The VeriSign Endowment
Section IX The VeriSign Endowment
PIR proposes that the endowment be dedicated to expanding outreach and services to non-commercial organizations on behalf of .ORG. As shown in the market analysis segment of Section VIII, the non-commercial community worldwide is technologically behind other economic sectors in adopting and leveraging the Internet. Since access to and usage of the Internet can significantly improve the ability of these organizations to deliver benefits to their nation and publics, the key gating variable is KNOWLEDGE.
To address this pressing need, ISOC and PIR propose to field extensive educational and awareness building programming for non-commercials that will have the dual benefits of: 1) helping these organizations enter the Internet age; and 2) better serving their 'customer base' and more quickly meeting their objectives and mission.
In addition to outreach, we plan to accelerate the launch of several new services tailored to non-commercial registrants. This will enable the community to more quickly realize the benefits of the re-delegation.
We believe that this proposed usage meets the qualification criteria
for two reasons. First, the programs will be undertaken by ISOC and PIR
(both are not-for-profit), initially leveraging the ISOC mechanisms. Second,
this is true primary market development activity-especially in technologically
emerging areas-making the investment a future operating (marketing and
product development) expense. By initiating these programs immediately,
we can build on the smooth transition already planned and begin .ORG's
migration into a growing, vital home for a larger portion of the non-commercial
The current .ORG registry agreement between ICANN and VeriSign, Inc., states:
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Do you propose to seek to qualify to receive any funds from this endowment?
Public Interest Registry (PIR) is proposing to apply funds from the endowment for the purpose of accelerating and deploying educational outreach, awareness building, and new services programs to enhance the ability of the non-commercial organizations to obtain the benefits of an online presence.
Easing their adoption of the Internet will enable technologically emerging countries will obtain two important benefits from these programs: 1) it will revitalize their economies; and 2) it will help to close the Digital Divide. At the same time, it will help revitalize .ORG, as a growing non-commercial sector is also a successful component of a strong and healthy nation. Internet access both enhances their ability to further their goals and improve their way of life. Immediate activity can help jumpstart the recovery process for these countries.
The first area of focus will be community outreach. Initially, this programming will be built on the successful ISOC models. ISOC's experience and impressive track record in providing workshops on a global basis on a variety of topics will be very important in shaping and recognizing this PIR initiative. Additionally, this programming is consistent with .ORG's character and ISOC's mission statement: "to assure the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world."
We would both leverage existing program models and create new opportunities based upon input from the proposed .ORG Advisory Council. Listed below are some specific ISOC initiatives that can be modified and leveraged to directly benefit the non-commercial community:
Our second area of focus is awareness and brand building activity. As a historically US-centric domain, .ORG has less awareness in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, and hence .ORG is not always seen as the first choice of non-commercial registrants. We would apply some of the endowment to efforts to reach out and inform these audiences of .ORG's purpose and benefits as well as how to obtain a .ORG domain. These activities would include expanding:
Our third area of focus is to accelerate the launch of some of the new services noted in Section V. While we plan to launch these products as part of the ongoing plan, these funds would provide immediate resources to initiate development and get these into the market more quickly. These products are designed to help organizations develop their visibility, give donors peace of mind, and connect people to communities. They include:
ISOC believes that the proposed uses of the endowment are directly related to the normal and ordinary future operational expenses of PIR and consistent with its proposed not-for-profit charter. For the past decade, ISOC has served as the international organization for global coordination and cooperation on the Internet, promoting and maintaining a broad spectrum of activities focused on the Internet's development, availability, and associated technologies. This heritage will provide PIR with invaluable experience and knowledge to ensure that the original objective of the endowment is met.
The endowment was set aside to fund future operating costs of the new registry operator. By extending the out reach programs, supplementing our awareness generating activity and accelerating the availability of new services, we can "jump-start" .ORG's revitalization and more quickly reach a much wider non-commercial community than .ORG now supports.
In summary, the endowment is not required to effect a successful transition
to PIR management. However, it will enable PIR to more quickly make the
kind of impact we all expect of the next .ORG operator.
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