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NTIA upset with Verisign, demands that it confirm it will process new TLD delegations

NTIA questions Verisign’s recent spate of concerns about new TLD rollout.

ICANN has published a letter that Verisign sent to the U.S. National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) regarding Verisign’s security and stability concerns for new top level domains as well as the NTIA’s response.

The response shows that the NTIA doesn’t want Verisign playing any games.

Verisign’s letter was sent May 31 and the NTIA’s response has an August 2 date stamp. The date stamp might be when ICANN received the letter.

According to Verisign’s letter, Verisign and ICANN sent a joint letter to the NTIA on May 16 stating that the parties had completed the new automated system for adding top level domains to the root.

But Verisign said there are other significant issues that need to be addressed that ICANN refused to include in the letter. Verisign has outlined many of these before.

Patrick Kane, Senior Vice President for Verisign’s naming division, writes:

These are important points on which it is critical that there be no misunderstanding as we strongly believe certain issues have not been addressed and must be addressed before any root zone managers, including Verisign, are ready to implement the new gTLD program. We want to clearly be on record as reporting out this critical information to NTIA unequivocally as we believe a complete assessment of the critical issues remain unaddressed which left unremediated could jeopardize the security and stability of the DNS.

Through an agreement with the NTIA, Verisign has a key role in the addition of top level domains to the root. It also runs the .com registry, and many new TLD applicants think that it is just trying to slow down the rollout of top level domains by spreading fear about DNS stability.

In response to the Verisign’s letter, the NTIA’s Senior Telecommunications Policy Specialist wrote:

We are very surprised to receive your letter given your previous public statements, including the joint statement of the root zone partners last November that Verisign was prepared to deploy new gTLDs into the root at the rate of at least 100 per week.

The letter concludes with a stern warning:

NTIA and Verisign have historically had a strong working relationship, but inconsistencies in Verisign’s position in recent months are troubling. Given your obligations under the Agreement, NTIA fully expects VeriSign to process change requests when it receives authorization to delegate a new gTLD. So that there will be no doubt about this point, please provide me written confirmation no later than August 16, 2013 that VeriSign will process change requests for the new gTLD program when authorized to delegate a new gTLD.- See more here

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