Below you will find a copy of the renewal of the dot-com registry agreement with VeriSign as proposed by ICANN. You can also find our submission on the ICANN website.
The deadline for submitting comments is at 23:59 UTC today. The contract proposes an renewal of the agreement with VeriSign (as opposed to opening the contract to bidding) and will allow VeriSign to continue to increase prices by 7% for four out of six years.
DomainCocoon opposes the renewal of the current dot-com contract with VeriSign under the terms proposed by ICANN. We believe the contract should be open to both public scrutiny and bidding from interested parties.
In our daily work we interact with VeriSign as well as with many ICANN-accredited registrars and their interfaces. We always have valued the level of support VeriSign provides to its registrars and have been impressed with the stability of the services it offers.
That being said, we’re surprised to learn that ICANN proposes to re-assign the COM operational contract to VeriSign without further review of any potential competitive bids. This is especially astonishing when bearing in mind that intricate details of the current version of the contract are merely the result of a lawsuit settlement between ICANN and VeriSign. The settlement in question was forged without public input from community and stakeholders, and without much information given to the public at large. The main concern of the contract, though not the only one, is a provision which permits a price increase of 7% for four out of six years.
It seems unrealistic for this price increase to be necessary, let alone to open a venue for continued increases in the first place. Since the cost of technology bandwidth and other related factors have significantly come down over the years and will most likely continue to reduce, the provision mentioned is anti-intuitive to the idea of spreading technology and nurturing participation among Internet users.
Especially in light of the much lower registration prices for .NET names, for which VeriSign operates a similar Registry infrastructure, the cost on a per domain name basis should be lower for the .COM registry operation. This is mainly due to the higher volume involved in .COM. Consequently, the cost should decrease with the larger .COM transaction volume, not increase.
Thank you for your consideration.
Consultant/Founder for DomainCocoon Inc.
DomainCocoon is a consultant to registrars, resellers and hosting companies. Amongst other services we currently help to manage three active ICANN accredited registrars that also offer registration services for COM/NET domains and others. Since our company also holds a portfolio of about 800 domain names, we also see ourselves on the commercial registrant side.