UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION
A. General Description of the Application
- TLD String(s) Requested.
Universal Postal Union’s (“UPU”) application requests the .post TLD, which is a tightly restricted namespace for the construction of trustworthy messaging applications. UPU will impose extensive restrictions on all potential registrants while targeting a limited end user base. Accordingly, UPU qualifies for the special purpose category.
- Sponsor, Registry Operator and Subcontractor.
UPU is a non-profit organization with its headquarters in Berne, Switzerland. The UPU became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1948. The UPU's stated mission is to "promote communication between the people of the world." The UPU claims the postal services of its 189 member countries form the largest physical distribution network in the world. Moreover, it claims that some 6.2 million postal employees working in over 700,000 post offices all over the world handle an annual total of 430 billion letters, printed matter and parcels in the domestic service and almost 10 billion letters, printed matter and parcels in the international service. The existing structure of the UPU, comprised of the Council of Administration ("CA") and the Postal Operations Council ("POC"), is intended to be enhanced by establishing a .post Management Committee. The Management Committee will define all policies regarding issuance of domain names and the operation of the .post domain. The Management Committee will be comprised of five members, consisting of a representative from the UPU International Bureau and a representative from each of the following postal administration: (1) United States Postal Services, (2) La Poste, France, (3) Die Post, Switzerland and (4) Sweden Post, on behalf of the Nordic Countries.
b. Registry Operator.
CORE Internet Council of Registrars ("CORE") is a not-for-profit association organized under Swiss law with its principal address in Geneva, Switzerland. CORE is an association in which its members have coordinated a technical framework while retaining their own marketing and customer service functions. CORE currently acts as an ICANN accredited registrar and utilizes a shared registrations system ("SRS") which allows its members to register domains under .com, .net and .org. This SRS is based on a model originally designed for use by a registry and manages over 800,000 domains. Before commencing registry operations, CORE plans to create a separate not-for-profit entity through which registry operations will be run. It intends to have two separate membership processes, separate supervisory bodies and separate staff, however, both organizations will have rights to use the CORE SRS.
CORE does not expect to outsource any function accounting for more than 10% of operations to any single operator.
- Registry-Registrar Model.
The UPU proposes that the following entities would be involved in issuing domain names in the .post TLD:
a. a .post Accreditation Service – a section of the UPU;
b. .post Operators – postal administrations accredited to use .post domain names;
c. .post Registrars – postal administrations accredited to issue .post domain names; and
d. ICANN-accredited Registrars – any organization accredited by ICANN to act as a registrar.
The .post Accreditation Service would receive all accreditation requests from potential .post Operators. Once the necessary agreements have been signed, the .post Operators can request domain names from the .post Accreditation Service. If these are approved, the .post Accreditation Service transmits the necessary domain information to an ICANN-accredited registrar for inclusion in the DNS and the Whois. The UPU will be the only .post Accreditation Service and, initially, the only entity which communicates domain name information to registrars.
B. Technical Review
- Summary Description of Proposal.
The .post TLD is proposed as a tightly restricted namespace for the construction of highly trustworthy messaging applications. SLDs will be allocated to UPU members in the form ISOcc.post. Each UPU member will be responsible for registrations within its SLD, which it may subcontract. A limited number of SLDs will be made available to other global organizations in the postal community.
- Support of the Business Plan by the Technical Plan.
a. Total Capacity.
The anticipated number of registrations is very low and should be easily managed.
b. Projected Growth Rate.
It is anticipated that most registrations will be made in the first six months and will change rarely.
c. Startup Period.
The anticipated number of registrations is very low and should be easily managed.
d. Fault Tolerance.
This Registry would be run on existing systems already operated in a fault tolerant manner by CORE.
The security for the Registry seems adequate.
- Summary of Relevant Experience.
CORE has considerable experience in registry operations. UPU appears to have limited experience with domain management and registry operations.
- Apparent Implementation Risks.
Developing and operating the registry should pose few implementation risks.
The plan does not describe how the UPU intends to ensure the non-forgeability of e-mail addresses and URLs within the .post TLD.
It was stated that non-postal organizations with .post domain names will not be allowed to create web sites. No mechanisms were described to enforce this restriction.
It was implied that organizations with SLDs would use the registry for third level domains. No mechanism to enforce this policy was described.
- Available of Human, Operational and Technical Resources to Cope with Unexpected Events.
CORE has extensive resources available.
- Advancing the State of the Art.
The proposal envisions that use of a TLD and tight management of names below the TLD allow the creation of services not possible in a less controlled namespace. If this turns out to be true it may stimulate the development of other such services.
- Other Comments.
Each country’s postal agency or commercial equivalent will be authorized to be a registrar for that country’s SLD. It is easy to imagine that some countries will be less than rigorous in their registration criteria, and may in fact choose to operate their own registry service at the SLD. While this result may not be the intent of either UPU or ICANN, there are no obvious technical means to avoid it.
C. Business Review
- Applicant’s Representations.
The UPU is a specialized agency of the United Nations with a mission to promote and develop communication between the people of the world. It currently has 189 member countries. The The UPU is a non-profit organization and operates on a cost recovery basis.
CORE is a non-profit association of ICANN-accredited registrars, with a registrar business itself. It does not currently have any employees of its own for its registrar activity due its outsource arrangements with its members. CORE’s mission is to develop and operate standards and coordinating mechanisms for the central management of Internet domain registrations in the public trust on a not-for-profit basis. There are 200 of CORE’s members’ staff concerned with CORE domain registrations. CORE reported revenues of $1.7 million for the six-months ended June 30, 2000 and net assets of negative $1.1 million at June 30, 2000.
The revenue model includes fees to postal administrations who use the .post TLD of: (1) $1,000 to $10,000 application fee, (2) $1,000 to $10,000 annual fee, and (3) $150 fee for a two-year domain name registration. The .post registrars will be charged: (1) $1,000 to $10,000 application fee, (2) $500 to $5,000 annual fee, and (3) $15 fee for a two-year domain name registration. The initial target market is the 189 members of the UPU. The secondary target market will include the customers of the individual postal administrations. The demand in the secondary market will depend on the activities of the individual postal administrations.
- ICANN’s Evaluation.
The strengths of this application lie in the Sponsor’s existing relationships with the initial target market and the Operator’s registry/registrar experience. The main weakness is the lack of analysis of the use of the TLD. The UPU has not researched the extent to which or how their member postal administrations will utilize the TLD. Without this needed analysis, this application has not demonstrated a complete and thorough understanding of the business issues involved in operating a TLD. Overall, there are stronger applications
D. Summary of Public Comments
- Number of Comments.
- Support for the Application.
“I feel this domain to be a type that should be granted, for the following reasons:
It has a defined, non-commercial basis and a non-commercial administration, thus not overlapping with the likes of ‘.com’. It doesn’t smack of money-grabbing.
It allows easy identification of postal services.
It makes electronic-physical and v.v. translation easily identifiable.”