Twomey gets his turn to talk; Verizon shows concerns about new TLDs.
In the first part of Domain Name Wire’s coverage of today’s congressional hearings on ICANN I summarized some of the committee members’ opening remarks. Now let’s turn to the witnesses’ opening remarks.
The witnesses were National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Fiona Alexander, ICANN President Paul Twomey, VeriSign Senior Vice President Kenneth Silva, Go Daddy General Counsel Christine Jones; Verizon Vice President Sarah Deutsch, and Thomas Lenard, president of the Technology Policy Institute.
I’ve already written about some of Jones‘ and Lenards‘ comments. However, Jones added that Go Daddy is not opposed to new top level domains in general, only the methodology. She said the registrant community’s voice has been basically ignored in the process.
When it was Twomey’s turn to address the committee, he said it was imperative that the Joint Project Agreement be concluded. “Any new [JPA-like] instrument, even if temporary, will throw into question the public-private partnership and the government’s confidence in it,” said Twomey. If this happens, Twomey added, other countries will lose faith and may develop their own systems. He also pointed out that the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) contract will still be in place and that the JPA is not an oversight mechanism.
Twomey also said that ICANN was asked to expand new top level domains in its original memorandum of understanding. He argued there is demand for new TLDs because companies plan to apply for them.
Sarah Deutsch of Verizon (NYSE: VZ) spoke mostly about opposition to the new top level domain name process. She said she was surprised that ICANN is still saying it plans to accept applications for new gTLDs in the first quarter of 2010 despite not addressing constituent’ concerns.
In the final part of DNW’s coverage of today’s hearings I’ll highlight some of the Q&A session, which became rather heated.