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The Commercial Business Users Constituency (also known as the Business Constituency, or BC) represents the position and interests of small, medium, large and multinational enterprises as DNS and Internet Users to ICANN. The Constituency has over 50 members, but extends association membership to over 50,000 members and indirectly to over 1.5 million; 90% belong to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).[1] It is one of the Constituencies under the Commercial Stakeholders Group (CSG) in the Non-Contracted Parties House under ICANN's GNSO. It was set forth by the ICANN Bylaws.


The main objective of the Business Constituency is to ensure the full representation of the views and interests of the Internet's commercial community, as ICANN policies should be consistent in maintaining a secure, stable and reliable Internet in conjunction with business development. It is important that they promote consumer confidence through participation in a common forum of both suppliers and users.[2]

Executive Committee

The Business Constituency has an Executive Committee designated to administer, supervise and coordinate its activities and positions to accomplish its mission and effectively represent its members to the ICANN Board.

The Constituency's responsibilities include:[3]

  • Election of two representatives, from different geographical regions, to the GNSO to discuss the Constituency's position regarding domain name policy issues.
  • Evaluation of the qualification of a member based on the BC charter, undergone by the Constituency's Credentials Committee. Andrew Mark, Lawrence Olawale-Roberts, John Berard, Arinola Akinyemi & Adetola Sogbesan are members of the Credentials Committee.
  • Appointment of two members to ICANN's Nominating Committee to represent small and large business. Lawrence Olawale-Roberts was appointed for the small business seat in 2019 and 2020;while Paul Mitchell was appointed to fill the large business seat for the year 2019 and 2020, respectively.
  • Appointment of one rapporteur who will be responsible for leading every major policy issue, preparing drafts of position papers, and serving as spokesperson, as well as the appointment of one support and one or more observers to be assigned to the rapporteur to ensure a more active policy group.


Roles of BC Members

Every member has important role and contributes to the development of the Constituency by:[4]

  • Sharing their views and opinions regarding ICANN's proposals
  • Contributing to developing the Constituency's position in the GNSO Council
  • Providing Input in every ICANN public comment process
  • Becoming an active participant to the BC e-mail lists
  • Attending the BC Conference calls
  • Becoming Issue Managers/Rapporteurs regarding specific policy topics and help in guiding the development of positions for the Constituency.
  • Helping to represent the interests and views of the Constituency in the development of policy recommendation for gTLD Policy through Working Groups
  • Representing the Constituency in leadership position in the different organization of ICANN
  • Reaching out and act as "ambassadors" to other businesses, to increase awareness and business engagements within ICANN and Business Constituency
  • Serving as liaison for information exchange and interaction on behalf of the Business Constituency with other GNSO constituencies
  • Interacting and speaking on behalf of business users regarding their concerns and views with the ICANN Board its staff, and other stakeholders, such as the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC).

Positions and Statements on ICANN Policy Issues

The Business Constituency actively provides the consensus position and statements of its member for every ICANN Policy that impacts the interest of the commercial Internet and DNS users. The Constituency has provided its positions and statements regarding:[5] [6]

  • gTLD Applicant Guidebook
  • Inter Registrar Transfer Policy Part B Working Group Proposed Final Report
  • Recommendations on new gTLD Guidebook
  • Recognizing new UDRP providers
  • Initial Report on Registration Abuse Policies
  • Process for Amending gTLD Registry Agreement
  • Response to the Whois Response Team
  • Response to the Security, Stability, and Resiliency Review Team
  • Propose new GNSO policy development process

Their full positions can be found here, while their full statements can be found here.

The Benefits of Membership

The Business Constituency is a constituency representing customers of providers of connectivity, domain names, IP addresses, protocols and other services related to electronic commerce in its broad sense.

BC members contribute as:

  • participants on the BC e-mail list to learn about and debate issues.
  • participants on telephone conferences to reach consensus on key issues.
  • participants at physical meetings coincident with ICANN global meetings.
  • issue managers on specific topics.
  • bridges for information flow between other GNSO constituencies.

On New gTLDs

At ICANN 42 in Dakar, CBUC Chair, Steve DelBianco outlined 4 standing issues that the CBUC had with the current new gTLD Applicant Guidebook. These points were later picked up by TLD critics, including ANA and CRIDO, and are likely to influence a December 8th U.S. Senate hearing on new TLDs.[7] Those 4 points are:[8]

  1. Terms of Use Compliance- there are no "teeth" that require new registries to follow the approach and model that they publicly state in their contract with ICANN.
  2. Applications for gTLD IDNs- the value of gTLD IDNs was stressed by the CBUC, but they pointed out that ICANN had yet to recognize or publicize this exciting development for the global Internet.
  3. Trademark Protection- While there are 3 trademark mechanisms in place, one of them, the Trademark Claims Notice Service, can be turned off the day after Sunrise.
  4. Registrar Code of Conduct- A new Registry agreement was developed for the new gTLD program, but ICANN neglected to do something similar for registrars.

.com Renewal

In August, 2012, 3 of ICANN's Constituencies (ALAC, GNSO Business Constituency, GNSO Intellectual Property Constituency) sent a letter to the organization complaining that the organization held its renewal talks with Verisign behind closed doors and the result is that there are no Thick Whois requirements for the .com TLD.[9]

External Links

The Commercial and Business Users Constituency Homepage