The US House Committee On Energy and Commerce has released its schedule of events and its much-heralded review of ICANN's global top level domain selection. It will take place this Thursday in Washington, starting at 10am.
Chairman of the committee, Billy Tauzin, sent the top man at ICANN, Mike Roberts, a letter on 12 January, informing him that his committee would be continuing its review into the domain name system and was preparing a hearing for February. The letter clearly spells out that it is concerned over complaints that ICANN's system for deciding new global TLDs was flawed and inhibited competition.
The final selection of .aero, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, .pro, and .biz, and the dropping of more popular domain names, especially .web, has been seen by many as the epitome of ICANN's arrogance and corruptibility. Those who wanted their TLD bids considered had to pay $50,000 each. When some excellent bids were dismissed out of hand and over domains awarded to companies that heavily sponsor ICANN, many asked for the process to be reviewed. The Committee is expected to give ICANN a hard time over it.
The current schedule lists as follows: "Thursday, February 8, 2001.10:00 am in 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications. The hearing, entitled 'Is ICANN's New Generation of Internet Domain Name Selection Process Thwarting Competition?' will focus on ICANN's recently announced selections of registry operators for new top level domains."
Fortunately, the Committee Webcasts all its meetings on Real Player. The only trouble is that this will be a popular event, so if you do manage to get on, quality is likely to be poor. Should prove interesting.
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