Questions to and Answers from Applicant for .dubai and .go

ICANN Questions:

ICANN is in the process of reviewing Dubai Technology's TLD Application. As outlined in the October 23, 2000 TLD Application Review Update which appears at http://www.icann.org/tlds/tld-review-update-23oct00.htm, ICANN may "gather the additional information [it] require[s] by posing specific questions to applicants in e-mail and requesting a written response."

Keeping in mind the goal to evaluate applications to operate or sponsor new TLDs in as open and transparent a manner as possible, both the questions posed by ICANN and the Applicant's responses will be publicly disclosed on the ICANN website.

Accordingly, ICANN requests your reponses to the following questions:

1. Identify and summarize Applicant's assumptions with respect to the existence of other general purpose TLDs in determining the total number of registrations in your application.

Dubai Technology Responses:



We are writing to respond to the following question posed to us by yourselves on November 1, 2000:

Identify and summarize Applicant's assumptions with respect to the existence of other general purpose TLDs in determining the total number of registrations in your application.

We understand the foregoing as applying only to the <.GO> top-level domain string for which the Dubai Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone Authority (DTEC-MFZA) has submitted an application.

Based on market pre-surveys, we believe that the existence of other general purpose (or sector specific) TLDs will not have a significant impact on the total number of <.GO> registrations. This assessment is based on the following assumptions:

Unique Value Proposition Underlying the <.GO> TLD. We believe that <.GO> offers the global Internet community a unique opportunity, commodity and service. As described more fully in our application, we view the <.GO> TLD as a next generation TLD that will very quickly come to be recognized as signifying reliability, integrity, safety and soundness based on the following:

(i) A Registry infrastructure that is centered around state-of-the-art technology and best-of-breed expertise provided through DiDRA's alliance with Verisign Inc. (Network Solutions Inc./Verisign Global Registry Services).

(ii) Sound registrar accreditation policies based on the criteria and policies established by ICANN. Even where ICANN has already accredited a registrar, DiDRA intends to screen that registrar to ensure that it is not only complying with the terms of its registration, but also that it has in place the infrastructure to administer <.GO> registrations.

(iii) On-going verification of accredited registrars to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of their accreditation and technical and operational assistance to those registrars found not to be in compliance.

(iv) Comprehensive and detailed registration criteria where an applicant will be required to provide, inter alia, comprehensive contact and identification details, a mission statement regarding the timeframe for the activation of the associated website, the purpose for which the site will be used and the type of content, and support for the applicant's right to the domain name sought to be registered.

(v) Careful application screening criteria and procedures, including waiting periods, conflict resolution, trademark checks, special procedures for famous and well-known marks and verifying the hosting environment for security concerns.

(vi) Rigorous implementation by registrars of registration criteria.

(vii) Introduction of fair and balanced measures to safeguard established intellectual property rights, including third party dispute resolution procedures, special registration procedures for famous and well-known marks, domain name/trademark screens, website screening, Whois search facilities, cross-TLD domain name directories and search tools.

(viii) On-going website quality reviews to ensure that the second-level domain is being used in a manner consistent with the representations made at the time of application;

(ix) Cost-effective, expeditious, fair, balanced, neutral and transparent conflict resolution procedures.

In addition to the foregoing DiDRA intends to make available digital signature authentication services, public/private key infrastructure and dispute resolution facilities as an integrated value-added service for <.GO> domain name holders.

Based on our market research, we believe that Internet users will be attracted to a "premium TLD space" and be willing to pay a premium price for the various "products and services" that will be associated with a <.GO> registration. We do not believe that the existing TLDs, or the general purpose and sector-specific TLDs that are the subject of applications to ICANN, offer the same added value to the user community as will be provided by <.GO>.

Fungibility. The mere fact that a second-level domain has been registered in another TLD space (general purpose or sector-specific), will have minimal impact on the registrant's propensity to seek a registration in <.GO>. In fact, in view of the value proposition, there is a higher probability that, given multiple registration choices, a prospective new registrant would prefer to register in <.GO>. In addition, the mere fact of having an existing <.com>, <.net> and <.org> registration is not likely to deter those registrants from seeking a <.GO> registration when provided with the choice of registering in a new TLD.

Non-Latin Character Domain Names. Notwithstanding certain quantification efforts, the impact on the total number of domain name registrations as a result of the introduction of multi-language (i.e., non-Latin character (NLC)) names will be immeasurable. DiDRA assumes that NLC registrations will eventually also be permitted outside of the <.com> space. Because of Dubai's history and location, its resident population is multi-lingual and DiDRA is confident that it will be able to offer a technical, operational and administrative support structure for NLC domain name registration and administration that is unparalleled. In this connection it is worth mentioning that DiDRA has been engaged in extensive discussions regarding NLC domain names, and has good reason to believe that it could be among the first to offer registration services for Arabic language names.

Increased Market Size. It is likely that use of the Internet and the desire for an "Internet identity" will increase significantly as a result of increasing PC penetration and computer literacy worldwide.

We have reviewed all of the submissions and wish to compliment and congratulate our fellow applicants. DTEC-MFZA believes that its application compares very well with the other submissions and encourages ICANN to consider it favorably. Indeed, while several other applicants may have the benefit of experience in such areas as domain name registration, none of the applicants, we believe, can marshal or offer the Internet community the resources that can be made available by DTEC-MFZA and DiDRA, technologically or financially. Nor do any of the other applicants offer a value proposition similar to that underlying <.GO>. Coupled with DiDRA's strategic alliance with Verisign/NSI, we believe that this provides us with a winning combination; negotiations are also well-underway with other potential strategic partners, including most recently and significantly, Dun and Bradstreet.

We believe it important to point out that ICANN should recognize that the Internet cannot become the sole province of the so-called northern or industrialized world. Dubai, DTEC-MFZA, DiDRA and <.GO> provide an opportunity for an entire region, stretching from the Malaysian Peninsula to South Africa to benefit from the Internet. DTEC-MFZA will bring to its registry operations not only unique global expertise, but also a unique cultural and social perspective that can only contribute to the enrichment of the global Internet community and the closing of the Digital Divide.

Except where the context so requires, all references hereinafter will be to the Dubai Internet Domains Registration Authority (DiDRA), a new operating division of DTEC-MFZA established to co-ordinate all activities concerning DTEC-MFZA's ICANN application and other domain name related matters, e.g., multi-language domain name registration, ICANN registrar accreditation.

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