Verisign to ICANN: not ready for new TLDs
Verisign claims insufficient preparation (mostly technical) for new top level domains.
Verisign has sent a report to ICANN (and filed it with the Securities and Exchange Commission) that basically says that the internet isn’t prepared new top level domains yet.
The report outlines multiple issues, ranging from automated TLD additions to the root (of which Verisign plays a role), lack of emergency backend providers, and lack of final plans for zone file and escrow.
From our perspective as a large-scale registry operator, it is apparent that the new gTLD timelines provide little accommodation for the operator aspects of the process. That is, given the information to date, it seems as though ICANN has taken a very ICANN-centric role in establishing these timeliness, and gave little consideration to the fact that registry operators would need to ingest requirements, implement, specifications, pilot internally, prepare to accommodate test cases, consider the security implications and change management functions required, etc. It actually appears as though there is little to no time allotted for operators to adequately prepare, and the lack of stable fundamental specifications and test plans within days of publicly stated testing times illustrates a clear disconnect between aspirational timelines with the New gTLD program and operational realities with which various stakeholders are constrained.
The report concludes with a warning:
Any party concerned with consumer and operator privacy, trust, confidence, and overall security of new gTLDs and the broader Internet would be well served by the ICANN Board addressing these issues as appropriate before delegating any new gTLDs, as the risk of a misstep in this direction could have far-reaching and long-lasting residual implications.
Earlier this evening Jeff Neuman, Vice President, Business Affairs at Neustar, Inc., tweeted:
Paul Stahura, co-founder of the largest TLD applicant Donuts, responded:
Verisign is also an applicant for new TLDs. It has applied for 14 new TLDs and is the backend provider on over 200 applications.
Regardless of the company’s motives, Verisign’s role managing the root zone and the .com registry means the report will carry credence in the internet community as a whole.