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World Health Organization
Organisation mondiale
de la Santé

Table of Contents

[E] Description of TLD Policies


E1. In General

E2. TLD String

E3. Naming conventions

E4. Registrars

E5.Intellectual Property Provisions

E5.1. Measures against IP infringements

E5.2. Pre-Screening for potential IP infringements

E5.3. Measures against abusive registrations

E5.4. Compliance with existing IP legislation

E5.5. Famous Trademarks Special Protections

E5.6. Whois Data

E6. Dispute Resolution

E6.1. UDRP

E6.2. Supplemental Dispute Procedures

E7. Data Privacy, Escrow, and Whois

E8. Billing and Collection

E9. Services and Pricing

E10. Other


E12. Potential initial rush

E13. No use of Rationing Option

E14. Price-based Demand Management

E15. Sunrise Period


E17. Registration Criteria

E18. Application Process

E19. Enforcement Procedures

E20. Appeal Process

E21. Third Party complaints


E23. Differentiation from other TLDs

E24. Target Community

E25. Meeting presently unmet needs

E26. Utility to Internet Users

E27. Ehancement of Competition


E29. Concepts proved or disproved

E30. Proposed Evaluation Method

E31. Long-term value for DNS

E32. Other reasons

[E] (Signature)

[E] Description of TLD Policies

[INSTRUCTION: For sponsored TLDs, this part of the application is to be completed by the sponsoring organization. For unsponsored TLDs, the registry operator should complete this part of the application. Please refer to the Detailed Application Instructions for more information on the requirements for new TLD applications.

The operation of a TLD involves the implementation of policies on a very large number of topics. Applicants are urged to use their response to this part of the application to demonstrate their detailed knowledge of what topics are involved and their careful analysis and clear articulation of the policies they propose on these topics.

Please place the legend "CONFIDENTIAL" on any part of your description that you have listed in item F3.1 of your Statement of Requested Confidential Treatment of Materials Submitted.

Section III of this application applies only to applicants for restricted TLDs. Ordinarily, restricted TLDs should be sponsored.]


(Required for all TLDs. Note that two special policy areas--policies during the start-up period and restrictions on who may register within the TLD and for what purpose--are covered in sections II and III below.)

E1. In General

Please provide a full and detailed description of all policies to be followed in the TLD (other than those covered in response to items E11-E21). If the TLD's policy on a particular topic is proposed to be identical to that reflected by a particular version of any of the following documents, it is sufficient for your response to identify the topic, to give a brief summary of the policy, and for the details to reference the document and section:

ICANN Registrar Accreditation Agreement

NSI Registrar License and Agreement

ICANN-NSI Registry Agreement

Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy

Your response should comprehensively describe policies on all topics to be followed in connection with the proposed TLD. The following items (E2-E10) are examples only and should not limit your description.

Context of this proposal

Recent years have seen explosive growth in public health and medical information on the Internet. Finding useful and valid information on the Internet can be difficult because of the speed and lack of structure of the accumulating body of information. While filtering tools such as directories, indexes and search engines are widely used, locating information is time-consuming and is only a starting point, after which the users themselves must decide on its quality and utility. Judging whether the information is applicable and credible often presents a greater challenge than locating it. Many users rely on resources that review and rate web sites that provide information and products. Others rely on “trust-marks” or a seal designating that the site abides by a given standard. Problems with these approaches have been that 1) ratings can never be complete nor comprehensive and depend heavily on the tools used, and 2) self-assigned trust-marks cannot be enforced.

This problem is particularly evident and important in the area of health information on the Internet. Health is a topic of global interest, and search engines such as Google and Excite return tens of millions of hits on just the word "health". Currently, anyone who would like to publish health information can obtain a .org or .com domain – the open nature of the process means that there is a range of quality and bias in the information available to the public. There are relatively few health information providers hosted on the more restricted .int domain, which is limited to international treaty organizations that by their governance have missions and mandates to protect the public, and are therefore seen to be trustworthy information providers.

The World Health Organization (WHO) proposes that a sponsored, restricted top level domain (TLD) called .health be created to promote health information quality on the Internet. Policies governing the TLD distribution and use could ensure that information providers using this TLD abide by specific standards. For some years, various international groups, including WHO, have been struggling to find a way to ensure the quality of health information given the problems of sheer information volume as well as the undesirability and impossibility of regulating content on the Internet. The possibility of holding information providers to any standard has not been an option until now, when the possibility arises of restricting the use of .health to content providers who will voluntarily abide by established quality and/or ethical standards.

Based on consultation and feedback received over the past few years from a variety of sources and WHO's own experience, it is clear that a sponsored, restricted .health TLD, rather than an open and generic TLD, could enhance the credibility of information provided for public and personal health.

As a sponsoring agency for a health-related TLD, WHO would be in a unique position to provide neutral, international support for standards and best practices relating to health information on the Internet. WHO has a constitutional mandate "to provide information, counsel and assistance in the field of health" and "to assist in developing an informed public opinion among all peoples on matters of health". The creation and management of a new .health top level domain would therefore be one means of fulfilling this mandate.

As a chartered, restricted TLD, .health would utilize screening and enforcement mechanisms before and after registration, designed to enhance transparency and minimize cost to the parties involved. The establishment and maintenance of descriptive content in a standardized fashion in registry will also enable focused, automated content analysis, facilitating international and governmental action against illegal action, fraud and abuse.

The creation of a .health TLD will mobilize an international standards process for health information, and enable major progress towards harmonization of existing standards and measures. Such a standards process is likely to require nine to twelve months for completion of the initial phase. This proposal gives a picture of how the .health TLD might function, once international standards are established and operational.

E2. TLD String

Please identify the TLD string(s) you are proposing. For format requirements for TLD strings, see the answer to FAQ #5.

The proposed TLD string is .health.

E3. Naming conventions

Describe the naming conventions and structure within the TLD. E.g., will registrants have names registered at the second level (directly under the TLD, as in, or will the TLD be organized with sub-domains so that registered domain names are created at a lower level (as in

Registrants would have names registered at the second level only, directly under the TLD. While domain names may reflect topics, organizational entities or anything else, delegation of sub-domains needs to be retained by the original registrant. This appears to be consistent with Internet RFC 1591 (Postel, ISI, March 1994, p. 4), which states that "there are no requirements on sub-domains of top-level domains beyond the requirements on higher-level domains themselves." As domain names under the .health TLD would only be registered to entities meeting certain criteria (please see Section III, Registration Restrictions), it stands to reason that these entities should not be able to delegate the management of sub-domains of their domains to other parties that may or may not meet the registration criteria.

This does not, however exclude the use of functional second level domains, as may be defined in the future by a policy advisory committee after evaluation.

Initial transfer policy

Transfer of the .health TLD to another registrant would be subject to verification and approval through the same mechanisms as the original registration.

E4. Registrars

Describe in detail the policies for selection of, and competition among, registrars. Will domain-name holders deal through registrars, directly with the registry operator, or some combination of the two? What are the respective roles, functions, and responsibilities for the registry operator and registrars? If registrars are to be employed, how and by whom will they be selected or accredited? If the number of registrars will be restricted, what number of registrars will be selected? Have the qualifying registrars already been selected? On what basis will selections among those seeking to be registrars be made, and who will make them? If registrars are to be used, what mechanisms will be used to ensure that TLD policies are implemented?

Domain-name applicants and holders will send their applications to and interact directly with registrars. The roles and functions of the registrar will be as follows:

         The registrar will receive applications to register a domain name under the TLD.

         The registrar will ensure that applicants understand and commit contractually to meeting the conditions required to obtain a domain name under the TLD. The applicant will sign a contract agreeing to those conditions.

         The registrar will charge for verification and registration; fees will conform with WHO’s not-for-profit status as an international organization, and will be charged on a cost-recovery basis.

The selection of registrars will be made according to the standard tenders process used by WHO, which includes a requirements specification. Requirements for selection include being an ICANN-accredited registrar for other TLDs. The number of registrars will not be restricted but will be based on demand for services. Qualifying registrars have not yet been selected.

To ensure that TLD policies are implemented, registrars will be selected in part on the basis of their ability to implement the policies, and will then be under contractual agreement with WHO to do so.

Registry-Registrar Model

The underlying concept of the registry registrar model is also explained in the Registry Operator's (CORE) Proposal under Sections D13.2 and D15.2.2. For the purposes of the registration policy, the following aspects differentiate the CORE registrar model from the current registrar model used under .com, .net and .org:

         All essential data is managed in the registry by the registrars.

         The registry routinely runs the components of verification and enforcement procedures that are best run centrally for reasons of trust, reliability and cost.

The role of registrars will be to collect the registration data, enter the data into the registry and provide all modification and maintenance services. All of this is on a competitive basis in which registrars are fully in charge of price and commercial policies, and the registry is limited to the provision of technical, security and escrow services to the system.

E5. Intellectual Property Provisions

Describe the policies for protection of intellectual property. Your response should address at least the following questions, as appropriate to the TLD:

Entities registering domain names are to be fully responsible for the rights to the said name. In a manner similar to the case of registering a .int domain, the sponsoring organization is "expressly exempted from any and all responsibility for the verification of rights to a name" (INT Top Level Domain Name Registration Services Policy Statement Version 0.9, January 15, 1999). Applicants will be required to sign a contract, which states that there is no known trademark infringement or intellectual property violation.

E5.1. Measures against IP infringements

What measures will be taken to discourage registration of domain names that infringe intellectual property rights?

Registration requirements

In order to register a .health domain name, the following registration requirements should be met:

         Prepayment of all verification and registration fees (collected at registry level).

         Provision of accurate contact information.

         Full compliance with required fields and formats of the registration form.

         Selection criteria are met.

Representations made by registrant in registration agreement

The registrant must make the following representations in the registration agreement:

The registrant believes that to the best of his/her knowledge

         registrant has a legitimate interest to register the domain name;

         registration does not infringe on trademark or third party's intellectual property rights;

         registration and use of domain name does not violate any applicable law or regulation;

         registrant accepts the dispute resolution policy and jurisdiction of the courts of his/her place of residence and that of the registrar, as shown in the registration agreement. It should be noted that as an international treaty organization, WHO is not subject to decisions of the courts of any nation state.

E5.2. Pre-Screening for potential IP infringements

If you are proposing pre-screening for potentially infringing registrations, how will the pre-screening be performed?

The application process will require that the applicant sign a contract stating that the applicant falls within the charter of the TLD (with full details provided). They would also represent that the contract details provided are up-to-date and accurate, and acknowledge and agree that random audits may be done to verify the accuracy of information provided.

The additional health-related screening will, as an added benefit, reduce IP infringements.

E5.3. Measures against abusive registrations

What registration practices will be employed to minimize abusive registrations?

The registration practice will require that the applicant state that they meet the specific, restricted scope of the TLD, and that they provide full contact information including a physical address. There are no measures beyond the contract the applicant will sign agreeing to the terms, however, the contract will ask the registrant to represent that to the best of his or her knowledge:

         the domain name being sought does not infringe trademark, intellectual property or other third-party rights;

         The registrant has a legitimate interest for the application;

         the registrant acknowledges that a violation of the agreement may result in revocation of the right to use the domain name.

With respect to piracy, the UDRP will be adopted, with an extension foreseen in the future.

E5.4. Compliance with existing IP legislation

What measures do you propose to comply with applicable trademark and anti-cybersquatting legislation?

The restricted nature of the registration of domains under the .health TLD and the contractual agreement required in order to obtain such a domain will diminish and discourage the appearance of secondary (resale) domain-name markets.

WHO will require its registrars and Registry Operator to fully comply with applicable trademark and anti-cybersquatting legislation.

E5.5. Famous Trademarks Special Protections

Are you proposing any special protections (other than during the start-up period) for famous trademarks?

A list of trademarks, if available, will be used by registrars to specifically exclude the registration of those trademarks to other than the trademark holders. Other special protection will be accorded to names of organizations, special acronyms within the health domain, and international non-proprietary names. Measures to support this process, such as building exclusion lists with other TLDs, will be considered.

There are two proposed ways to protect trademarks:

         ex ante, through an exclusion list that will be working before delegation; and

         ex post, through a .health-adapted UDRP.

E5.6. Whois Data

How will complete, up-to-date, reliable, and conveniently provided Whois data be maintained, updated, and accessed concerning registrations in the TLD?

Whois data should reflect the intent of the .health TLD. Therefore data should be transparent, standard and consistent, providing enough information to enable a judgement as to the information source. Policy will have to be developed to define the minimum requirements and optional representations to enable both goals of user protection and information provider promotion.

See also ICANN registrar accreditation agreement, Section II.F.

Data made available publicly

The CORE registry will only publish data within limits allowed by applicable privacy laws and as defined by the registration agreement. This data is updated within minutes of being changed in the registry.

The domain holder has the contractual responsibility to ensure that his or her data remains up to date.

Data made available to third parties with a legitimate interest

Provision of detailed Whois data, beyond those data elements whose full publication is mandated by the policy, is subject to the signature of an agreement with the recipient party. The recipient must prove that it has a legitimate interest in the data requested. The agreement must be specific to domains for which a claim of legitimate interest is made. The data may only be used for the purpose of protecting that legitimate interest.

E6. Dispute Resolution

Describe the policies for domain name and other dispute resolution. If you are proposing variations to the policies followed in .com, .net, and .org, consider the following questions:

E6.1. UDRP

To what extent are you proposing to implement the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy?

The UDRP will be adopted. In addition, WHO will ask the World Intellectual Property Organization to expand the scope to cover other kinds of disputes that may arise specifically for the health domain.

E6.2. Supplemental Dispute Procedures

Please describe any additional, alternative, or supplemental dispute resolution procedures you are proposing.

Additional mechanisms will be considered specifically to support .health registration criteria.

Note that any dispute between a registrant or registrar and the Sponsoring Organization concerning the implementation or the interpretation of the contractual agreement, which cannot be settled amicably between them through mutual negotiations, shall be settled by a sole arbitrator to be nominated at the request of either of the parties by the Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, Paris, France. The arbitration shall be carried out in accordance with the Rules of Conciliation and Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce.

E7. Data Privacy, Escrow, and Whois

Describe the proposed policies on data privacy, escrow and Whois service.

Data management

The data supplied by a registrant is usually kept on three levels.

Standard data shown on the Whois

         Domain holder name

         Jurisdiction (location)


         Name and address of designated agent for contact (person or professional able to contact domain holder)

         Name servers

         Technical contact

         Date of registration

         Last modification

         Expiration of registration

At the express request of the domain holder, the Whois service may contain additional internet-related data such as pgp public keys, key IDs, or other value-added information.

There may be a certain level of disclosure required to ensure conformance with the ethical standards described in Section III. Registrars should also reserve the right to make entries in the Whois database publicly available in any electronic or written form.

Data input into the registry by registrars on behalf of customers

In addition to the data shown on the Whois, all the data required by the registration agreement is stored in the registry. This data should be stored in the Registry to protect registrants: should the registrar disappear, go bankrupt or otherwise leave the TLD service, information critical to the registrant to prove her rights over the domain, the representations made, etc. would disappear with the registrar. This data includes:

         Domain holder name and address

         Domain holder email address and alternative email address

         Optional telephone, fax

         Representations formally made by customer in registering

The registry also stores historic data in this respect.

Data collected by registrar

Within the limits of applicable privacy legislation and the privacy guarantees of the registration agreement, the registrar may collect additional data. An example of such an item is the billing information.

If the registrant provides optional data expressly specified in the registration agreement, then this data must also be stored at the registry level, as storage in the registrar's database is not deemed sufficient.

Data Escrow

The entire registry data is deposited with an escrow partner on a daily basis. This data will be at the disposal for any successor registry. The compliance of the escrow data can be verified by an independent auditor.

E8. Billing and Collection

Describe variations in or additions to the policies for billing and collection.

The billing and collection concept is identical to that currently used for .com, .net and .org, namely, the prepayment of registrations by registrars. The registry operator determines the extent to which payment securities such as letters of credit are accepted.

E9. Services and Pricing

What registration services do you propose to establish charges for and, for each such service, how much do you propose to charge?

Fees will conform with WHO’s not-for-profit status as an international organization, and will be charged on a cost-recovery basis. This may mean higher fees during the start-up period depending on forecast demand, but the exact pricing model will need to be defined further as the exact standards for processing applications are developed.

Re-verification will take place at regular intervals consistent with the fee renewal period.

As needs for additional services arise and require central co-ordination processes under the responsibility of the registry operator, additional cost-recovery charges may be established.

E10. Other

Please describe any policies concerning topics not covered by the above questions.



(Required for all TLDs)

E11. In this section, you should thoroughly describe all policies (including implementation details) that you propose to follow during the start-up phase of registrations in the TLD, to the extent they differ from the General TLD Policies covered in items E1-E9. The following questions highlight some of the areas that should be considered for start-up policies:

E12. Potential initial rush

How do you propose to address the potential rush for registration at the initial opening of the TLD? How many requested registrations do you project will be received by the registry operator within the first day, week, month, and quarter? What period do you believe should be considered the TLD's "start-up period," during which special procedures should apply?

Currently, there are over 10,000 health-related sites on the Web. A largest-case scenario would likely place about half of the entities operating these sites as eligible for a .health domain. Because of the standards set for inclusion under a .health TLD, there is a level of branding, and therefore a potentially high initial competition for certain domain names under .health. However, during the test phase there will be a stringent screening process and the number of applicants anticipated is not likely to present a problem. A reasonable "start-up" period might be three to six months.

E13. No use of Rationing Option

Do you propose to place limits on the number of registrations per registrant? Per registrar? If so, how will these limits be implemented?

There are no forecast limits for registrants or registrars. On the contrary, once a registrant is approved as meeting appropriate standards for one domain, the processing required for allocating a second domain to the same applicant is reduced.

E14. Price-based Demand Management

Will pricing mechanisms be used to dampen a rush for registration at the initial opening of the TLD? If so, please describe these mechanisms in detail.

At registry level, pricing is based on the cost-recovery mechanism. On top of that, registrars establish service levels and pricing in a competitive environment. Fees may be higher during the initial phase for purely economic reasons.

WHO proposes to use a "sunrise period", as described below, in part to allow the Sponsoring Organization and the registrars to test and refine the clearance and approvals process for acceptance of a registrant. Pricing will be based on a cost-recovery schema which may need to include an initial higher fee if higher processing costs are foreseen during the start-up period.

E15. Sunrise Period

Will you offer any "sunrise period" in which certain potential registrants are offered the opportunity to register before registration is open to the general public? If so, to whom will this opportunity be offered (those with famous marks, registered trademarks, second-level domains in other TLDs, pre-registrations of some sort, etc.)? How will you implement this?

During a "sunrise period" of three to six months some potential registrants would be offered the opportunity to register before registration is opened more widely. This opportunity would likely be offered to a set of entities that include those that the Sponsoring Organization recognizes as appropriate for the .health domain, some that have trademarks to protect, as well as some from the general public. During this period, the registrars, in close collaboration with the Sponsoring Organization, would be responsible for ensuring that the standards for selection are clear and appropriate for serving the .health community.

Any exclusion list request mechanism would be an ongoing protection instrument for trademarks.


(Required for restricted TLDs only)

E16. As noted in the New TLD Application Process Overview, a restricted TLD is one with enforced restrictions on (1) who may apply for a registration within the domain, (2) what uses may be made of those registrations, or (3) both. In this section, please describe in detail the restrictions you propose to apply to the TLD. Your description should should define the criteria to be employed, the manner in which you propose they be enforced, and the consequences of violation of the restrictions. Examples of matters that should be addressed are:

E17. Registration Criteria

Describe in detail the criteria for registration in the TLD. Provide a full explanation of the reasoning behind the specific policies chosen.

The .health TLD is intended to promote confidence in the quality of information provided by the TLD holder. In principal, anyone may apply, and the .health TLD is not intended to restrict commercial use. However, to register in the .health TLD, applicants would sign a contract that they agree to abide by a set of international ethical principles and quality standards for the provision of health information, products and/or services. The full details of these standards and principles will be established through a WHO-led consensus process over the coming year. Areas to be covered include information source; advertising and sponsorship, accountability, privacy and confidentiality, e-commerce, fraud.

WHO will also detail for registrars a list of privileged types of applicants, such as developing country ministries of health, non-governmental organizations in official relations with WHO, and not-for-profit entities with specific health mandates.

E18. Application Process

Describe the application process for potential registrants in the TLD.

Applicants work through a registrar, who would perform the necessary verification process and inform the applicant of the full details of the TLD policy. The registrar would require that the applicant sign a contract agreeing to the terms and scope of the TLD before proceeding with the registration process.

As described above, the application process is based on the pre-payment principle and requires full contact details as well certain representations (which may be determinant in case of conflict) to be stored in the registry. In principle domains would be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. However there may be exclusions required for medical, country or other names, or other exceptions in the public interest, for which special provisions will be developed.

E19. Enforcement Procedures

Describe the enforcement procedures and mechanisms for ensuring registrants meet the registration requirements.

The development of enforcement procedures is subject to due process considerations in the context of WHO procedures.

A number of tools are available for enforcement: during pre-screening, post-screening, complaint-based self-policing and formal verification on a systematic or ad-hoc basis. The contract for registration would enable enforcement of the terms by temporary suspension, deletion or transfer of the domain registration should the domain-name holder not meet the contract requirements. The registrants would potentially be subject to a random-selection auditing process to verify that the information they have provided is true.

Details provided for registration can be computer-verifiable. For example, the applicant might complete a questionnaire regarding intended use and provide a minimal level of description of content in a standardized fashion.

Computerized pre-screening limits accidental violations of the policy, but does not prevent the user from deliberately entering false information. However, thanks to the format-based pre-screening, false information is easier to recognize.

The post-registration enforcement may be complaint-based. If the non-compliance with certain clauses of the registration agreement can be easily verified based on electronically recorded or published data, the maintaining registrar must verify the data. If the complaint cannot be resolved, the complainant can initiate an administrative proceeding based on the model of the UDRP framework currently used for .com, .net and .org.

A random audit for verification might potentially be done, either on a systematic or an ad hoc basis. The registrants would have acknowledged and agreed to this possibility in their contract terms.

E20. Appeal Process

Describe any appeal process from denial of registration.

An appropriate appeals process would need to be developed for denial of registration.

E21. Third Party complaints

Describe any procedure that permits third parties to seek cancellation of a TLD registration for failure to comply with restrictions.

Specific complaints can be lodged and followed up in the SRS (an automatic process); the registry would in turn work with the Sponsoring Organization to evaluate the nature of the complaint and the response required. Any costs for the complaint process should reflect the differences in income levels in various countries. WHO has established procedures for adjusting costs related to ability to pay.

For example, complainant contacts a registrar (complaining registrar) of his or her choice and requests the lodging of a complaint in the registry. This transaction is charged for by the registry to the complaining registrar on cost-recovery basis. In case the registry determines that there is a large-scale pattern of negligence on the part of a maintaining registrar, it may assign a share of the cost to the latter.


(Required for all TLDs)

E22. This section is intended to allow you to describe the benefits of the TLD and the reasons why it would benefit the global Internet community or some segment of that community. Issues you might consider addressing include:

A sponsored, restricted . health TLD could be used to promote health information quality through policies governing its distribution and use that would ensure that information providers using the TLD abide by specific standards. The TLD .health might facilitate screening of content for governments and agencies in the interest of domain name holders and the broader Internet community.

The TLD .health is an implicit label, promoting increased transparency, scrutiny and therefore user trust in information providers. As an immediately recognizable, memorable label it will facilitate access to quality health information. The impact of the combination of recognizability and trust will be significant; not least because the credibility may eventually reduce the cost of providing reliable information in the health domain.

E23. Differentiation from other TLDs

What will distinguish the TLD from existing or other proposed TLDs? How will this distinction be beneficial?

The TLD .health will serve as a mark of quality. This is not an attempt at regulation, rather it involves voluntary adherence to international consensus standards, with the goal of user protection and improving the overall quality of health information on the Internet. The .health TLD will immediately identify the domain-name holder as adhering to known quality and ethical standards, instilling confidence and security in the information provided. This has high value for consumer protection, as well as for reliability of public health and medical information, products and services. It is more valuable than a trustmark because of its enforceability; that is, it can be challenged and cancelled if the domain-name holder is in violation of the established standards.

E24. Target Community

What community and/or market will be served or targeted by this TLD? To what extent is that community or market already served by the DNS?

The TLD .health will serve the broad Internet community of consumers of health information, and the health community of information providers, health professionals, researchers and scientists, and policy makers at all levels.

E25. Meeting presently unmet needs

Please describe in detail how your proposal would enable the DNS to meet presently unmet needs.

Currently this community is served by the .org, .com, .net, .int and a variety of country TLDs. Anyone is able to get a .org or .com domain – the open nature of the process means therefore that there is a range of quality and bias in the information available to the public. There are relatively few health information providers hosted on the more restricted .int domain, which is limited to international treaty organizations which, by their governance, have missions and mandates to protect the public, and are therefore trustworthy information providers.

There is a huge gap between the quantity and quality of health information available on the .org, . net, and .com domains, and that under the .int domain. Opening another TLD specifically for health information between these two extremes (widely varied interests and intent vs. public interest managed through treaty organizations) provides an opportunity to information providers to commit to international standards and to have their information found and promoted. Users will be able to more easily access health information and to have more confidence in the information provided because of the standards agreed to by those holding the .health domain.

E26. Utility to Internet Users

How would the introduction of the TLD enhance the utility of the DNS for Internet users? For the community served by the TLD?

International organizations, including the World Health Organization, that provide content under .int domains do not always target their information directly to the general public. Furthermore, there is a wealth of high-quality, accurate and ethically-produced health information that is available from a great number of sources and that is targeted to a wide variety of audiences. The public will be able to more easily recognize whether the information they are accessing is produced by an organization that has agreed to meet a certain standard for the information they produce and provide.

E27. Enhancement of Competition

How would the proposed TLD enhance competition in domain-name registration services, including competition with existing TLD registries?

There is a large scope for competition with respect to .health, and such competition can take many forms. In the context of .health, the standards applied will help direct competition in a constructive direction; i.e. towards responsibility, reliability and quality, and help develop markets for providing quality health information.

The health sector is a huge field with enormous requirements for information dissemination and community-building. These factors could enhance competition in domain-name registration services, including competition with existing TLD registries.

The .health TLD opens a new dimension for competition between registrars: namely, in terms of quality of verification services and fast, reliable processing for registrations that are not necessarily commodity-type services.


(Required for all TLDs)

E28. Recent experience in the introduction of new TLDs is limited in some respects. The current program of establishing new TLDs is intended to allow evaluation of possible additions and enhancements to the DNS and possible methods of implementing them. Stated differently, the current program is intended to serve as a "proof of concept" for ways in which the DNS might evolve in the longer term. This section of the application is designed to gather information regarding what specific concept(s) could be evaluated if the proposed TLD is introduced, how you propose the evaluation should be done, and what information would be learned that might be instructive in the long-term management of the DNS. Well-considered and articulated responses to this section will be positively viewed in the selection process. Matters you should discuss in this section include:

E29. Concepts proved or disproved

What concepts are likely to be proved/disproved by evaluation of the introduction of this TLD in the manner you propose?

The following concepts are likely to be proved (or disproved) through evaluation of the introduction of .health:

         There is a scope and need for restricted TLDs based on topics of global interest, rather than only geographic or sector-based.

         TLDs can be managed effectively by organizations with a non-technical mission or focus.

         International organizations have a decisive role to play as policy forums for Internet names in their respective fields.

         Restricted TLDs may satisfactorily contribute to standards-adherence in information production.

         Consumer protection can be improved by TLD labeling mechanisms.

         Over time, quality standards and verification mechanisms for .health will increase consumer trust and build name recognition;

         Automated, focused verification mechanisms and public scrutiny will be facilitated by standardized labeling and transparency of data.

E30. Proposed Evaluation Method

How do you propose that the results of the introduction should be evaluated? By what criteria should the success or lack of success of the TLD be evaluated?

The following measures are examples of measures that might be used in evaluating the .health domain

         Information providers/registrants will increase in number and quality over time.

         Consumers trust levels increase with experience with .health.

         The quality of information available on .health will be higher that on other health-related sites.

E31. Long-term value for DNS

In what way would the results of the evaluation assist in the long-range management of the DNS?

First, there is the possibility of increasing the number of TLDs relating to topics of global interest, which would change in some ways the management of the DNS. Furthermore, if the number of topic-based restricted TLDs increase, the authorities who manage them may be less likely to have an technical or Internet-based background. While this may pose challenges to the management of the DNS, it would also offer the Internet community benefits that might otherwise be missed.

The .health TLD has the potential to become a reference model on how international organizations can support and promote transparent, high quality information in their respective fields on the Internet

E32. Other reasons

Are there any reasons other than evaluation of the introduction process that this particular TLD should be included in the initial introduction?

There is a pressing need to ensure that users can distinguish between health information produced and professed within the framework of certain ethical and quality standards and that which is not. This is of particularly high importance – worldwide – as health is an area of interest to potentially every Internet user. The creation of a .health TLD with the World Health Organization as the sponsoring organization is a unique opportunity to explore and expand the role that an international organization might play in improving health information on the Internet.

[E] (Signature)

By signing this application through its representative, the Applicant attests that the information contained in this Description of TLD Policies, and all referenced supporting documents, are true and accurate to the best of Applicant's knowledge.



Dr Julio Frenk


Executive Director, Evidence and Information for Policy

Title(please print)

World Health Organization

Name of Entity to Which Title Applies

29 September, 2000