The .org registry is an integral part of the foundation of the Internet.
It was one of the first top-level domains made available to the public,
and has grown to be one of the largest and most important top-level domains
in the world. Millions of entities around the world rely on the availability
of this registry to meet the missions of their organizations. The transition
of this critical public resource from VeriSign to a successor registry
operator is not to be taken lightly; there are major business and technological
considerations that a successor operator must understand and address.
The .org community is a global and diverse one that must be
served by a registry operator which will service each of the community’s members
equally. The responsiveness to the noncommercial community can be addressed
in two distinct manners: (1) by managing .org from a geographically disbursed
infrastructure and operations, and (2) by developing a representative policy
council (the .org Global Policy Council) to listen to the concerns of the diverse
cross-section of parties. It is only the combination of these mechanisms that
will provide the responsiveness to .org registrants that is demanded today.
Each day thousands of domain names are registered and renewed.
The choice of extension a registrant makes is based on several factors: how
the domain name will be used, the physical geography being served, and the perception
the name will give to the outside world. The extension ‘org’ carries a clear
meaning in many cultures, but, as of today, the .org registry has not been clearly
defined. Though one of the largest TLDs, .org has not had a truly unique identity
of its own—it has been used and marketed primarily in tandem with its sibling
registries (.com and .net). It is time to differentiate .org from existing generic
top-level domains and focus its mission to serve the needs of the noncommercial
The ability to transition the .org registry without sacrificing
its integrity, to provide a highly stable service at a competitive price, to
meet the needs of the global noncommercial Internet constituency, to enhance
competition in the registry market, and to be an active part of the evolution
of the Internet are all important considerations in the selection of a successor
operator of the .org registry. NeuStar addresses each of these objectives throughout
this proposal for .org reassignment, and in summary below:
NeuStar has unparalleled experience transitioning
an existing TLD from VeriSign.
With over two million registrations today, the stable transition
of the .org name space is a top priority. Specific attention must be paid to
every facet of the registry operations during this critical period. NeuStar
has a credible plan that details every milestone necessary for a seamless transition.
This plan is not theoretical, but must call on experience and lessons learned
during the transition of an Internet registry. More specifically, NeuStar has
We are the only registry operator who has successfully transitioned an
active TLD from VeriSign, the incumbent operator of .org;
We have developed and executed flawlessly a phased, comprehensive transition
plan based on our past experience and specific knowledge of DNS;
We are uniquely positioned to leverage our existing registry platform and
proven experience to meet a challenging implementation timeline; and
We have additional and relevant transition experience as evidenced in our
assuming responsibility for all of the North American Numbering Plan and
transitioning national number pooling.
NeuStar operates a superior Internet registry
platform that will ensure the stability of .org.
Over the last 15 years, the .org registry has developed into
a sizable TLD with registrars, registrants, and Internet users around the world
relying on its availability. While stability begins with the transition; it
is critical that it be ensured throughout the entire administration of the .org
registry. NeuStar has proven technology that can provide not only sufficient
scale, but also offer high quality service at high levels of availability. Our
technical experience has been demonstrated time and again:
We have made a significant investment in a scalable, next-generation, global
Internet registry platform that can manage .org in a stable manner;
We operate pursuant to the most stringent Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
of any gTLD operator, and have similarly stringent SLAs in our Numbering
We have an experienced team of professionals with a proven legacy of managing
mission critical resources (e.g., .biz, .us, NANPA, LNP, and Number Pooling);
We have a history of facilitating policy and industry consensus in highly
competitive environments (e.g., ICANN and telecommunications).
NeuStar’s ownership structure and neutrality
policies will ensure competition is enhanced.
With the reassignment of the fourth largest TLD from the registry
operator of the first and second largest TLDs, ICANN will dramatically expand
competition in the registry operations by selecting a smaller, yet experienced
registry operator in the marketplace with a unique structure and commitment
to neutral, even-handed treatment of customers. Further, competition among registrars
will be enhanced by choosing a registry operator that is (1) not affiliated
with an existing registrar, and (2) has a proven ability to treat all registrars
in an equal manner. More specifically:
We have no affiliation of any kind with the incumbent operator;
We have a clear focus on the provision of registry services and are not
encumbered by conflicts of interest from Registrar investments; and
We have developed and implemented strict, company-wide policies and codes
of conduct that ensure fair treatment and equivalent access for all registrars.
NeuStar has already begun outreach to be
responsive to the needs and concerns of the noncommercial Internet community.
The separation of .org from the .com and .net registry’s afford
the global Internet community the unique opportunity to re-focus the purpose
of the .org TLD to serve the noncommercial community. Operationally, this can
be achieved in a number of different ways, however, one of the most important
concerns is to be open and responsive to the needs of the larger community,
and not simply those of one or a few noncommercial entities. NeuStar will ensure
the operation of .org will be responsive to the needs of the noncommercial community
in the following ways:
We will directly engage the noncommercial community by forming a globally
diverse representative policy council to ensure responsiveness to the global
We have begun outreach to seek input on the types of online services the
noncommercial community requires; and
We will expand and tailor the .org registry to meet the needs of all noncommercial
entities, large or small.
NeuStar brings clear differentiation to
.org through targeted outreach and enhanced service offerings tailored to the
needs of noncommercial entities.
Though ‘.org’ has a specific, recognizable connotation, the
.org TLD does not yet have a strong and differentiated intended purpose. The
space has a diverse composition of registrants—noncommercial entities, commercial
groups, personal registrants and speculators. However, there is no specific
focus or single registrant community. With the re-assignment of .org, there
is an opportunity to focus the space on the noncommercial user community, through
marketing, outreach efforts, and specific technical enhancements that can address
the community’s needs. NeuStar can achieve this:
We will follow strict policies only to market .org registrations to noncommercial
entities and we will not promote any market-bundling of .org domain name
registrations with generic, personal, or commercial TLDs;
We have experience with targeted marketing to a specific user community
as evidenced in our precision marketing of .biz; and
We have specific technologies we can develop to address the unique needs
of the noncommercial Internet community.
NeuStar is an active participant in ICANN
and adheres to its policies.
Maintaining stability of the .org registry, and broadly, all
other authoritative Internet domains, requires active involvement with ICANN,
and a familiarity and adherence to all of its policies. NeuStar has a distinguished
reputation in the development of policy that best appreciates the purpose of
such policies and the means of implementing them across the registry. NeuStar
has direct, applicable experience working with policy organizations throughout
We have implemented all policies set forth by ICANN, and operate pursuant
to the most stringent registry provisions related to registrar involvement;
We have helped shape policy for new gTLDs, including fair treatment and
Code of Conduct standards introduced in our proposal for .biz; and
We have detailed mechanisms in place regarding policy implementation and
NeuStar has the financial commitment and existing infrastructure
to transition, operate, and enhance the utility of .org for its intended community
without any need for the VeriSign endowment.
Given the clear and needed priority of stability in the transition
and management of the .org registry, the ability to execute each of these tasks
is predicated on access to physical and capital resources. NeuStar has (1) an
existing and scalable infrastructure, (2) an experienced staff to manage and
enhance the service offering, (3) a dedicated team to support the .org registrars
across the world, and (4) a policy group to conform with ICANN policies, support
the noncommercial community worldwide, and the .org Global Policy Council. NeuStar
can instill this confidence because:
We are not reliant on receipt of the VeriSign endowment to immediately
provide a high-quality service offering to the noncommercial Internet community;
We have existing physical assets and capital resources to support and fund
our .org business plan; and
We have ready access to more capital resources from our global equity partners.
NeuStar’s proposal has the endorsement of a globally diverse
group of noncommercial organizations.
The noncommercial community is not an easily defined group;
it is a diverse collection of entities across the world, serving unique interests.
The support of the intended noncommercial community will ensure .org is managed
in a way that addresses its unique and important needs. They must be comfortable
with the successor operator and confident the proposed council will adequately
advance their interests and address each of their needs, regardless of their
geography or business focus. NeuStar recognizes this wide range of needs of
the noncommercial community:
We have conducted preliminary outreach and received support from several
noncommercial groups around the world representing over 500,000 organizations;
We initiated marketing research that sought to define the online needs
of the global noncommercial community and solicited the.org market perceptions
of Internet users; and
We are proposing an accepted process—the .org Global Policy Council—for
soliciting input from the noncommercial Internet community and for the first
time, providing them with a voice in the policy of the .org TLD.
NeuStar offers high-quality registry services at a highly
Stability and service quality must be weighed alongside establishing
a competitive price to the registrar community for the provision of registry
services. All registry services must be robust in nature, meet stringent SLAs,
and include essential customer support and interaction. The costs associated
with execution of a comprehensive registry service are very high given the human
and physical capital required to support an Internet registry. These expenses
must be equitable, fair, and competitive. NeuStar considers each of these factors:
We are proposing a robust service offering, including many SRS, Whois,
DNS, customer support and sales functions at an all inclusive per-domain-name
We currently offer the lowest price per domain of any gTLD (USD 5.30 for
.biz), and will continue to offer .org at a highly competitive price of
USD 5.00; and
We will work closely with ICANN and our proposed Global Policy Council
to provide additional registry services at competitive prices.
NeuStar has a longstanding involvement and commitment to
standards development and evolution on the Internet.
The administration of registry services is not a static function,
but rather a dynamic role wherein the operator must be well aware and versed
in new DNS technology. A registry operator must be responsive to changing technology
and the needs of its customers and the users of registry services around the
world. This is immediately evidenced in what will soon become a new registry-registrar
protocol; a successor must be familiar with new protocols to ensure stability
in the adoption of any new standards. NeuStar plays an active role in such development:
We are a major force in the creation of the new registry-registrar protocol
(EPP) and many other DNS-related standards through the IETF;
We employ many DNS subject matter experts and are active members of dozens
of global standards bodies such as the IEFT and ITU; and
We have a history of evolving our services and adapting and deploying new,
advanced technologies while maintaining a stable environment in our numbering
The following table directly correlates specific aspects of
NeuStar’s comprehensive .org solution and experience to ICANN’s evaluation criteria:
Evaluation Criteria Summary
Need to preserve a stable, well-functioning .org registry
NeuStar operates registries for:
Ability to comply with ICANN-developed policies
Effective Mechanisms for compliance with policy requirements
All NeuStar lines of business operate under strict policy requirements.
Enhancement of competition for registration services
Independent neutral third-party operation.
Low cost migration path from RRP to
Registrar support 24x7x365, multiple
Use of open standards
NeuStar’s has a legacy of providing
trusted, neutral third-party services in highly competitive
NeuStar is a proven leader in open
Differentiation of the .org TLD
Focus on the needs of the global noncommercial community
Targeted marketing campaigns for:
Inclusion of mechanisms for promoting the .org registry’s
operation in a manner that is responsive to the needs, concerns and views
of the noncommercial Internet user community
Comprehensive plan for outreach, independently and through the GPC
NeuStar facilitates policy and develops solutions that enhance competition
in all of our lines of business
Level of support for the proposal from .org registrants
Endorsements from prominent noncommercial organizations.
NeuStar effectively serves the needs of diverse communities in all of its
lines of business.
Type, quality and cost of the registry services proposed
At a price of USD 5.00 per name, NeuStar will provide high-quality registry
NeuStar traditionally provides significant value while offering TLD registrations
at a rate well below market.
Ability and commitment to support, function in and
adapt protocol changes in the shared registry system
NeuStar has been directly involved in the development of the EPP protocol
and will also support RRP.
NeuStar has developed a proven “zero impact” registry transition plan.
NeuStar has successfully transitioned mission-critical registries, including
.us and NANPA.
Ability to meet and commitment to comply with the qualification
and usage requirements of the VeriSign endowment and proposed use of the
NeuStar’s business plan, model, and vision for transitioning and maintaining
the .org TLD is not based upon receipt of the endowment.
NeuStar provides many services at low, transaction-based prices.
The completeness of the proposal submitted and the
extent to which it demonstrates realistic plans and sound analysis
NeuStar’s proposal represents a comprehensive well-designed solution to all
facets of the .org transition and operation.
NeuStar’s team has leveraged direct experience to provide the most comprehensive
plan for the transition and operation of the .org registry.
NeuStar brings a legacy of developing, transitioning, and
operating mission-critical public resources, a history of enhancing competition
by building coalitions among groups with competing interests, and an ability
to offer robust, innovative services at highly competitive prices. We are confident
our proposal highlights each of our unique strengths and demonstrates our ability
to ensure the stable transition and global operation of the .org registry for
the benefit of the noncommercial sector. We have made a commitment to providing
the highest quality services to the Internet community, and welcome the opportunity
to share this experience with current and future registrants and registrars
of the .org registry.