Chief of .ph domain questions best practices

The Philippines’ domain administrator is willing to consult the local Internet community but wants assurances that he will not be compelled to carry out its recommendations.

This picture emerged following reports that executives of DotPH Inc., which administers the Philippine .ph domain, sought to have the “Best Practice Guidelines for ccTLD Managers” amended to reflect this view during a meeting of Asian ccTLDs (country code top-level domains) in Stockholm in May.

The Best Practices Guidelines is a document authored by ccTLD managers that seeks to describe current and desirable best practices of ccTLD registries.

In an e-mail report on the Stockholm meeting, Horacio T. Cadiz, president of the Philippine Network Foundation Inc. (PHNet) said DotPH Inc. CEO Joel Disini and company spokesman Emil Avancena sought the amendment to the Best Practices document.

Cadiz told Computerworld Philippines he was “flabbergasted” by the DotPH suggestion, and stood up to say it is difficult to reconcile this view with the trusteeship held by ccTLD managers. “If a ccTLD manager is a trustee of the community, how can he refuse to follow the wishes of the community?” Cadiz asked.

On the other hand, Avancena said DotPH proposed no “specific language” to amend the Best Practice document, but merely sought clarification on the term “consultation”.

“What we wanted to do was to clarify the word ‘consultation’ to see if it meant seeking permission,” Avancena told Computerworld Philippines in a telephone interview. “We requested that the word be clarified because it is too vague. What is the definition of consultation and what does it entail? Does this require us to go all over the country? If so, this would have serious implications for the registry. The term is vague and open to varying degrees of interpretation.”

Avancena would not categorically state DotPH’s preferred interpretation but acknowledged that Disini is philosophically opposed to having to seek permission from the local Internet community.

“There has to be a balance between consulting and our ability to respond to the market,” Avancena said, adding that DotPH welcomes feedback from local domain name registrants because it is a market-driven company.

Although the two accounts of the same meeting differed, both Cadiz and Avancena agreed that nothing came of the DotPH question.

“The discussions petered out,” Avancena said. “Some (ccTLD managers) seemed to like the fact that the phrase was not cut-and-dried.”

Cadiz, on the other hand, recalls what one ccTLD representative told Disini about the need for domain managers to consult their respective communities: “Welcome to the real world, Joel. This is the price we have to pay.”