Reconsideration Request 01-01
Recommendation of the Committee
Date: March 16, 2001

In reconsideration request 01-01, the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service ("BELTRAIDE") requests that the ICANN Board reconsider its November 16, 2000 decision on new TLDs, which included JVTeam's <.biz> proposal among the seven registry proposals selected for the proof of concept phase.


At the outset, we note that this request does not qualify for reconsideration under ICANN's reconsideration policy, which requires that reconsideration requests be filed within 30 days. This requirement is not a mere formality - it is an essential component of reconsideration, which is intended to allow aggrieved parties to bring their objections to members of the ICANN Board promptly, while decisions can still be corrected as appropriate. The ICANN Board's new TLD selections were decided on 16 November 2000; the BELTRAIDE request was submitted on 5 January 2001.

Even though the Committee could recommend against this request strictly on the basis of its untimeliness, we will nevertheless proceed to analyze the substance of the request, in light of the importance of the issues raised in this request.


In its request for reconsideration, BELTRAIDE asks the ICANN Board to rescind its November 16, 2000, decision to include the JVTeam <.biz> TLD proposal in the proof of concept phase. BELTRAIDE's concern is that the <.biz> TLD would create confusion with the ccTLD designated for the country of Belize, <.bz>. According to the request, Belize "recognizes the possible economic opportunity in marketing and promoting its country code <.bz> as a TLD for 'business' on the Internet," and "Belize's potential for economic benefit from <.bz> will be substantially affected by the issuance of a <.biz> TLD." BELTRAIDE's request does not warrant reconsideration of the Board's decision to include the JVTeam, LLC <.biz> application in the proof of concept phase.

The current program for introducing new TLDs is designed to result in TLDs that are not associated with any particular country, but instead are intended for the use of the global Internet community. The country-specific TLDs, known as "country-code TLDs" or simply "ccTLDs," are represented by two-character labels (such as <.bz>). In contrast, global TLDs have labels of longer than two characters.

ICANN received a total of forty-seven applications for new TLDs, cumulatively proposing well in excess of one hundred new TLDs. Several of the proposals requested the <.biz> TLD for global business users. The JVTeam's <.biz> TLD, if implemented, will be for use by businesses throughout the world.

By contrast, the <.bz> TLD was established under RFC-1591 to be operated primarily to serve the needs of the Internet community in the country of Belize. That label was used because <.bz> is the alpha-2-code abbreviation for Belize as assigned in the ISO 3166-1 list. The code <.bz> stands for "Belize"; it is not, and has never been, intended to represent "business."

Although ICANN strives to avoid confusion between TLD strings to promote the utility of the domain-name system, "Belize" (with the label <.bz>) and "business" (with the label <.biz>) do not appear reasonably subject to confusion. If such slight similarities barred the creation of new TLDs, many of the existing ccTLDs would not have been created. The <.co> ccTLD for Colombia, for example, might not have been created in 1991 in view of the already-existing <.com> domain. Other codes having slight similarities include <.int> (for international treaty organizations, established in 1988) and <.in> (ccTLD for India, established in 1989); and <.net> (for network elements, established in 1985) and <.ne> (ccTLD for Niger, established in 1996).

Indeed, if similarities such as those referred to in BELTRAIDE's reconsideration request prevented the creation of new TLDs, it would appear that <.bz> could not have been created for the use of the Belize Internet community in view of the <.bs> ccTLD that was created at the same time for use by the Internet community in the Bahamas. ICANN could not responsibly reject proposals for new TLDs merely because the applicants have requested TLDs that include letters also found in country-code TLDs such as <.bz.>


The Reconsideration Committee finds in this request no basis for reconsideration of the Board's November 16, 2000 new TLD decision. We recommend that the Board take no action in response to this request.

[NOTE: Director Abril i Abril did not participate in the committee's consideration of Reconsideration Request 01-01.]

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