VI. Enhancement of Competition

C30. One of ICANN's core principles is the encouragement of competition in the provision of registration services at both the registry and registrar levels. Promotion of that principle will be a criterion. As one illustration of this criterion, a major purpose of the reassignment of the .org registry is to diversify the provision of registry services by placing the .org registry under different operation than the .com and .net registries. Consideration will be given to the extent to which proposed arrangements are consistent with this purpose. As another illustration, applicants are encouraged to refrain from prohibiting non-affiliated providers of backend services from offering their services in connection with other applications. This section of the .org Proposal concerns the effect on competition of the selection of a successor registry operator.

C31. Give your analysis of how selecting your application would affect competition in the provision of registration services at both the registry and registrar level.

Registry Competition

It is the intended mission of UIA / Diversitas to provide registry services for the .org gTLD that are highly reliable, sustainable and that also deliver enhanced value to members of the non-commercial, not-for-profit community. UIA believes that the healthy competition, which already exists within the registry services space at the registrar level and across gTLD and ccTLD registries, raises the bar for all applicants and challenges them to become technically innovative in ways that will only result in greater benefit to those not-for-profit entities who either have previously registered or intend to register .org domain names.

UIA / Diversitas adds a new "frontend" registry to the TLD registry business1. In applying its global experience within the not-for-profit sector, it should stimulate the domain name market and inter-domain competition. UIA / Diversitas maintains that if it is awarded the contract to become the Registry Operator for the .org gTLD, its selection would tend to prompt further technology innovation by other registry operators. As is the nature of market-driven competition, the registrants of second-level .org names will reap the rewards of enhanced services that target their specific needs. Additionally, as these registrants benefit from the enhanced services, they do not risk having to lose the reliability levels that exist currently as the prevailing action standard.

Finally, the most compelling aspect of the Diversitas approach is that while .org will not be operated as a restricted gTLD, Diversitas can offer authentication technology that would certify to the unfamiliar Internet user that the .org web site reached actually belongs to the not-for-profit organization stated. Unlike the world of .com and .net registrations, these extended capabilities will enable the not-for-profit community to stratify the registrants without having to create restrictions that globally apply to all registrants within the .org zone.

Additional details on UIA's plans to stimulate the market are included in Section C38 and information on some of the services UIA proposes to offer can be found in Section C25.

Registrar Competition

The Diversitas team believes that competition would be more highly stimulated at the registrar level than that which is evident at the registry level, in response to Diversitas being awarded the contract to operate the .org registry. Unlike the registry environment, registrars have demonstrated a proven ability to not only create value for registrants through their technology innovations, but have also developed distinctive business models that spur competition based on price.

The explosive growth in .com, .net and .org registrations that occurred following the creation of the registry/registrar model in late 1999, serves as an example of the registrar community's ability to build value for registrants. Given UIA's considerable knowledge of the not-for-profit community worldwide, along with innovative registry services that the UIA / Diversitas team intends to deliver, there is little doubt that synergies will be leveraged for the benefit of registrants that would not exist if another registry operator were selected.

1The timeframe and duty of care for a a registry of the current size and activity of .org TLD means that bidder for the reassignment must itself be, or subcontract to, a existing registry "backend".

C32. State whether the applicant or any entity identified in item C13 operates a DNS registry having more than 500,000 registered names and, if so, provide details.

UIA will subcontract with VGRS to provide back-end registration services for the .org TLD. In its capacity as the current .com, .net and .org registry, VGRS currently operates a DNS registry with more than 500,000 registered names.

C33. Describe in detail all affiliations, including direct or indirect ownership and contractual arrangements (including letters of intent) for the past, present, or future provision of registry services, between (a) the applicant or any entity identified in item C13 and (b) any operator of a DNS registry having more than 500,000 registered names.

UIA has entered into a Teaming Agreement with VGRS under which VGRS will provide back-end registration services and support to Diversitas for the .org TLD. In this agreement, VGRS will provide these services to Diversitas for the first three years of the ICANN registry agreement. At the end of the second year, Diversitas will initiate a re-competition of the services initially to be provided by VGRS with a target implementation date of 1 January 2006. The re-compete will further support ICANN's requirement to expand competition for the TLD registries while at the same time ensure the highest levels of reliability and continuity during the first three years of the new registry operator. Please refer to Section C14 for further details on the UIA and VGRS agreement.


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