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The Proposal

C15. Describe in detail the abilities of the applicant and the entities identified in item C13 to operate a TLD registry of significant scale in a manner that provides affordable services with a high degree of service responsiveness and reliability. Your response should give specifics, including significant past or present achievements and activities of the applicant and the entities identified in item C13 that demonstrate the described abilities. It should also include information about key technical personnel (qualifications and experience), size of technical workforce, and access to systems development tools.


Running a global registry is a significant responsibility and one which must not be undertaken lightly. Unity Registry has the technical, administrative and financial competence needed to run an effective, scalable and reliable registry in a manner that serves the best interests of registrants while encouraging competition and differentiating the .org TLD from those intended for commercial services.

These skills have been demonstrated over many years by the activities and achievements of the partner organizations which have come together to form Unity Registry: Poptel and AusRegistry (detailed in C13). As well as providing the highest quality of technical service, Unity Registry can call upon an unparalleled awareness of the networking needs of the noncommercial Internet community and comprehensive experience of working in partnership with that community over many years. It can also call upon technical expertise from key staff at all levels who have implemented TLD registries, managed the transition of ccTLD subdomains from other registries, and specified and built systems to implement the latest EPP-based registry-registrar protocols.

Unity Registry is uniquely placed to meet the technical and organizational challenges which .org poses for the registry operator. Our expertise falls into four areas: technical, commercial, administrative and community, and in each we have identified particular skills and experience which demonstrate clearly that we are the best choice to operate the .org registry and to maintain and extend this critical part of the Internet’s infrastructure.


The Technical Plan (Section C17) makes it clear that Unity Registry is able to build and manage a registry of the scale of .org.

One of the partners in Unity Registry, Poptel, already runs a sponsored TLD (sTLD) while the other, AusRegistry, is the Registry Service provider for five "open" .au Domain Names including .com.au and id.au. Together they currently have approximately 300,000 registrants. They have a scalable database architecture that is fully capable of supporting the .org Registry Function at the volumes of registrants and transactions predicted by our model (see Section C17.3 and Section C17.10).

AusRegistry has built and currently operates the first commercial registry appointed by auDA in Australia, which encompasses .com.au, .org.au, .net.au,
.asn.au and .id.au. This Registry currently holds approximately 300,000 of these domains. The Registry System has been developed with full scalability in mind and has been tested under extreme loads and large volumes of both domains and objects. At the forefront of the AusRegistry mandate are the important issues of security and maintaining data integrity. As such, AusRegistry has gone to great lengths to ensure that the information held in the database itself is safe from misuse.

AusRegistry demonstrated its commitment to a high degree of service, responsiveness and reliability by voluntarily choosing to impose legally-enforceable economic penalties on itself for non-performance. This was done to engender confidence and ensure that organizations interacting with AusRegistry are guaranteed performance. To assist in this, and ensure auditability, live performance data is provided on the AusRegistry extranet. This extranet also provides financial reporting to assist registrars in reconciliation. Even with these extra service offerings and heightened level of security and performance, AusRegistry was able to more than halve the cost of domain name registration.

RegistrarsAsia, AusRegistry’s parent company has also successfully provided registrar services since January 2000 providing sound backing and expert knowledge of DNS services and providing AusRegistry with access to design tools, testbeds and other technical infrastructure which will in turn support the development of Unity Registry systems.

The other partner, Poptel, was one of the first companies to provide a range of on-line services, and one of a very small number of pioneering organizations to stress the relevance of on-line communications and information technology for the noncommercial sector.

Poptel also have a demonstrable high level of capability in the provision of ISP services and a track record of effective technical development and implementation of customer services. Together the partners’ staff skill set is complementary for the provision of technical services including advanced network technologies, operating systems technologies, and systems development skills. We have already established highly available, scalable systems architecture for providing ISP services utilizing Open Source software and industry standard systems such as Windows NT.

The first Poptel on-line services were launched in 1986. These included electronic mail, based on the GeoNet (X.25-based) system pioneered in Germany, and integrated "one-stop-shop" access to on-line database services. Within one year Poptel had users from the international development community, human rights, labour movement and other NGOs from all over the world, all of whom dialled the Poptel-GeoNet "GEO2" system in London or accessed via X.25. Early adopters included Amnesty International, the Rt. Hon. Tony Blair MP, the United Nations Earth Summit and the African National Congress.

Following its success promoting on-line technologies to the noncommercial sector, Poptel entered an agreement with Manchester City Council in the UK to launch the pioneering Manchester Host project - the inspiration for many similar projects around the world and the subject of several academic studies. The Manchester Host launched the concept of "Electronic Village Halls" and introduced electronic mail and on-line database working to many small businesses, community and voluntary organizations across the North of England.

In 1999 Poptel become the first employee-owned cooperative business to attract significant venture capital funding while retaining its status as a cooperative. Since that time Poptel has rebuilt its entire technical infrastructure.

In 2000, Poptel bid jointly with the US National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), supported by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) for the creation of ".coop" as one of the new gTLDs.The .coop registry is now fully operational and meeting all targets for performance and availability.

.coop is expected to become a model for future special purpose TLDs. It supports verification, will soon support registrars, and perhaps more importantly is a tool supporting the development of cooperative enterprises.

There have been many notable achievements in the development of .coop. Among the most significant are that the registry system has had no failures and was developed on time and to budget, that the partnership process and management system of .coop has attracted a high level of engagement and support from the cooperative community and that the sales and marketing plan implemented has generated sales that are on target against the projections in the original application.

We have assessed the business processes required for both the registry operator and registrar operations using our knowledge of the industry. We have developed an IT architecture that includes both core registry services and back office applications providing key functions such as billing, office automation, etc. The architecture utilizes technology already proven in our ISP business, and which we know is highly scalable, available and robust. The key criterion for the technology is to provide continuous service to the Internet community and with this in mind our architecture has no single point of failure having been built with resilience as the major priority.


The past achievements of the partners in Unity Registry are impressive, and demonstrate clearly that Unity Registry has the skills needed to build and operate a registry on the scale of .org. The technical architecture of the Unity Registry system, described in full in C17, has been specified to ensure that all lessons learnt over many years of service to the Internet community are taken into account. The Unity Registry system is robust, scalable, able to deliver the required performance and reliable. It is a ‘best of breed’ registry.

The existing Network Operations Center, currently used by Poptel to support the
.coop TLD, will be extended to support the larger .org Registry with the addition of extra hardware, network infrastructure, backup facilities and security measures.

The Registry function will run software supplied by AusRegistry as originally developed for the five names that were put up for tender in the .au ccTLD. This system has been proven to be scalable in internal testing by AusRegistry when planning growth of the .au ccTLD. It fully supports EPPv6 and will support RRP for interaction with Registrars and is capable of supporting the value-added services outlined in Section C38 which rely on having a ‘thick’ registry.

Unity Registry is also taking advantage of the geographical separation of the two partner organizations. The main network operations center is co-located with the
.coop Registry in Salford, England (see Section C17.1). In case of system failure Unity Registry has a second ‘hot’ NOC available in Manchester, a nearby city forming part of the same urban conurbation, so that staff can easily relocate. There is also an evaluation server running in Australia which would be capable of supporting the Registry Function, albeit with some reduction in performance, should neither of the UK-based NOCs be accessible. Escrowed data can also be made available to an ICANN-nominated representative in order to re-establish the Registry Function outside Unity Registry’s control in case of a serious failure (see Section C17.14, C17.15, C17.16).


Unity Registry can also draw upon the technical skills of its senior management and their staff.

Dr Stuart Marsden, Technical Director of Poptel and a Director of Unity Registry, has been actively involved in the IT industry since 1975 and has been a director of information technology companies for over 15 years with responsibilities covering technology, product and application development.

During his career he has been responsible for the introduction of new products and technologies which have been influential in turning round company fortunes. His success in this area was a key factor in influencing Silicon Graphics to purchase t2 solutions and latterly his work with AIT Group in introducing a sustainable product business was a significant enabler in AIT's successful flotation on the FTSE.

Stuart joined Sum International as a director in January 2000 and assumed the role of Managing Director of Poptel Ltd. Stuart was responsible for the successful launch of the .coop sponsored TLD. He became full-time Technical Director of Poptel in November 2001 and has driven through the development of the technical architecture for Unity Registry.

He is ably assisted by Mark Crocker, Managing Director of Registry Operations for Poptel. Mark has been involved with the IT Sector since 1979 and has over 20 years executive management experience gained in South East Asia, USA and UK.

During his career he has been responsible for opening new Software/IT Services businesses and turning around under-performing operations. In 1986 Mark opened SPL Systems (Far East) Ltd. in Hong Kong and by 1993 had expanded the business to have offices in Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines and employ 80 people.

In 1993 this company was merged with a group of loosely linked companies to form SPL WorldGroup, a new global company with offices in USA, Asia/Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Mark then moved to the USA to be part of SPL WorldGroup’s executive management team which grew the company from USD 34 million to USD 130 million in 5 years.

Mark left SPL WorldGroup in 1999 and since then has worked with various early stage companies on developing business strategies and plans used to raise external funding. He became the Managing Director - Registry Operations, Poptel Ltd. in May 2002 and has specified many of the systems proposed for Unity Registry.

Another key member of the Poptel technical team is Peter Moore, Technical Manager of Poptel Ltd. Peter comes from an ISP background and arrived at Poptel in October 2001. He manages the cross-platform Technical Team who are responsible for ensuring the Poptel services and .coop registry services are available and performing correctly.

During his career he has been responsible for the introduction of new products and technologies and building the personnel infrastructure to accommodate the support and provision of them. His most recent achievement has been the introduction of Poptel's Automated Online Services System.

Also in the technical team is Chris Wright, Chief Technology Officer of RegistrarsAsia and AusRegistry. Chris designed and managed the construction of the current AusRegistry EPP Registry system.

Prior to this he was responsible for designing and building the front and back end of RegistrarsAsia’s current web hosting and domain registration system. He has a degree in computer science and a vast array of experience as a network engineer and software developer. Previously he has been involved in the setup up of networking in schools and software development in the education sector. He has had significant involvement in the development numerous systems and has developed a high technical competency and understanding of computer networks, security, systems administration and software engineering.


The best registry software ever written, running on the fastest and most reliable hardware available, is of little use to registrants if the company behind it is not well-managed and financially sound.

The financial projections for the operation of Unity Registry (see Appendix G) demonstrate that it can be viable and indeed profitable without in any way abusing the responsible position it will of necessity have as the operator of a gTLD with many existing registrants. The ownership structure of Unity Registry (see Section C2-C9)provides it with funds on which to draw if income projections are lower than anticipated or slower to arrive because of unusual patterns in registrations. Unity Registry does not seek to qualify for the VeriSign endowment of USD 5m (see Section C41). As a for profit entity, the proposer will be incentivized to introduce services likely to meet with success in the marketplace, rather than itself pursuing specific charitable or social purposes.

On the commercial side the Unity Registry team demonstrates the same strength in depth as the technical staff. Simon Delzoppo is currently Chief Executive Officer and a Director of RegistrarsAsia and AusRegistry. Simon has a wealth of Senior Management and Human Resources experience with SME and large enterprise. He previously managed Corporate Telecommunications and Security Electronics companies where he developed skills in all facets of business including accounting, budgeting, sales, strategic planning, administration and Human resources. Simon also has strong technical knowledge and is a Qualified Security Technician with 5 years experience.

Ivor Share joined Poptel as Managing Director in November 2001 from Sum International Consulting Ltd. where he was Managing Director. Prior to this he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Mainsoft Corp. from December 1996 to December 1999. From 1993 until joining Mainsoft Ivor was an independent sales and marketing consultant. From its start-up in 1987 until 1993 he was employed by Insignia Solutions, Inc.(Nasdaq: INSGY) where he served on the board of directors and as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Mr Share also served as a non-executive board director of Motorola 88open Inc from 1989 to 1993. He began his career in 1974 with Burroughs where he held several positions in sales and marketing before joining McDonnell Douglas Information Systems in 1981

They are joined by Adrian Kinderis, Managing Director and Director of Sales and Marketing for RegistrarsAsia and AusRegistry. As a founding partner, Adrian has put AusRegistry at the forefront of Marketing in the Registry arena through separating the identities of the second level domain names in the .au ccTLD. He has been integral in developing the overall strategies and concepts from inception to implementation. Adrian’s strength lies in his ability to act as a conduit between the technical and commercial aspects of the business. In these roles he has displayed superior skills in market identification and segmentation, promotions, public relations and communication.


Unity Registry will be financially sound and technically solid. It will also be run effectively on a day-to-day basis, as both the .coop and .au domain registries are currently run by the partner organizations, Poptel and AusRegistry.

Leading the administration of Unity Registry is Lynn Davis, currently responsible for managing both the technical development and the operations side of the .coop registry.

Lynn has been at Poptel for 2 years, starting in the Customer Services department. Prior to this, she gained a B.A. in Applied Photography, Film and Television and went on to have a distinguished career in both production and post-production, primarily in advertising, gaining several major industry awards for her editing work.


A key differentiator for the Unity Registry proposal is our understanding of the needs of the noncommercial Internet using community. This is made clear in our response to Sections C35 and C38, where we outline in detail policies to ensure that the .org registry is responsive to and supportive of noncommercial Internet users, and where we describe our innovative approach to the branding and differentiation of .org from TLDs intended primarily for commercial purposes.

We are able to make this claim because Poptel, one of the Unity Registry partners, is itself a cooperative business, firmly rooted in the principles of social enterprise. Its clients are mostly .orgs working in fields including sustainable development, human rights, trade unionism and social enterprise, along with consumer organizations and local community organizations. As such Poptel has a unique insight into the needs of these organizations, both short-and long-term, and unique access to the organizations themselves.

Many of the specifications for differentiation and accountability made in the proposal for .coop were the work of Malcolm Corbett, Corporate Affairs director and Deputy Chair of Poptel. Malcolm has worked for Poptel since 1988. In that period he has held responsibility for accounts, customer service, marketing and sales. His current role involves alliance-building and outreach, representing Poptel at conferences and events and forging relationships in key business sectors. Malcolm has been the key point of liaison and consultation with non-profit organizations in the development of this proposal.

Malcolm has nearly twenty years experience in the British cooperative sector. He writes and speaks about the impact of the Internet on the social economy or third sector. He is a former chair of ICOM, the UK federation of employee owned cooperative businesses, and is a founder and current chair of Social Enterprise London. He is also a member of the International Advisory Board for UNED Forum involved in the planning of the 2002 UN World Summit on Sustainable Development.

Malcolm was one of the two principal originators of the new .coop global top level Internet domain for cooperative businesses worldwide, which went live in 2002 under Poptel’s management.

In order to ensure that .org is run in the best interests of the registrants it is important that they can play a key role in the operation of the registry. We intend to ensure that this is the case. We are absolutely committed to ensuring that the registry will be run in a manner that will further the online engagement of .org communities. We have detailed this proposal in Section C38 below, and have received many expressions of support for our approach, as detailed in Section C36.

We have also been fortunate enough to receive advice and assistance from two key individuals: Byron Henderson and David R Johnson. If Unity Registry is successful in this bid then both will become members of the transitional steering group leading to the formation of the first .org Policy Group, described fully in Section C35.

Byron Henderson is Vice-President, .Coop Operations for the National Cooperative Business Association and Vice-President of DotCooperation, LLC, the Sponsor of the
.coop top level domain, one of the seven new top level domains approved by ICANN. Prior to joining .coop, Byron was Director of Network Policy Alliances for AcrossWorld Communications Inc., a California-based provider of network infrastructure in emerging markets.

Byron is the founding co-ordinator of the Emerging Markets Forum, a partnership of AcrossWorld and Stanford’s Asia/Pacific Research Center. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Visiting Scholar in Apple Computer's Advanced Technology Group and is a founder, Director and Distinguished Scientist of the EOE Foundation, a non-profit educational technology institute. Byron has consulted on technology issues to the World Bank, the UNDP, the International Cooperative Alliance of Geneva and the US Department of Defense. Byron is a lawyer and has worked in law reform, in private practice specializing in finance, and as a law professor. A 1979 research grant to explore the use of computers in legal education led Byron to spend more than twenty years in the field of information technology, covering data structures, online education, e-commerce, and metadata.

David R. Johnson recently retired as a partner of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering and is devoting substantial time to the development of new types of “graphical groupware” software products. His previous legal practice focused primarily on the emerging area of electronic commerce, including counselling on issues relating to privacy, domain names and Internet governance issues, jurisdiction, copyright, taxation, electronic contracting, encryption, defamation, ISP and OSP liability, regulation, and other intellectual property matters. He helped to write the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, was involved in discussions leading to the Framework for Global Electronic Commerce, and has been active in the introduction of personal computers in law practice.

David served as founding director of the Aspen Institute Internet Policy Project and as founding president, CEO, and chairman of Counsel Connect, an online meeting place for the legal profession. He also was a founder and has served as co-director of the Cyberspace Law Institute. He has served on the boards of directors of the National Center for Automated Information Research and the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction.


Looking beyond the technical and organizational issues, our principal ambition for
.org is to turn it into a thriving noncommercial space on the Internet, a space that serves the broad interests of the non-profit communities as well as meeting the requirement to have a reliable, cost-effective and efficient registry. We already know from our positive experience with .coop that the namespace can be a powerful symbol uniting a social sector. It works like a brand that unites disparate organizations with common goals.

The key to developing this community is transparency. Our unique proposal to introduce a cooperative dimension to the governance of .org will ensure that this openness is widely communicated.

The registry can also provide an infrastructure for the development of communitybuilding tools. All of this is missing from the current .org: it is simply the TLD in which a non-profit registers by default, or where a company registers to protect its name. At the moment there is little sense that registering as a .org is a positive act, a statement of membership of a genuine online community. We plan to change this. Unity Registry wishes to turn .org into a space that genuinely serves to connect, to inform and to empower noncommercial Internet using organizations.


Unity Registry is privileged to work with a range of other companies who will be providing services under contract. These companies are detailed in full in Section C13. Of particular note are NCC Group, Business Serve, Telecity and Nominum.

NCC Group is the world's leading provider of software assurance, with over 20 years experience and a reputation for providing a customer focused and quality driven service to over 85% of the FT Top 100 companies.

The Group provides specialist product streams and testing services for both public and private sector organizations world-wide. The specialist product streams include Software Escrow, Development Escrow, Web Escrow and Data/Specialist Escrow.

Escrowed material can be held on behalf of the Owner or user with the Escrow agreement specifying the terms under which the items are held and the 'trigger events' under which the material can be released. As with all Escrow arrangements the purpose is to protect material that can be accessed under given circumstances to enable business continuity.

Business Serve Plc was identified as the most appropriate company for Unity Registry to partner with for the location of the Primary Operations Center, as they have a Dual Triangulated Network across the UK and as they take IP Transit from both Genuity and Telia (Tier One) they have extremely resilient network paths to the rest of the world. They have dedicated facilities at their prestigious Manchester Site that meet both physical and technology security measures.

TeleCity is the leading European provider of colocation infrastructure and data center facilities. Through its network of carrier neutral data centers, it provides colocation, systems engineering and additional value added services to web-centric service providers, telecommunications businesses and corporate enterprises.