In an announcement just issued by ICANN (pdf) they are calling for volunteers to “assist in the evaluation of those organizations seeking financial support to apply for a new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD).”
ICANN has budgeted some $100 Million dollars from incoming application fees from the new gTLD program and they are asking people to volunteer their time to evaluate applicants seeking financial support.
Throughout the new gTLD process and various Guidebooks and meetings ICANN has stated that financial assistance would be made available to certain worthy organization that didn’t have the $185K application fee. This discounted rate if you will was part and parcel of the program.
To now ask people to determine which organization are entitled to financial assistance and a discounted application fee, for free, well it doesn’t seem right to me.
Seems like its a job ICANN should be paying for, not getting it for free.
Here is the announcement
“”The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is seeking volunteers who will assist in the evaluation of those organizations seeking financial support to apply for a new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD).
“These volunteers will be key to ICANN’s effort to assure that the less-developed parts of the world are able to participate in the new Domain name program,” said Kurt Pritz, Senior Vice President. “The panel members will make a real impact in ensuring that the opportunities for innovation and economic development created by the Internet are open to everyone.”
The volunteers will be chosen for their background and experience in areas such as running a small business, operating in developing economies, analyzing business plans, serving in the public interest, managing a domain name registry service, or awarding grants.
The financial assistance component of the Applicant Support Program offers a limited number of qualifying applicants the opportunity to pay a reduced evaluation fee of $47,000 instead of the full evaluation fee of $185,000.
The selected volunteers will assist in the evaluation of financial support applicants in the context of established public interest, financial capabilities and financial need criteria as outlined in the “Financial Assistance Handbook.”