stakeholders to express their concerns to ICANN about this issue.

Our letter (6 June 2012) to ICANN can be viewed here.

By Adrian Kinderis, Vice President Corporate Development at Neustar
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