Proposal for policy change

Proposal for policy change

From: Richard Archer <rha§>
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2003 13:29:50 +1000
This document outlines a couple of my concerns with the current
.AU domain name space policy, and suggests a possible change
which may address these concerns.

Comments welcome.

Presently resellers are almost ignored by auDA. auDA are happy
enough to take $250 for each reseller from the registrars, but
once they have the cash what do they do for it? Resellers aren't
even given the right to collect a piece of paper from their
clients authorising the transfer of a domain to another registrar.
Not that the clients know (nor want to know) anything about the
inner workings of the domain name industry anyway. All they want
is a web site and an email address which works reliably.

I also have a problem with the way the image of the industry
has been (and is being) tarnished by the scammers trying to
rip off registrants. auDA claim they have no power to address
this problem, since the scammers aren't registrars nor resellers.

But I have an idea about how this can be fixed :)

Going back to basics, the domain name registration process requires
several key organisations to be involved.

1. The registry. Someone needs to keep track of which names are
registered to which entities.

2. The registrant. Obviously someone has to want to buy a domain.

3. An intermediary. Usually the registrant does not have the
technical expertise nor the desire to interface directly with
the registry so they hire someone to do it for them. All this
intermediary needs to do is fill out a form correctly and
perhaps arrange or configure the domain hosting.

It seems apparent to me that the most efficient system would
have only these three levels. Instead we have a system with four
levels, with resellers and registrars competing for the third place.
One of these two is redundant, and the fact that resellers and
registrars are competing for the same role is causing friction in
the industry.

I would like to see something like the following system adopted:

1. The Registry enforces domain name eligibility and policy
compliance in software and alerts the registrant (and/or their
nominated intermediary, as appropriate) of upcoming domain expiry.
All trivial stuff which can be done automatically at practically
zero incremental cost.

2. Anyone with the technical expertise to interface with the registry
system can become a registrar. Being a registrar is now a much
simpler process (with the registry applying policy) so the fees
can be revised downwards to more reasonable levels. My opinion is
that the fee could something like a $2000 accreditation fee plus
a pre-payment of a few thousand against registrations/renewals to
weed out tiny registrars (but even tiny registrars could exist if
they saw a commercial advantage in it).

The advantages of this system would be that there is only one level
of bureaucracy in between the registrant and the registry, so the
end user knows exactly who they are dealing with. Only registrars
can interface with the registry (thus effecting domain registrations
and renewals) so there is no room in the market for scammers to
operate (since they would need to be accredited registrars to effect
a domain renewal).

Received on Fri Oct 03 2003 - 00:00:00 UTC

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