[CWG-Stewardship] GNSO-ccNSO engagement in the Multi-stakeholder model

Martin Boyle Martin.Boyle at nominet.org.uk
Mon Jun 1 07:57:44 UTC 2015


In one of Friday's calls I noted the imbalance between GNSO and ccNSO (and wider ccTLD) engagement in the various entities the model is putting in place.  You responded that the GNSO is not an homogenous organisation.  I let the discussion drop, not because I was happy with the response, but because I was getting no traction in the discussion and did not want to delay it any further.

However, I would like to at least put on the record why I think the current imbalance is wrong and gives too much say to a GNSO-skewed view of the IANA.

I'm sure that the traditional balance in favour of the gTLD-centric view of the universe works fine in an ICANN setting, given that most of this is about policy-making and relatively little of this implicates ccTLDs.  This is the main reason for the disproportionate funding of ICANN's costs between the GNSO and ccNSO:  simply put, ccTLDs use considerably less of ICANN's resources.

However, for the IANA, without exact figures to hand, I would expect the balance in use between ccTLDs and gTLDs of the IANA services to be much more equal and most ccTLDs recognise the need for fair funding of the IANA functions operation.  Certainly I'd say we - gs and cs - have at least equal interest in the provision of a well-run IANA functions operator.

But a serious alarm went up for me a few weeks ago when I had an extended exchange on list with Chuck and Milton about ICANN instructions to IANA.  (For many of you, this must have seemed like an esoteric discussion.  I'd say it was symptomatic of a fundamental issue that we are failing to address.)

The gTLD view of life (in this case) was all about ICANN giving instructions to the IANA functions operator.  That is certainly not the case for ccTLDs, but I got a lot of abuse for pointing this out.  It only was resolved when the ICANN (ccNSO-focussed) secretariat was asked to clarify.  In a post transition world, I'm not sure how easy it we will be able to draw on this experience and knowledge to back up a point.

That is my fundamental concern about the imbalance between the ccNSO and GNSO.  Especially a concern as the constituent parts of the GNSO are heavily policy focussed.  It will be so easy for the GNSO representatives in various discussions to focus on gTLD issues (ignoring that ccTLD delegations and redelegations are actually usually well outside an ICANNic framework) and misshape the discussion accordingly.

I'm not sure that the current proposed imbalance will be sustainable in the long term unless it is very clear that different needs are respected.  (In the same way, in the ccTLD world, we need to be very cautious about not applying inappropriate blanket rules.)

Simply ignoring the significant number of ccTLD comments about the imbalance might be an easy solution, but it is not a good compromise.

I hope that this helps colleagues understand my very real concerns about our direction of travel.

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