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New TLDs (PDP '05)

25 March 2007

New TLDs PDP Information:

The GNSO's "New TLDs Committee" met intersessionally in February to complete work on more draft policy recommendations, provide further guidance to staff on proposed implementation (and
application) processes, and identify where further work is required on IDNs, reserved names, and sunrise mechanisms for new registry operators.

An updated version of the draft Final Report on New TLDs was posted on 16 March 2007 and is being publicly presented and discussed at the ICANN Lisbon meeting during the Monday, 26 March GNSO Forum on New TLDs and at the Wednesday, 28 March GNSO Council meeting. New TLDs also will be the subject of a joint GAC/GNSO Council meeting that will be held in Lisbon.

In addition to the outreach and public input opportunities planned for Lisbon, the GNSO is expected to post the report for a public comment period beginning in April. Comments received, along with the GAC public policy principles, and any appropriate recommendations that may arise from GNSO working groups on reserved names and sunrise mechanisms for new registry operators will be considered by the GNSO Council for inclusion in the report. If the proposed schedule holds, the GNSO plans to prepare a report for the Board, which will be accompanied by a staff-prepared implementation report, for public comment and discussion by the Board at ICANN's San Juan meeting in June.

Key areas of the draft Final Report under discussion by the GNSO include draft policy recommendations on policies for selection criteria for new TLD applications, policies on appropriate allocation methods for competing applications for the same strings, and policies for contractual conditions for potential registry operators. The GNSO New TLDs Committee's draft Final Report includes recommendations on:

  • An open and transparent process with long leads time for potential applicants to be notified of upcoming opening of a round;
  • A cost recovery principle for the establishment of evaluation costs and a pre-published timeline for the evaluation of applications;
  • A pre-published selection criteria, a pre-published allocation process to resolve contention between similar applications, and a pre-published base contract;
  • Selection criteria that are as objective as possible for staff to assess and for evaluators to measure quantitatively, including that the string will not be confusingly similar to an existing TLD;
  • Technical criteria that include compliance with relevant RFCs and technical standards and which facilitate the stability and security of the Internet;
  • Dispute resolution processes that use external and independent arbitrators;
  • The ongoing requirement to use ICANN accredited registrars; and
  • The provision of operational and financial plans that demonstrate an applicant has appropriate resources.

Reserved Names

One component of the New TLDs PDP — reserved names — is being addressed by the GNSO Reserved Names Working Group. The group, which is comprised of 12 members from most GNSO constituencies, is operating under a detailed statement of work approved by the GNSO Council.

The working group's findings and recommendations will be submitted to the Council, which will then consider next steps, (e.g. considering integrating some of their work into the New TLDs PDP). The working group members are drafting reports on key areas of work, meeting weekly via phone, and reporting regularly to other interested committees, working groups, and task forces.

Protecting Rights of Others (Sunrise Mechanisms for New Registry Operators)

Another component of the New TLDs PDP that is being addressed by a working group is a basket of issues referred to as "protecting the rights of others." The GNSO approved a detailed statement of work for the working group and the group has begun weekly conference calls to advance their work. This working group also is expected to present its outcomes to the Council, which will consider next steps regarding the new TLDs PDP and implementation plan.

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