On the morning of Wednesday 15th October, the The Domain Name Association (the DNA) held an important working group meeting during ICANN 51 Los Angeles. The topic was to discuss several operational issues between registries and registrars. The meeting's unofficial ongoing name is the Registry-Registrar Operations Working Group.
The meeting was a continuation of an inaugural meeting that was held back in June of this year, and covered in a Industry Association: An Implementation Model circulated by the DNA from September 17, by Executive Director Kurt Pritz.
The rationale behind the inaugural meeting as well as Wednesday's meeting was to formulate discussion between the groups on how to improve the domain name registration process for registrants and businesses, as well as discussion of other operational issues between registries and registrars. These issues and discussion points were brought to light by several members of the group, such as GoDaddy, Donuts, ARI Registry Services, Neustar, Google, 1&1, TLD Registry, and Rightside.
The meeting was held and the discussion points were raised because of two main issues within the registry-registrar relationships and how it affects the registration process. Kurt Pritz's CircleID article stated that those issues are (1) Registry-registrar operational issues are being solved on a one-off basis as each new registry operator paired off with its set of registrars, and (2) resolving these issues in an industry-wide collaborative manner is preferable in order to create operational consistency and save time.
Wednesday's meeting highlighted several points of emphasis, such as developing concepts for formal registry-registrar collaboration methods, how to implement those concepts and action points, and the actual issues that need to be worked through as a basis for the creation of the Registry-Registrar Operations Working Group.
The concept for formal registry-registrar collaboration raised produced action items that the working group has undertaken to implement into the methodology. It was noted that there is arguably an urgent need for more efficient collaboration between registries and registrars due to the increasing pairs from new gTLDs (there will be millions of permutations). It was also noted that the DNA's registry-registrar operations Working Group essentially creates what may become a "best practices" guide between registries and registrars.
The implementation process needs to have a community approach, circulate fast-acting discussion and provide leadership and participation within the community as well. The DNA's momentum is strong, and is delivering across a multi-stakeholder group. The DNA encourages both DNA and non-DNA members to participate in the working group, which creates a sense of neutrality for the DNA which and guides discussion in a non-biased manner.
The main issues can be worked through by harmonizing premium name services between the registries and registrars, standardizing the registry implementations, and find common ground on operation models, such as tiered billing and differential renewable pricing.
The next steps for the Working Group will be to further discuss potential issues, and to prioritize those issues in order of importance. Leadership positions will be selected and general objectives will continue to be discussed. The next meeting will be held on Nov. 4, via a DNA conference call.
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