Joint meeting ICANN Board and Commercial Stakeholders Group

23 Mar 2017 01:00h

Event report

The session focussed on addressing the concerns of the Commercial Stakeholder Group of the Generic Names Supporting Organizations (GNSO). The Internet Service Providers and Connectivity Providers (ISPCP) highlighted the lack of response to their letter on Digital Object Architecture  (DOA). The ISPCP then raised the issue of the overlapping of key sessions that place the community under work and time pressure. They added that there are many conflicts in the meetings leading to the community suffering from overwork. The ISPCP suggested conducting some of the sessions with a historical background at alternate settings, including increasing remote participation and cutting down on meetings with sparse participation.

The ISPCP pointed to the number of reviews that are scheduled and questioned the value of scheduling one review after another. They consider this to be very resource intensive with little result. They feel that this is not inclusive and leads to a very narrow line of comments from people who are affected.  The ICANN Board then extensively discussed the issue of DOA and the reply to the ISPCP. They promised that a reply to the letter will be sent soon. They also acknowledged that the community is being overworked and said that actions will be taken to address the issue.

The Business Constituency (BC) pointed to the lack of transparency in the staffing process and their proposed inputs on the new gTLD registries. The BC pointed out that with no substantive community inputs, the ICANN staff is playing the lead role in various process. They feel that this contradicts the ICANN Board’s commitment to transparency, accountability and being neutral. The BC demanded assurance from the Board that the comments and perspective of the community will be respected. The BC also asked the Board and the staff to consult with the community before they get into negotiations. The Board replied that they have taken into account the comments on transparency and accountability, and that they are looking at ways to enhance the transparency mechanism and also request from the community to understand the fundamental purpose of the contractual documents.

The BC then raised the issue of the Open Data Initiative (ODI) and having access to the data. The Board replied saying that collecting data through the ODI costs time, money and resources and advised the BC to prioritise the data that they need and to be specific with their data requests. They added that they have enhanced the community’s power by allowing the community to comment on and veto budget proposals. The BC expressed their appreciation for the outreach and awareness programme and the role played by ICANN.

To address the question on participation and diversity in the working groups, the Board said that they will support increasing the geographical diversity as a priority. The BC advised the Board to increase staff support for the community to address the issue of community burn-out. The BC further pointed out that there are instances where the community loses its morale and there is a need to keep the community energised in order to increase participation.