[ccTLD Sponsoring Organization]
Dear [administrative contact],
The purpose of this letter is to ask your assistance with funding support of ICANN for the current fiscal year, 1999-2000.
The ICANN Board and staff have been working over the past year to develop a funding structure for the organization that is fair and equitable to all those who contribute to and benefit from the Internet Domain Name System. Although this effort is by no means finished, we believe that sufficient progress has been made that it is appropriate at this time to send all administrative contacts of country code Top Level Domain organizations a package of background materials and an invoice for your current year contribution to ICANN.
Background. As the private sector organization charged with technical management of the Domain Name and Address System, ICANN must look to the name and address registries and registrars for financial support to carry out its work. Last July, the ICANN Board of Directors asked me to form a Task Force on Funding (TFF), composed of representatives of the name and address registries and registrars. The TFF was charged to review ICANN's financial needs and budget and to make recommendations on the most equitable way of determining allocations of budget support. The ccTLD community was represented on the task force by individuals from Brazil, Japan and the United Kingdom.
The task force report, endorsed unanimously by its members, was delivered to the Board in October and posted on the ICANN Website. Following public comment, its recommendations were adopted by the Board at the annual meeting in November in Los Angeles. The full text of the report is available at http://www.icann.org/tff/final-report-draft-30oct99.htm.
Invoice for FY99-00 Budget Contribution. The TFF report recommends that the ccTLD community contribute a total of US$1,496,000 toward ICANN's expenses. One of the enclosures to this letter is an invoice for your FY99-00 budget contribution to ICANN based on a formula which measures the total number of assigned names in your Individual registry against all of the names assigned in the ccTLD community. A description of the formula and a table of contributions for all of the ccTLDs is included in the enclosed materials.
A number of ccTLDs have made advances to ICANN for the current fiscal year. If you have done so, the amount of the advance is shown as a credit on your invoice. If there are specific circumstances which affect your organization and its budget contribution to ICANN for this year, and you wish to discuss revision of your invoice amount, please contact me at your convenience.
ccTLD/IANA Relationship. In addition to budget support issues, many ccTLD administrators are concerned about their continuing relationship with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), now that ICANN has been formed in accordance with the U.S. Government's decision to transfer technical management of the DNS to the private sector. At the present time, ICANN is continuing the past policies of Jon Postel in administering ccTLDs and has published a policy statement, ICP-1, which incorporates the major administrative practices of IANA as they were being carried out immediately prior to the creation of ICANN.
While these informal arrangements generally worked well in the past, the evolution of the Internet has made it necessary to consider a more formal legal framework in which ccTLDs operate. Indeed, the United States Government has indicated that appropriate formal legal relationships respecting ccTLDs must be established before it will complete the transition to private-sector technical management of the DNS. At ICANN's meeting in Cairo in March, various proposals for a legal framework for ccTLDs were presented by groups of ccTLD managers, the Government Advisory Committee, and others in the Internet community. We expect that discussions of these proposals will continue through the 14-17 July ICANN meeting in Yokohama, where possible resolutions will be considered. In the meantime, we would welcome any comments you might have on how to proceed in this area.
Next Steps. I realize that you may have a number of questions about the ICANN budget and your invoice. There is a substantial amount of information posted on our website, but please feel free to contact me at <email@example.com> or at the phone or fax numbers on this letter. The Board and I appreciate your support, both financially and with our ongoing work as a community to build sensible policies and structures to promote the growth and stability of the Internet.
Michael M. Roberts
(1) FY99-00 Invoice for budget support
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