[council] Dot net - conflict GNSO report and evaluator methodology - proposed Council resolution

Philip Sheppard philip.sheppard at aim.be
Thu Mar 31 08:59:51 UTC 2005

I am concerned that there is a serious flaw in the methodology of the
Telcordia report.

The evaluation ranks Verisign as number one, just above Sentan but "with a
numerical edge that is not statistically significant."
The ICANN web site informs: "ICANN will promptly enter negotiations with the
top-ranked applicant to reach a mutually acceptable registry agreement". 

The essence of the GNSO dot net report was:
1. All applicants must meet "absolute criteria of stability, security,
technical and financial competence".
The Evaluators report states: "All vendors met the absolute criteria and
have been evaluated solely on the basis of the relative criteria."
So far so good.

In the GNSO report we stated that the number one relative criteria was:
1. Relative Criteria related to promotion of competition
Maximization of choice for DNS users. Once an applicant has qualified by
meeting baseline stability, technical and financial criteria, preference
should be given to
proposals that are evaluated to further the following goals within the ICANN
"Where feasible and appropriate, depending on market mechanisms to promote
and sustain a competitive environment"
"Introducing and promoting competition in the registration of domain names
where practicable and beneficial in the public interest".
And we then provided additional guidance:
Pricing and costs Price is here defined as the registry price (currently
$6.00). Once an applicant has qualified by meeting the absolute criteria,
preference should be
given to proposals offering lower overall costs to the registrar including
the registry price..
- Preference should be given to migration and operational strategies that
minimise costs.
- Innovation and value. It is possible that applications will offer
innovation or new services and hence effect the value proposition. An
assessment based on price
should be balanced with the value proposition offered. 
Any proposed innovation or new services:
-should be described,
-together with an assessment of the value of them to the effected
stakeholders (typically registrants or registrars),
-and applicants must demonstrate their capability to offer such services
based on their prior experience in this area.

Yet the evaluators report weighted this top relative criteria as "medium"
and under the category of "additional relative criteria". In this category
(2.7) it scores all vendors equally.
The evaluators report used a scoring system which was biased towards
multiple technical criteria even though the central message of the GNSO
report was that competition was the most important factor once
technical/financial/security criteria were of a satisfactory standard. 

The methodology of the evaluator's report directly contradicts the essence
of the GNSO report.

Proposed resolution for the GNSO Council meeting in Mar del Plata
"Given that there is a fundamental contradiction between the dot net
evaluator's methodology and the GNSO dot net report, and that this
contradiction has a significant commercial impact, the GNSO Council calls on
the ICANN Board to delay any negotiation with any vendor until a comparison
of the evaluator's report with the GNSO report can be made in particular
with respect to the ICANN core value of promoting competition".

Philip Sheppard
GNSO Council

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