C18. Transition Plan. This should present a detailed plan for the transition of the Registry Function from the current facilities and services provided by VeriSign, Inc., to the facilities and services you propose.

UIA believes that the proper criterion for evaluating the success of any transition plan is the impact it has on its users. As stated in the Executive Summary, UIA believes that a simultaneous transition of both the "front-end" (i.e., contract management, policy management, marketing, etc.) Registry Operator role for .org and the "back-end" technical operation of the TLD presents too great a risk to the stability of .org.

For this reason, UIA is proposing an initial transition of the front-end role at year's end, with a subsequent re-compete for the technical operation of .org once UIA has established front-end management control and differentiation of the TLD within the civil society community. The specifics of transitioning these front-end functions are included in the following table.

Under this proposal, with VGRS continuing to provide the back-end technical and operational services necessary to operate the .org TLD from its current facilities for the first three years, no interruption of service or adverse effect to .org registrants or Internet users seeking to resolve .org domain names would result. Therefore, minimal transition is necessary, clearly an advantage to the global .org community.

In addition to the provision of technical service to UIA, through its subsidiary Diversitas, VGRS has committed to providing operational assistance in transitioning the functions necessary in managing a TLD registry. These functions include customer service, contract administration, billing and other support. During the transition, day-to-day functions such as these will continue as they do today, with regular reports being provided to Diversitas. VGRS is committed to sharing its vast experience in gTLD operational and policy matters in order to support UIA's goal of repositioning the .org TLD to a non-commercial character.

In addition, some initial seed funding will be required from the endowment in order to establish the Diversitas infrastructure during a transitional phase (involving typical start-up costs such as hiring, legal fees, leasing office space, etc). The intention is to pay these funds back into the endowment as funds are available from running the registry.

Issues that should be discussed in this detailed plan include:

C18.1. Steps of the proposed transition, including sequencing and scheduling.

The proposed schedule for the steps that will be necessary for transitioning from VGRS to UIA/Diversitas as the .org Registry Operator is provided in the following table.

Transition Schedule from VGRS to Diversitas

Step Start Date Completion Date
1 Notify registrars of registry operator change 01 Oct 2002 04 Oct 2002
2 Provide Organizational Conflicts of Interest Training to all Diversitas personnel 30 Sep 2002 04 Oct 2002
3 Train Diversitas personnel regarding the .org registry: technical operations; engineering support; customer service; contract administration; billing and finance; policy and compliance; enhanced services support; ICANN reporting requirements; existing VGRS com/net/org web site; data escrow services; etc. 30 Sep 2002 04 Oct 2002
4 Prepare a first draft of a processes and procedures document for interface between Diversitas and subcontracted service providers including escalation procedures 30 Sep 2002 04 Oct 2002
5 Develop and implement Diversitas web site 30 Sep 2002 15 Nov 2002
6 Send registrars Diversitas Registry Registrar Agreement (RRA) with a 30-day completion target and a clarification of surety instrument requirements with a 60-day completion target  07 Oct 2002 11 Oct 2002
7 Meet with registrars present at ICANN Shanghai meetings to: provide an overview of the Diversitas; develop relationships with registrars; provide Diversitas contact information; and answer registrar questions 26 Oct 2002 01 Nov 2002
8 Provide information presented in Shanghai meetings with registrars to registrars not present 04 Nov 2002 08 Nov 2002
9 Send out reminder to registrars who have not returned an executed RRA  11 Nov 2002 15 Nov 2002
10 Finalize the processes and procedures document for interface between UIA and subcontracted service providers including escalation procedures 11 Nov 2002 15 Nov 2002
11 Implement public relations and marketing campaigns within the international civil society/nonprofit community 11 Nov 2002 Ongoing
12 Follow-up with registrars that have not submitted an executed RRA and/or surety instrument 09 Dec 2002 13 Dec 2002
13 Update web site with current .org Registry information 09 Dec 2002 13 Dec 2002
14 Go live with Diversitas   01 Jan 2003 Ongoing

A more significant transition will be required if and when a new provider of back-end registration services replaces VGRS in January 2006. VGRS has fully committed to UIA that it will make every effort to ensure a smooth transition. As discussed throughout this proposal, VGRS maintains a multi-tiered data back-up and escrow system, thereby preserving the integrity of the data while such transition takes effect. As a back-end provider in other ventures, VGRS is very knowledgeable in such transitions and would leverage that expertise to make any such conversion successful and transparent to the end user.

Because many changes in the .org TLD could occur before 2006, and because it would be essential to involve the new provider of contracted services in the development of any resulting transition plan, it is not possible to provide a complete plan here. But the following table provides a schedule of steps that can be identified at this time.

Transition Schedule from VGRS to New Provider of Registry Services

#  Step Start Date Completion Date
1  Prepare a Request for Proposal (RFP) for provision of back-end registration services 01 Oct 2004 31 Dec 2004
2 Issue RFP 03 Jan 2005 07 Jan 2005
3 Obtain proposals 14 Mar 2005 18 Mar 2005
4 Select winning proposal 04 Apr 2005 08 Apr 2005
5 Negotiate with winning bidder 18 Apr 2005 06 May 2005
6 Implement transition plan 06 Jun 2005 31 Dec 2005
7 Go live with selected provider 01 Jan 2006 Ongoing

C18.2. The duration and extent of any interruption of any part of the Registry Function.

No interruption of .org registration services will be necessary.

C18.3. Contingency plans in the event any part of the proposed transition does not proceed as planned.

As a contingency plan in case the transition of "front-end" Registry Operation does not go as planned, VGRS has committed to supporting day-to-day operations to eliminate potential impact on registrars and end users.

C18.4. The effect of the transition on (a) .org registrants and (b) Internet users seeking to resolve .org domain names.

The transition will be seamless to existing and new .org registrants and to Internet users of .org domain names.

C18.5. The specifics of cooperation required from VeriSign, Inc.

The specifics of the cooperation required by VGRS will be included in the Service Agreement between UIA and VGRS. Additional details can be found in Section C14.

C18.6. Any relevant experience of the applicant and the entities identified in item C13 in performing similar transitions.

A future transition of the .org registry would be a task fully familiar to the technical provider, VGRS. In 1997, VGRS transitioned the .gov registry function to the U.S. General Services Administration. In 2001, VGRS transitioned the .edu registry function to Educause and the .us registry function to Neustar.

C18.7. Any proposed criteria for the evaluation of the success of the transition.

The criteria for evaluation of success in transitioning any TLD should be related to the impact on the access for registrars to the database, and on resolution of domain names within the TLD on the Internet. Diversitas would establish a success criterion of limiting downtime of the registry database access to two days, and a zero impact on the resolution of existing names in the .org TLD.


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