A. General Description of the Application
- TLD String(s) Requested.
General Purpose, Personal.
The JVTeam, LLC (“JVTeam”) requests the .per TLD. The application focuses on personal web space and proposes a generally unrestricted TLD targeted to a large registrant base and a large end user group. Accordingly, JVTeam qualifies for the general purpose, personal group.
- Sponsor, Registry Operator and Subcontractor.
b. Registry Operator.
The JVTeam, LLC ("JVTeam") is a newly formed, limited liability company, organized under the laws of the state of Delaware, created to function as a registry. JVTeam's parent companies are NeuStar, Inc. ("NeuStar") and Melbourne IT Ltd. ("Melbourne"). Melbourne was founded in 1996 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Melbourne. In 1999 Melbourne became a publicly traded company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Melbourne's products and services include: (1) domain name registration, maintenance and related service and products, (2) advanced telecommunications services and products, (3) an incubator program and (4) research and development. Melbourne’s principal place of business is Melbourne, Australia. NeuStar, a Delaware corporation, was originally founded in 1996 as an independent communications industry services business unit within Lockheed Martin. NeuStar designed, built and continues to manage one of the largest databases in the world and now serves as the North American Numbering Plan Administrator. It operates the telephone numbering registry for the North American Numbering Plan as a Public numbering resource. NeuStar is also the Local Number Portability Administrator for the US and Canada, operating the routing registry, the Number Portability Administration Center Service Management System for North America. Neustar’s principal place of business is in Washington, D.C.
- Registry-Registrar Model.
JVTeam intends to follow the existing guidelines for registry/registrar relations established by ICANN for the .com, .net and .org registry.
B. Technical Review
- Summary Description of Proposal.
JVTeam proposes to provide a personal name domain (.per) that would provide an individual name for each user. Registration will be for non-commercial purposes only.
All names will be registered as SLD rather than as a family name and then a third-level surname. The registrar system will provide alternative SLDs if the desired SLD is currently taken. JVTeam’s research indicates that the use of third level domain names is less desirable.
The proposal for this TLD was substantially similar to the other JVTeam’s proposals for .web and .biz. Most of the comments here are common to all three proposals.
- Support of the Business Plan by the Technical Plan.
a. Total Capacity.
The business plan assumes that several million names will be registered. Capacity is based on a distributed server system modeled after previous experience with providing data base services for the North American Numbering Plan and telephone customer/provider assignment. The build plan is based on providing three times the projected steady state load.
b. Projected Growth Rate.
Growth rates are based on surveys and models driven by the survey results. The estimated rate is about 2 million names per year.
c. Startup Period.
Special provisions to process registrar request in bulk during a startup period. Bulk processing used to provide fairness to registrars. This scheme will effectively select names for registration randomly from registrars. The new registry protocol (XPL) would not be used until after the start-up phase.
d. Fault Tolerance.
Fault tolerance is based on using redundancy. Physical redundancy is based on using two or more geographically isolated sites. Communications between sites are duplicated and systems within each site are duplicated. Provisions include capability to maintain system operation and performance even with the complete loss of one site.
Geographical redundancy is based on two registry sites and possibly two additional name server sites. Two of the required sites are already in existence and operating in essentially the same manner as the proposed registry and name server sites.
The two data centers will cross replicate critical databases in real time. The proposal does not make entirely clear if both data centers will be simultaneously live for update or in a master/backup configuration. In addition, conventional off-site back up will be used.
The system will use automated tracking of component status with the intention of detecting problems before they occur.
Security measures are based on using end-to-end encryption techniques of off-the-shelf and proprietary origin. JVTeam appears to use current techniques for both physical and transactional security. The billing and collection system is based on password protection, rather than more advanced techniques. Similarly, remote administrative access to the data centers will be authenticated with passwords, rather than more advanced techniques.
- Summary of Relevant Experience.
Neustar has relevant experience in operating a registry-like service related to numbering and tracking in the telephone industry. Melbourne has experience in operating a registry for .com names in Australia. Experience includes the operation of large, reliable databases and of providing and supporting registry services.
- Apparent Implementation Risks.
Implementation will involve a joint effort between technical teams located in the US and Australia. The teams have a somewhat complementary backgrounds.
Use of a new registry protocol (XML) will require close work between the TLD provider and the registrars.
- Available of Human, Operational and Technical Resources to Cope with Unexpected Events.
The response to anomalies is based on prior experience in supporting large databases and large name registry operations. Experience includes releasing and tracking changes to large software systems.
- Advancing the State of the Art.
Name space addition is a straightforward extension of the general TLD name space to provide an area for individuals. The core of the proposal depends upon the use of a new registry protocol (XPL) that would provide a distributed general TLD registry capability. The new registry protocol would be open and would be migrated to standard status. The proposal envisions the addition of many more general TLDs in the near future, not just for personal names, but for other purposes
The registry data would be arbitrarily extensible by the registrars. This allows them to off load data storage and integrity requirements to the registry.
The basic implementation plan is to make the registry services more robust and the registrar services simpler. The reliance on the registry service to maintain all information will provide experience with a different approach to this problem.
The plan envisions fast update to zone files and Whois database, using the XPL and high-performance server architecture. The proposal claims to significantly reduce domain-name update time from stated current time of 24-48 hours to less than one hour. The process is based on sending smaller zone file updates more frequently to the name servers using a “diff” approach.
The proposed general TLD would be somewhat different in character from existing general TLDs. Because the intended use would be primarily for individuals, references to third level domains are expected to be quite infrequent. The result might be that current name caching techniques would not produce the same effects as for high usage domain names. In effect, every translation request is likely to impinge on the TLD server.
The proposal envisions that the registry will contain the Whois database, but that the individual registrars will provide the front-end for access to the database so that they can “brand” it. The approach is based on an XML-defined approach that would become a standard. The registrars would be capable of adding additional information to the Whois data base (possibly for a fee).
- Other Comments.
The proposal depends upon maintaining name translation table in RAM at each server. Although large the size is manageable. It is assumed that only the basic translation table would be in this table. This mechanism is part of the efficiency basis of proposed scheme.
JVTeam plans to utilize a pre-registration mechanism to allow reservation of names with intellectual property implications. The technique allows interested parties the option of demarcating their potential intellectual property and then receiving notification of potential conflicts. Given the personal nature of the .per domain trademark issues should not be too severe. Effort required in this area is not definitively sized. This approach is based on notification rather than on outright reservation by a potential intellectual property holder thus placing the responsibility for defending the intellectual property on the property owner.
The Whois inquiry rate seems very high. This appears to be due to anticipated data mining operations, which might be more attractive due to the XML based data record system that is intended to provide more information than currently available.
The registry will build a special laboratory to act as a test bed for registrars and the extended registration protocol.
It is assumed that registrars will provide acceptable alternatives to the basic family name. It is unclear if this effort has been included in the overall project plan.
It is unclear how the registrars will carry out their mandate to make sure that names reserved are reasonably related to the individual.
It is unclear how the space would provide adequate convenient names for all the possible applicants. The proposed approach is to allow (and suggest) open variants on the names.
C. Business Review
- Applicant’s Representations.
The operator is the JVTeam formed by Melbourne, and NeuStar. Melbourne offers domain name registration and maintenance, advanced telecommunications, incubator program, and research and development. In 1996 Melbourne became the delegated administrator of the com.au domain space and in 1999 was selected to be one of the five test-bed registrars for the introduction of competition in the .com, .net, and .org domain space. NeuStar, Inc offers regulated services and deregulated commercial services. NeuStar operates the telephone numbering registry for the North American Numbering Plan and serves as the Local Number Portability Administrator. The JVTeam can draw upon 353 people, 238 of those are actively engaged in technical disciplines.
JVTeam’s mission is to provide the next generation domain name registry and to contribute positively to the evolution of the domain name system. The application states that the company will innovate by building on the strengths of the existing DNS and will ensure its integrity by acting as a responsible member of the Internet community. The proposed TLD will require applicants to self certify that the site is reasonably related to that person as an individual.
The revenue model is subscription based. The annual price will vary from a high of $5.30 to a low of $3.75, including discounts, depending upon the volume of registrations. JVTeam is expecting demand at the 50 percent confidence interval of 2.8 and 12.6 million registrations for the years one and four respectively. The company also expects to employ 112 employees by the end of year four.
- ICANN’s Evaluation.
This application has many strengths. It contains a thorough assessment of the market, including primary market research. The target market and marketing plan is well laid out and includes a discussion of the early adopters, followers and laggers. Further, the assessment of estimated demand and required resources was thoroughly explored. The company is currently planning on investing significant sums. This is due in part to the forecasted losses in the early periods. Overall, this application is a solid application in this category from a business perspective.
D. Summary of Public Comments
- Number of Comments.
- Support for the Application.
”Its about time that a TLD is given to individual users. I'm disgruntled by the fact that this is the only application that addresses the current pro-corporate/organization situation. “
“It will always look odd to have your own personal web site with a .org .fin (I also support this for financial institutions) or .com as TLD. Example: www.sarah.com - looks like a fashion site; www.sarah.firm - looks like an accounting firm that deals make-up on the side-line; www.sarah.org - looks like a non-profit that covers up for smuggling lipstick. www.sarah.per - sounds good for a personal domain. Anyway some countries already support this like singapore with .per.sg.”
- Opposition to Application.
“If you were the only Sarah, www.sarah.per would probably work, but more likely your personal domain would be ‘www.sarah3358922.per’ Now let's see, did I ring up the correct ‘sarah’? And what about ‘john’ or ‘mohammed’ or ‘bob’... “