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Policy Advisory Board
  MEETING 20 - 5 JUNE 2002

5 JUNE 2002

Those present:

  • Adam Beaumont     Elected Member
  • Alex Bligh     Appointed Member - Council of Management
  • James Cronin     Elected Member
  • Gordon Dick     Elected Member
  • Steve Dyer     Appointed Member - Council of Management
  • Clive Feather     Elected Member
  • Peter Gradwell     Elected Member
  • Sue White     Appointed Member

From Nominet by invitation of the PAB:

  • Willie Black, Chairman
  • Felicity Hoad, Communications Manager
  • Emily Taylor, Company Solicitor

  1. Welcome and apologies

    Apologies were received from Richard Almeida, Jeremy Beale, Denesh Bhabuta, Roy Bisson, Michael Duggan and Eric Ramage.

  2. Report from PAB Purpose sub committee

    The PAB debated the role of the elected members and whether their role was to represent the views of the membership. Willie Black outlined that Nominet was obliged to take on board the views of the membership on policy matters and that the PAB was the preferred, but not the only method of doing this.

    It was agreed that the PAB is a method of communication and consultation between Nominet and its stakeholders. The CoM should consult on policy issues with the PAB and in some cases it would be more appropriate to consult with the wider membership.

    Gordon Dick offered to draft a mission statement for the PAB based on this discussion, which the Executive would then use to draft a "PAB charter".

    The definition of policy was discussed. The PAB agreed that the proposed definition of "everything that is not operations" is inappropriate and that policy includes: Rules, Pricing, Changes of governance, Interaction with stakeholder groups and other issues that the CoM refers to the PAB.

    The suggestion to increase the number of appointed members from 5 to 8 was debated. It was agreed that it was appropriate to have 3 other optional appointed members. However, there was an acknowledgement that appointed members were more likely to attend meetings where topics had relevance to their area of expertise.

    The PAB election timetable was discussed and it was agreed that it should remain the same, but that it should be managed so that newly elected members have access to the papers in advance of the meeting date.

    It was agreed that the quorum should be maintained at 8 and that all members should be present.

    Steve Dyer asked to insert a clause that requires an elected PAB member to resign their position if they become appointed to the CoM (they may subsequently hold an appointed position).

    Peter Gradwell requested that Rules should be added for how voting by proxy should be conducted.

    ACTION: Gordon Dick

  3. Report from electronic communications sub committee

    Specific comments were made on sections of the report as follows:

    2c) The Tag Holder should be able to perform all functions of a Registrant except where Nominet is obliged to deal direct with the Registrant, or where such action might increase Nominet's legal risk.

    3a) It was agreed that there should be opt-in mailing lists for Registrants, members and Tag Holders. It was agreed that it should be obligatory for members to provide a contact email address for NOM-ANNOUNCE.

    3d) While it was agreed that Nominet should have a synchronous interface, the reference to not providing a web based mechanism should be removed.

    It was agreed that the PAB Chair would write to Tom Pinder to thank him for his paper that had been submitted to the sub committee.

    The revised paper with specific recommendations would be forwarded to the Executive for implementation.

    ACTION: Peter Gradwell, Richard Almeida

  4. Credit Notes

    Willie Black outlined the proposal to stop issuing credit notes and to invoice Tag Holders for all domain names bearing their Tag at the end of the month. The Executive was asked to amend the paper to make it clearer that registrations made within one month would be invoiced on 14th day of the following month (eg domains registered between 1 and 30 June will be invoiced on 14 July).

    It was explained that where Tag Changes occur, the Tag Holder with the domain name on their Tag at the end of the month would be responsible for the registration fee.

    While the PAB where happy with the paper in regards to registrations, they did have some concerns about the implications for renewals. The options of a "bill nobody" status, or an extended timeframe for renewals were discussed. It was agreed that further consideration needed to be given to the principle of automatic renewal versus renewal on demand. Alex Bligh agreed to chair a sub committee looking at the renewals invoicing and all were invited to attend.

    It was suggested that this may be an appropriate opportunity to reconsider extended registration periods.

    The PAB agreed that the proposal to consult the membership on the cessation of credits notes should go ahead.

    ACTION: Alex Bligh, Nominet Executive

  5. Review of pricing objectives

    Peter Gradwell proposed a motion that the PAB should not be involved in setting the specific price of registrations. He argued that the PAB should review the CoM's recommendations and have a general say in which direction investment should be made rather than being involved in the numerical minutiae.

    The PAB concurred with this proposal.

    ACTION: Council of Management

  6. Rules

    Emily Taylor tabled the revised Rules that had been approved by the CoM and were now due to be put out to public consultation.

    She corrected some minor errors in the revised Rules documentation. It was agreed that the new version should be amended to reflect the policy stated in the PAB's draft document.

    There was a discussion surrounding which information about the Rule changes should be published. It was agreed that it would be useful to outline where changes in the original Rules were being proposed.

    There was a discussion surrounding the definitive list of SLDs under .uk. The Executive explained that the majority are pre-Nominet domains and it was intended to regularise these as part of the pre-Nominet project. It was agreed that these should not form part of the Rules, but that a complete list of SLDs should be published on the web site and that information about who they were delegated or registered to, should be determined and then published as part of the pre-Nominet project.

    The CoM had referred three issues to the PAB. These were:

    • 2-letter domains

      The PAB was asked by the CoM to consider developing a revised policy for 2-letter domains. The PAB agreed that should the difficulty with finding a suitable sunrise mechanism be overcome, it would open up 2-letter domains.

      The Executive was requested to provide the PAB with details of their preferred mechanism for the release of 2-letter domains.

    • .net.uk

      The PAB was asked to consider whether the net.uk SLD, which is currently operated on a restricted basis, should become an "open" SLD.

      It was agreed that Clive Feather would chair a sub committee to review the rules for net.uk. To assist the sub committee, Nominet was asked to provide further information on the cost incurred for registrations, the volume, the number of pre-Nominet domains and any instances where the Rules were not being adhered to.

    • .sch.uk

      Emily Taylor outlined the reasons why it would be inappropriate to add rules for .sch.uk to the Rules which form part of Nominet's standard terms and Conditions. As a separate project, Nominet planned to review its position with the DfES, as well as draft a standard contract for registration with Independent schools and with the Scottish Education Authority.

      The PAB adopted the recommendations and agreed that the new Rules and the information about them should be published for comment as soon as possible.

    ACTION: Clive Feather, Nominet Executive

  7. Expanded WHOIS

    The PAB discussed the issue of having an ex-directory listing for the new WHOIS, which had been tabled on the pab-suggest list. Arguments were put for and against this position.

    The Executive outlined its recent discussions with the Information Commissioner. The discussions indicated that it may be necessary to delay the go-live date of the new WHOIS from 1 July 2002 to allow time to consider the comments of those who had expressed concern about the planned expansion and for further communication with the Information Commission.

    In light of the above, the PAB therefore recommended that the CoM should go ahead with their decision to publish WHOIS data, subject to careful consideration of Data Protection legislation and legal advice.

    The PAB Chair expressed his thanks to those Registrants who had provided valuable input into the discussion.

    ACTION: Council of Management

  8. Next Meeting

    Due to time constraints, the other pab-suggest items on the agenda had to be postponed until the next meeting.

    The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 7 August from 10.00 - 14.00 hours with sandwiches.

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