ISOC Update on the bid for .ORG
October 8, 2002
Members of the ICANN Board,
As a follow-up to the applicant comments on the Final Report of the staff, I would like to provide an update on various matters pertaining to the Internet Society’s (ISOC) bid, and thank you in advance for your careful consideration.
The Public Interest Registry (PIR) is incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, USA, which has a well-established not-for-profit corporate law statute consistent with PIR’s goals and objectives. As noted in our bid, PIR will be the registry operator for .ORG. Appropriate Articles of Incorporation have been adopted and other important administrative actions (such as opening bank accounts and acquiring tax ID numbers) have been completed. Office space is available in the same building as the ISOC office in Reston, Virginia, and is available to PIR immediately should our bid be selected.
Nominations for PIR Board members were solicited and received from the global community. Per our proposal, the ISOC Board has selected the start-up Board of Directors of PIR, which consists of 7 members, each of whom will serve a one-year term. Many of these individuals have longstanding and close ties to ISOC, and they will provide guidance to PIR management consistent with ISOC’s principles. Further, I will serve as an ex-officio member, and David Maher, currently VP of Public Policy for ISOC, will be a full member to aid in the transition and ensure maximum continuity. Future appointments will be made in a similar manner, except that Board members will serve 3 year staggered terms.
The PIR Board is composed of individuals who have shown themselves to be extremely competent through long and distinguished careers and they are clearly capable of directing PIR through the transition and through the first year of start-up:
If the ISOC proposal is selected, we will be in a good position with respect to hiring management and staff, as recruiting efforts began some time ago and are well advanced. The Board and management of PIR will drive overall management and policy decisions for .ORG, and to ensure continuity and a fast turnaround David Maher and I (with the support of the PIR Board) will conduct contract negotiations with ICANN, with support as needed from Afilias.
We have begun to build the Advisory Council, a key mechanism for obtaining community input, and have also lined up a number of very good candidates, many of whom were identified through the ISOC/PIR board searches. We expect the PIR Board to establish this council as a top priority and will give our full support to this undertaking.
Our back-end contractor, Afilias, has begun executing the operational plans noted in our comments in the Final Report. Work is underway on the unique RRP proxy, which will enable uninterrupted registrar operations during the conversion. We expect this conversion to go smoothly, since Afilias has existing relationships with registrars accounting for over 99% of existing .ORG registrations. Additionally, Afilias has commenced ordering of testing, staging and other equipment and supplemental staff is in place and at work. Afilias’ actions are consistent with the binding letter of intent referenced in our proposal (Appendix S).
As an extra measure of certainty, Afilias has engaged highly experienced and knowledgeable outside engineering expertise to examine the key components of the registry transition and provide any advice needed to ensure that the .ORG transition process occurs in a stable, secure and reliable manner. Afilias has informed us that they are confident of meeting the January 1 deadline to perform the cut-over of the registry. And ISOC is confident they will meet this deadline.
We are creating a dedicated registrar web site to provide detailed information and instructions as part of the transition of the .ORG domain. In addition, we are creating an outreach plan that will ensure that all .ORG registrars are kept fully informed regarding the conversion.
A public website for .ORG is also being developed. This site will provide an explanation of the redelegation process, instructions for registrants, FAQ’s and other information that may be helpful to registrants and the non-commercial community. We expect this site to begin serving the community as soon as the agreement is finalized with ICANN.
We have begun developing the various exhibits needed to complete the agreement with ICANN, should our bid be selected. With only a few days between the Board decision and the targeted date for completion of the contract, we feel it is important to draft as much of the contract as possible now.
In closing, several bidders have attempted to discredit our proposal by use of innuendo, by raising non-existent issues, and by reiterating so-called “concerns” long since addressed in detail both in the proposal and in numerous subsequent communications. We have not been deterred. Rather, we are completely focused on a stable and successful transition process for .ORG, and are fully on track to complete both a contract with ICANN and the cut-over of the registry on January 1, 2003 should our bid be selected.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of further assistance and thank you again for your thoughtful consideration.