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Bringing Multistakholderism Home, .US and the Stakeholder Council

Stephanie Duchesneau

Co-Authored by Scott Blake Harris and Shane Tews, Chair and Vice Chair of the usTLD Stakeholder Council

2014 will be remembered as the year of the "multistakeholder model" on the Internet. NTIA demonstrated its commitment to bottom-up, multistakeholder Internet governance by committing to complete the transfer of responsibility for various technical functions — known as the IANA Functions — to the multistakeholder community. NTIA called on ICANN to convene the community to develop a transition plan to accomplish this goal. Both veterans and newcomers to the world of Internet governance met in Brazil for discussions leading to principles and roadmaps for global multistakeholder policy for future development at the Internet Governance Forum and other fora. Meanwhile, the ICANN community continued to break down silos by convening an unprecedented number of Cross Community Working Groups to tackle pressing DNS issues as a community.

Closer to home, Neustar and the Department of Commerce took steps to bring the multistakeholder model to ".US," the country-code top level domain for the United States (the "usTLD"). Neustar convened the usTLD Stakeholder Council, composed of stakeholders with diverse interests in .US's development, including registrars, civil society, locality-based delegated managers, intellectual property interests, law enforcement, registrants and others. The usTLD Stakeholder Council will work with the usTLD community to identify proposals for policy changes, procedural improvements, and other innovative ideas to drive evolution, growth, and positive change in US country-code namespace. Our goal is to make the usTLD a model of industry best practices and the domain of choice for businesses, communities, and Internet users with meaningful ties to the United States.

Broad and active stakeholder participation fuels the power of the Internet to drive economic growth and innovation, facilitate open communication and cultural exchange, and provide a platform for free expression. Each of us has a stake in making the .US TLD a vibrant space for local businesses to thrive and for communities and residents to share and learn from one another.

As Chair and Vice Chair of the inaugural .usTLD Stakeholder Council, we know that the success of our efforts depends not only on the unique knowledge, experience, and perspective that Councilors bring to the table, but even more importantly on our ability to engage usTLD stakeholder communities and the American public at large to realize the potential of the US domain space. We are reaching out to all members of the usTLD stakeholder community to ensure broad and active participation in the work of the Council.

Getting Involved

The usTLD Stakeholder Council will operate transparently and will provide a variety of tools to support active public participation in its deliberations, including:

  • Opening all Council calls to the public for real-time participation;
  • Soliciting public comment before finalizing Council recommendations;
  • Publishing quarterly reports of all Council activities; and
  • Hosting annual "virtual town halls" to bring the entire stakeholder community together to identify ways in which the usTLD can support innovation and vibrant user experience.

The first usTLD Virtual Town Hall will take place in late April. We will provide more information as it develops. In the meantime, we want to hear from you on anything and everything, from the .US Nexus Policy, to youth engagement, to how to bring .US to your local community and make it a key part of your experience as an Internet user.

The time to get engaged starts now. Background information on the usTLD, including information about usTLD policies, is available here.We hope you'll take a few minutes to review the documents, lend us your thoughts, and help shape the future work of the usTLD Stakeholder Council.

And that's just the beginning. If you are interested in getting involved, as we hope you will, please contact stakeholdercouncil@neustar.us for information about additional opportunities for involvement.

By Stephanie Duchesneau, Secretariat, usTLD Stakeholder Council

Related topics: Domain Names, ICANN, Internet Governance, Top-Level Domains


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.US Offers Very Special Brand Max Menius  –  Jan 30, 2015 6:02 PM PDT

"Our goal is to make the usTLD a model of industry best practices and the domain of choice for businesses, communities, and Internet users with meaningful ties to the United States."

Companies and investors have been clamoring for years for Neustar to do a little more to help promote this great American brand. With many new gTLD's now vying for international attention, .US can still gain much more market share than it has.

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