ICANNBudget.org, an alliance of over 75 ICANN Accredited Registrars led by Bhavin Turakhia, Chairman & CEO, Directi, sent an official position and an alternative budget proposal to ICANN today. The alliance of Registrars expressed in their letter (available at http://www.icannbudget.org) to ICANN that “certain fundamental modifications are required to the proposed budget in order to make the budget a win-win situation and a feasible proposition for the Registrar community”
In the current budget proposed by ICANN, 70% of the budget contribution comes from the Registrars. This is despite the fact that profit margins for Registrars have been decreasing every year. Over and above this, the ICANN budget proposal hikes up the fixed annual fee of every Registrar by a factor of 5 from $5000 to $23000.
“All 75 Registrars believe that the current proposed budget is harmful to our business, and harmful to ICANN too. These 75 Registrars therefore DO NOT support the current budget,” says Bhavin Turakhia in his letter to ICANN.
“Instead of spending time on random conversations, we have within our group discussed multiple strategies and in the end formulated a budget strategy that we believe is fair and represents a win-win situation for everyone”
54 Registrars out of the 75 that form the alliance have already signed on this alternative budget proposal. The budget proposed by ICANN, contains fee hikes that threaten the existence of several Registrars. This alternative budget proposal submitted by the alliance proposes modifications to this budget which are extremely fair and reasonable, and well within the current scope of the budget, without unreasonably or irrationally cutting it down, thus providing a long term feasible budget for all the parties involved.
“We as Registrars do not wish to be involved in micro-managing ICANN,” says Bhavin Turakhia. “We recognize and respect the need for a strong ICANN and a well financed ICANN. We simply wish to offer an alternative which we believe achieves mutual objectives. From the very beginning ICANN has stood for encouraging robust and healthy competition by introducing the Registrar accreditation process. We wish to ensure that nothing endangers this robust and free competition.”
The Budget proposal submitted by the alliance demonstrates how ICANN may still realize an almost similar amount in a different structure, and at the same time highlights certain other requirements such as the creation of an audit committee, and a fee-cap. It is important for a stable ICANN to depend on multiple revenue sources for its budget. With 70% of the budget being funded by Registrars, the very stability of those Registrars and therefore in turn ICANN is threatened. ICANN is investigating various alternative sources of funds and should have other reliable avenues to substitute its current primary source. This would offer a relief to Registrars and in turn create a stronger and more diversified funding portfolio for ICANN.