LACTLD Comments on Two-Character ASCII Labels

The LACTLD Board commented on a Public Comment Period at ICANN regarding Two-Character ASCII Labels

The letter submitted:

August 17, 2016

Dear Sirs
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

Hereby, the Latin American and Caribbean Top Level Domain Association, LACTLD proposes into consideration its position regarding the currently available consultation “Proposed Measures for Letter/Letter Two-Character ASCII Labels to Avoid Confusion with Corresponding Country Codes”, wishing it contributes to understand the challenges the ccTLDs would embrace on the context of this consultation.

First, we suggest that the parties involved in resolving about the authorization of a second level coincident with the country code below a ngTLD, shall avoid as possible opening up for registration for the next reasons:

1. Increasing the complexity of the registration structure of the DNS, causing possible confusion with the ccTDL to Registrants.

2. Deviating from the objective of the last round of opening of ngTLDs, which aimed to increase the options directly and solely on the root level with ngTLDs for specific orientation / uses, considering that other options / orientations were already available and covered; as is the case of country or territory orientations.

3. In accordance to the former, adding up new options on the root zone level did not had as a main motivator fomenting orientations nested below other orientations increasing combinations within the DNS. Opening for registration country codes a second levels below a ngTLD as proposed, is similar to incentivizing the creation of Registries below other Registries for registrations on a third level. This was not originally considered on the opening round for ngTLDs and it is not perceived to input additional value, besides being contrary to current trends of registration of domain names which seek short and direct registrations to the left of the first dot and string.

4. The idea of Registries nested below other Registries does not shed light on the level of stewardship towards the community represented on the registration policies of second levels below a ngTLD. The administration and registration policies of ccTLDs that cover territorial or country orientation on the DNS, are defined by several mechanisms that consider representativity towards the Internet community they serve on their stewardship role that each ccTLD serves, with the adequate characteristics for each national community. Nesting a second level Registry does not imply for certain that the administration and registration policies defined for each of these second levels comply with this orientation of serving the community, and in addition this would increase the difficulty in ensuring the stewardship role when multiplying the options for every ngTLD that solicits opening a second level coincident with the country code. Again, country or territorial orientation is already defined for the ccTLD, and their unique policies ensure the adequate service level for their community on a single place without dispersion over the DNS.

5. We consider that the proposed measures on the consultation does not constitute measures to avoid confusion, but rather priority offerings for the operation of second levels below ngTDLs, that if concreted could hinder the operation of each ccTLD and its consolidation that includes the stewardship role towards their community. Proposing a priority time-frame for the exclusive offering of authorization or operation -similar to a “sunrise” on new registrations of domain names- is fomenting that the ccTLD faces the possibility of potentially deciding over 1000 to 15000 possible options of second levels below ngTDLs. This implies that on the cases where it decides to actually operate the second level it will have to invest considerable resources to take advantage of its exclusivity time-frame and pay for it to the ngTLD Registry. We don not contemplate any case on which a ccTLD from the LAC region can seize with its resources every second level coincident with its country code below every potential options of ngTDLs that could appear. On the cases on which it is decided that to authorize the use to a third party, or simply where the exclusivity time-frame is overpassed, those will comprise substitute options to the ccTLD, Registries below Registries that could hinder the registration under the proper ccTLD. It is proper to consider that the majority of the ccTLD are on different levels of consolidation in which they face challenges over attractivity for the Registrants, of sustainability of their operations and franc and open competition on an industry that demands facing an ample offer of available options and growing, to register a domain name. The ccTLDs comply with a social function of fomenting their local communities and safeguarding the core Internet Fundamental Principles, a function which could be hindered by substitute registrations.

6. Parsimony principle; which implies utilizing the less possible of resources or abiding by those already available. This enforces the principle that if a ccTLD is already available, which operates with a community service orientation and identification to the correspondent country, there is not a perceived added value on fomenting registries below other ngTLDs with different orientation from identifying a country or a territory.

Second, that instead of the aforementioned, some party with the possibility of authorizing the opening of a second level below a ngTLD coincident with a country code expresses its willingness to authorize the registration, is convenient to note worryness for the next reasons:

1. The propose measures to avoid confusion do not state with enough clarity to whom offer the second level coincident with the country code exclusively with the 30-day time-frame: whether to the Government or the correspondent ccTLD Administrator. Initially it is stated that it could be possible to offer it to one or the other, while on a following paragraph the requesting Registry compromises on effectively seeking both parties.

o We propose for the writing of the document to be consistent and hence to specify clearly that the preferential offering by the Registry on that 30-day time-frame to be made clearly to both parties: the government and the correspondent ccTLD administrator.

2. On the supposing that both parties shall be contacted (the Government and the correspondent ccTLD Administrator), it is not stated what could possible happen on the case that both parties disagree on their position.

o We propose that the requesting Registry does not act on consequence until the concerns of both parties (Government and the correspondent ccTLD Administrator) are satisfied, or a mitigation plan is proposed that can satisfy both parties under a short-term agreement of execution.

3. Adding to the former,

o We propose that the requesting Registry will not be able to open the operation of the second level until explicit approval is made from both parties: the Government and the correspondent ccTLD Administrator;

o This shall imply before hand that if an approval is never obtained from both parties, or their concerns are not considered satisfied, the second level below a ngTLD will not be subject of opening denying the possibility of automatic approval by absence of communication by some of the parties.