Another big domain name registrar has come out in opposition to ICANN’s “digital archery” system for batching new top-level domain applications.
NetNames, part of Group NBT, has asked ICANN to delay digital archery – currently scheduled to kick off this Friday – until a better batching solution can be found.
In a letter to ICANN, general manager Stephane Van Gelder wrote:
As it stands, DA risks generating applicant confusion. It is a contentious system that seems to favour those with in-depth knowledge of the second-hand domain industry and more specifically, its drop-catching techniques.
There’s no denying that, of course. Pool.com and Digital Archery Experts are both offering archery services to new gTLD applicants based on this kind of insight.
NetNames is also concerned that the archery system was created without any formal community input, and therefore suggests it be delayed until after the Prague meeting later this month.
ICANN saw fit to take its TLD Application System (TAS) offline at the last minute and keep it that way for over a month as it sought to identify and correct a computer problem. We urge that the same flexibility be exercised with regards to batching, so that the currently proposed system, which is clearly flawed and unfair, be re-examined and adapted.
NetNames follows Melbourne IT, which expressed similar concerns to ICANN last week.
Van Gelder is of course also chair of the GNSO Council, though he wasn’t wearing that hat whilst writing this particular letter (pdf).