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1. Conditions for successful funding of ICANN
The USG White Paper is agreeably vague in this area. 'Once established,
the new corporation could be funded by domain name registries, regional
IP registries, or other entities identified by the Board.'
However, ICANN cannot be funded as a NGO or by governments (ITU
problem), by the computer industry i.e. IBM/MCI or equipment suppliers
e.g.. Cisco (trade forum problem) or by the
trademark 'fraternity' (partisan interest problem) Also for likely
reasons of conflict of interest. (cf Mueller/Rutkowski correspondence on
domain-policy list 10.9.98) Long-term funding must come from
the entities that benefit from ICANN services.
2. What services is ICANN providing that can be charged for and to whom
are these services provided?
1) set policy for and direct allocation of IP number blocks to
regional Internet number registries;
- a service to registries
2) oversee operation of the authoritative Internet root server
- a service to root server operators
3) oversee policy for determining the circumstances under which new
TLDs are added to the root system; and
- a service to domain-holders (?) and trademark holders (?)
4) coordinate the assignment of other Internet technical parameters
as needed to maintain universal connectivity on the Internet.
- a service to anyone who depends on that connectivity i.e end
3. Who should be willing to pay for these services?
It is unclear from the above paragraph whether ICANN inherits IANA's
self-proclaimed mandate of 'Preserving the central coordinating
functions of the global Internet for the public good.' However, it would
that it is in a good position to assert (3) and (4) above as functions
for which end-users should be willing to pay. If they are not, then the
internet should be allowed to fall apart. Certainly the regulatory
authorities who have largely stepped aside to allow this experiment to
happen 'would like to see an economically rational and practical
charging system - a contribution per name registered for example.'
Therefore ICANN devises a funding scheme that not only takes account of
internediary functions, but goes directly to the beneficiaries of the
connectivity ICANN preserves and asks them for a
contribution appropriate to the value of their benefit. ICANN provides
security and stability. What is the price of that stabilty and security?
What further can ICANN do to provide these services?
It is in terms of the above argument that, apart from registry
contributions, well-wisher contributions (disallowed as political
contirbutions long-term?), we devised a quadripartite funding plan which
draw income from the end-user services ICANN provides. However it is not
suggested that ICANN, in its not-for-profit guise, should operate these
income streams directly -this would hazard the
not-for-profit status of ICANN and threaten its mandate-, but that it be
an agreed beneficiary on a cost-recovery basis, whilst any other pooled
income accrues to internediaries pro rata.
adr;quoted-printable:;;pa Reich & Zen-Ruffinen=0D=0A72 bd St Georges=0D=0A=0D=0A;Geneva;;CH-1205;Switzerland