ALAC Advisory to Board on Draft IDN Fast Track Implementation Plan
Statement of the ALAC to the Board of ICANN on the Draft Fast Track Implementation Plan (Nov 2008 version)
By the Staff of ICANN
This statement was produced by the then-IDN Liaison of ALAC, Hong Xue, on 4th November 2008 as a response to the public consultation which was opened on the Draft IDN Fast Track Implementation Plan. The statement was opened for community members’ comments, with comments to be taken for 30 days, or until 4th December 2008, said comments to be taken on the wiki page at https://st.icann.org/idn-policy/index.cgi?fast_track_idn_implementation_draft_statement.
On 26th November, the document that was the object of the consultation was updated and a new Draft Fast Track Implementation Plan posted.
As a result of the revised draft being posted, the ALAC, in it’s meeting of 9th December 2008, resolved as follows:
The ALAC endorses the Draft Statement, subject to non-substantive editing for grammar and style and to a review by the At-Large IDN Liaison to ensure that the statement remains congruent with the latest IDN Fast Track Draft dated 26th November 2008. If the IDN Liaison believes that the Statement must be amended, these shall be proposed by the Liaison in writing on or before 15th December, and the text as amended shall be posted for a seven-day vote to commence on 16th December and conclude on 23rd December.
The new IDN Liaison was then tasked with the editing described in the resolution and asked if any material changes were required. He advised the Staff of ICANN and the Chair of ALAC that no material changes were required. The Staff performed the non-substantive editing for grammar and style called for in the resolution and confirms that this had no impact on the meaning of any part of the Statement.
The Chair of ALAC transmitted the Statement to the Board of ICANN on 4th February 2009.
[End of introductory note]
The At-Large community is inspired that the long-awaited fast-track IDN ccTLDs will finally be implemented in a foreseeable future. ALAC has been very active in each step of fast-track policy development independently or within the cross-constituency IDNC. With respect to the newly released Implementation Plan, we have the following comments:
I. Expedition and Transparency
The salient purpose of the fast-track implementation is to meet the pressing needs of the IDN users communities. For this purpose, we do hope the process shall be sufficiently fast and transparent. From the published Plan, we cannot see a very clear implementation time line. Based on the ICANN Strategic Plan (2009-2012) published on 20 October 2008 and discussion on the Public Forum on 3 November 2008, it seems that the fast-track process will not be done at the root level until mid-2009. It is still unclear when the application round will be launched. The user communities hope that such critical information can be available as soon as possible.
II. Consumer Protection and Market Competition
The Implementation Plan does not specify whether IDN ccTLD registries are required to take any preventive or transitional measures to protect the legitimate interests of the existing individual registrants under the relevant ccTLDs. Since individual registrants are most probably not as resourceful as the business sector, they would not be able to afford the expensive legal advice or litigation. The IDN registries' preventive or transitional measures would be essential for them. Market competition can make the prices more reasonable and service quality better. The user communities welcome strengthening competition in the IDN ccTLD registration market provided that the IANA process is properly followed and stability and security are ensured in the relevant name space.
III. Compliance of Community Services
The ccTLD Community has been emphasizing that serving the local Internet community is an important feature that makes the ccTLDs different from gTLDs. The user community notes from the Implementation Plan that the support from the relevant script community for the IDN table is required for evaluation among the other documentation of endorsement. The IANA Procedure for Delegation or Redelegation of ccTLDs also clearly requires that a relevant ccTLD delegation or redelegation request show how it will serve the local interest in the country. In the case of an IDN ccTLD, the local interest would be more specific.
Apparently, the ccTLDs need the support of the local user community for the fast-track application and implementation. And, vice versa. It is in the mutual interest of both the IDN ccTLD registry community and the local IDN user community to keep a very close, cooperative and supportive relationship. Presently, some ccTLD registries have already been supportive to the local user organizations in various ways. The outstanding examples are healthy interaction and collaboration between the ccTLDs (such as .br and .au) and local ALSes on policy consultations and community services. The launch of IDN ccTLDs opens up new opportunities for both communities. If we take translation as an example, we can see the great potential coming up. IDN ccTLDs demonstrate the registries have the relevant capacity to provide services in local scripts. Then, it would be reasonable for the local user community to rely on the registries to translate the ICANN policies and other documents into the local languages.
Enhancement of public participation is one of the goals of the ICANN's s Strategic Plan and mandate of the new Public Participation Committee. However, the ICANN centralized funding model for public participation is becoming a bottleneck. In contract, the localized distributive funding model through IDN ccTLDs would improve efficiency through linking up ICANN with its different constituencies and ensure the sustainability of the resources. With respect to ICANN, the clauses on community services should be incorporated and enforced in the IDN ccTLD delegation agreements. Also, ICANN should take the IDN ccTLD's community services or contribution as a valid contribution to ICANN as stated in the Implementation Plan so that all the stakeholders would have an incentive to develop the system. We also hope that the community-based gTLDs could take the similar path to consolidate the connection with the user community.
This document has been translated from English in order to reach a wider audience. While the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has made efforts to verify the accuracy of the translation, English is the working language of ICANN and the English original of this document is the only official and authoritative text. You may find the English original at: http://www.atlarge.icann.org/en/correspondence.