[NA-Discuss] NA RALO response to DOC letter

John R. Levine johnl at iecc.com
Fri Jan 7 22:54:51 UTC 2011

> What should NA RALO's response be?
> For context, here's what Milton Mueller has to say:
> http://blog.internetgovernance.org/blog/_archives/2010/12/3/4694980.html

DOC is right, and Milt is wrong.  Milt is always wrong, so this shouldn't 
be a big surprise.

Attempts to introduce "competition" into the DNS via adding TLDs have 
been, in case anyone has had their eyes shut for the past decade, a 
complete failure.  The only change that actually has made a difference is 
the registry/registrar split.

Look at .INFO and .BIZ to see whether clones of existing TLDs add 
competition. Look at .AERO, .COOP, .JOBS, .TRAVEL, and .MUSEUM to see 
whether topical TLDs add competition. Look at .ASIA, .CAT, and the 
rebranded .LA to see whether geographic TLDs add competition. Or look at 
.PRO and .TEL and .MOBI to see whether service-specific TLDs add 

There was a real issue about non-ASCII TLDs which appears to be addressed 
by the IDN fast track.  What's left?  At this point the only justification 
for adding thousands of TLDs is that ICANN always assumed they would, and 
they and their hangers on will make a lot of money.  If the argument is 
that new TLDs will add meaningful competition, nobody's offered a 
plausible explanation yet of how that will happen.

John Levine, johnl at iecc.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. http://jl.ly

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