A. General Description of the Application
- TLD String(s) Requested.
General Purpose, General.
Diebold, Incorporated (“Diebold”) requests 3 unrestricted TLD’s. Diebold targets a broad registrant base and end user group with an exclusive focus on commercial uses. As such, Diebold qualifies for the general purpose category, general group.
- Sponsor, Registry Operator and Subcontractor.
b. Registry Operator.
Diebold was founded in 1859 and was incorporated in the state of Ohio in 1876. Today, Diebold is a publicly traded company and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Diebold has many business units, including elements of manufacturing, service (field service technicians), managed services, transaction processing, software design, professional services and support. Diebold claims to have established a worldwide presence for its products and services. Experiences related to the Internet and/or database or registry services include having: (1) the industry first Internet-accessible ATM, (2) the industry first Internet technology based ATM, (3) the industry first Internet-accessible services reporting system and (4) several managed services based on Oracle, DB2, Informix and MySQL database systems.
- Registry-Registrar Model.
Diebold proposes operating as both a registry and registrar for the proposed TLD.
B. Technical Review
- Summary Description of Proposal.
Diebold proposes three new TLDs for specific affinity groups. The primary target market is corporate. After an initial burst of registrations, Diebold projects a steady state registration rate of 40,000 per month. It proposes that registrants interact directly with the registry, eliminating the registrar (similar to Internic registrations in the early days). No restrictions on registrations are proposed. The software to be used was written by Diebold and has been tested internally.
- Support of the Business Plan by the Technical Plan.
a. Total Capacity.
The plan describes standard techniques for scaling up the systems.
b. Projected Growth Rate.
The architecture would seem to support rapid growth, although it would be comforting to see actual performance studies.
c. Startup Period.
Given the volumes projected for startup, there should be no difficulty in handling the startup traffic. The assumptions underlying those projections should be examined further, however, and the systems should be tested to many times the projected volume.
d. Fault Tolerance.
The systems appear to be suitably fault tolerant, with support for multiple facilities.
While Diebold has a long history of paying attention to IT security concerns, it specifically refused to provide details of most of its security mechanisms, making it difficult to compare their proposal with others. The basic mechanism for administering domain records depends on passwords rather than a more robust authentication system. Given the affinity groups involved (financial institutions and others with secure systems requirements) and Diebold’s technical expertise in the security area, this is a surprising choice.
- Summary of Relevant Experience.
Diebold has developed and tested a registry system for this application. More generally, Diebold has extensive experience designing and deploying networks and software.
- Apparent Implementation Risks.
The software to be deployed has not been used in large-scale production environments.
The security mechanism appears to be weaker than desirable, given the audience for the product.
- Available of Human, Operational and Technical Resources to Cope with Unexpected Events.
Diebold has extensive technical, financial and administrative talent available.
- Advancing the State of the Art.
The Diebold model eliminates the registrar, apparently arguing that the registrar is a middleman which adds little value.
- Other Comments.
C. Business Review
- Applicant’s Representations.
Diebold is a U.S. manufacturer of banking and security equipment and has begun to focus on software and services. Diebold has 10,000 employees and for the year ended December 31, 1999 had total assets of $1.3 billion, net sales of $1.3 billion, and $129 million in net income. Diebold plans to act as the registry and the registrar.
Diebold proposes a $10 registration fee and does not anticipate using registrars. Diebold sees no boundaries to the market and the TLD will be unrestricted.
- ICANN’s Evaluation.
The strengths of the application include Diebold’s significant resources and stability. The weaknesses are many. It includes limited registry/registrar experience and a lack of market definition. Diebold does not include a thorough analysis of the target market, nor a detailed marketing plan. It does not provide a rationale for the estimated demand at any confidence level or the resources to meet that demand. Without such details, this application cannot be considered complete and thorough enough to demonstrate a understanding of what is involved in operating this particular registry business. Overall, this application is not as strong as other applications in this category from a business perspective.
D. Summary of Public Comments
- Number of Comments.
- Support for the Application.
“I have not read through Diebold’s application completely as yet but it is great to see a company with the technological resources of Diebold submitting an application. Certainly a company I trust towards maintaining the stability of the world wide Internet.”
- Opposition to Application.
Comments discussed the faults of Diebold’s application including creation of an alternate root and lack of financial data.
One comment asks for ICANN to reject the application in favor of Affilias because, unlike Diebold, it would protect the stability of the Internet and competition among Registrars.