of sTLD proposals
Independent Evaluator - Technical
Independent Evaluator - Financial
Independent Evaluator -
Sponsorship & Other Issues
Evaluator - Technical
The evaluation of sTLD applications will be based upon submitted information
concerning the Registry Operator's proposed technical solution. The application
should demonstrate that the applicant has carefully analyzed the technical
requirements of registry operation.
A panel member should have the ability to evaluate sTLD application
based on the criteria below. That ability should be born of skills and
experiences developed through the implementation, management and design
of complex systems and demonstrated, at both standard-protocol and operational
levels, understanding of the subtle features of the Domain Name System
and how they are specified and work.
An evaluator must demonstrate the ability, based upon experience
and education, to review system designs while considering the following:
- General description of proposed facilities and systems, including
all system locations; the specific types of systems being used; their
capacity and interoperability, general availability and level of security.
Consideration of, in appropriate detail buildings, hardware, software
systems, environmental equipment and Internet connectivity,
- Registry-registrar model and protocol,
- The requirement to keep information synchronized across the various
aspects of a TLD’s operations,
- Implications of scalability, impacts on caches not under registry
control, DNSSec operations and DNS reliability and scalability in the
absence of DNSSec.
- Database capabilities including database software, size, throughput,
scalability, procedures for object creation, editing, and deletion,
change notifications, registrar transfer procedures, grace period implementation
and reporting capabilities,
- Zone file generation including procedures for changes, editing by
registrars and updates. Address frequency, security, process, interface,
user authentication, logging and data back-up,
- Zone file distribution and publication: locations of name servers,
procedures for and means of distributing zone files to them,
- Billing and collection systems: technical characteristics, system
- Backup: frequency and procedures for backup of data; hardware and
systems used, data format, identity of suggested escrow agent(s) and
procedures for retrieval of data/rebuild of database,
- Data escrow: escrow arrangements, data formats, insurance arrangements
and backup plans for data recovery,
- Publicly accessible WHOIS service: address software and hardware,
connection speed, search capabilities and coordination with other WHOIS
- System security and physical security: technical and physical capabilities
and procedures to prevent system hacks, break-ins, data tampering and
other disruptions to operations,
- Peak capacities: technical capability for handling a larger-than-projected
demand for registration or load; effects of load on servers, databases,
back-up systems, support systems, escrow systems, maintenance and personnel,
- System reliability: define, analyze and quantify quality of planned
- System outage prevention: procedures for problem detection, redundancy
of all systems, backup power supply, facility security and technical
security; the availability of backup software, operating system and
hardware; the system monitoring, technical maintenance staff and server
- System recovery procedures: procedures for restoring the system to
operation in the event of a system outage, both expected and unexpected;
redundant/diverse systems for providing service in the event of an outage
and describe the process for recovery from various types of failures;
training of technical staff who will perform these tasks; the availability
and backup of software and operating systems needed to restore the system
to operation and the availability of the hardware needed to restore
and run the system; backup electrical power systems and the projected
time for system restoration; procedures for testing the process of restoring
the system to operation in the event of an outage; documentation kept
on system outages and on potential system problems that could result
in outages, and
- Technical and other support: support for registrars and for Internet
users and registrants; technical help systems, personnel accessibility,
web-based, telephone and other support services to be offered; time
availability of support and language-availability of support.
Evaluator - Financial
The independent evaluators will review the Business Plan for the proposed
registries. The evaluator must possess that combination of business and
domain name system related experience and education that will enable the
evaluation of each of the criteria in a business plan that describes:
- The full description of registry services to be provided,
- An outline of anticipated cost and capital requirements,
- Cost analyses and a revenue model,
- The availability of capital including sources of start-up and expansion
- A marketing plan including a brief market analysis, reasonable projections
- An appropriate pricing model,
A resource requirements projection, and
- Risk analysis, a disaster recovery plan and contingency provisions.
The evaluator should be able to read, understand and adjudge the soundness
of the documents listed below:
- Evidence of financial and economic standing through statements from
bankers or investors, balance sheets, or other certified financial statements,
- Evidence of performance bonding, including the provider name and address,
and coverage amounts, or financial evidence of self-bonding, and
- Copies of recently performed external, independent audits.
In particular, the evaluator must be capable of gauging the effectiveness
of an operational model, judging the validity and soundness of descriptions
and amounts of estimated costs accompanying the sTLD Business Plan including:
- Titles and functions of the senior management team, for example, Executive
Team: President, General Counsel, or Administration: Finance, Human
- Salaries must include all salary related expenses such as bonuses,
benefits and taxes paid,
- Outsourced services, potential suppliers or partners,
- Travel required,
- Facilities, including locations and all occupancy costs such as leasing
- Hardware and systems, along with the adequacy of system capacity,
- The sources of start-up and follow-on capital,
- Operational income amounts, projected sales and penetration estimates,
and the pricing model, and
- Revenue from other sources including evidence of the stability of
Evaluator – Sponsorship & Other Issues
Include expertise on domain name issues;
Possess familiarity with the legal issues that can arise in connection
with starting and running a registry; and
Display a combination of broad-based community, technology and legal
skills necessary to analytically evaluate each application.
Evaluation of this component of the sTLD applications will be based upon
information concerning the nature of the proposed Sponsorship and its
potential impact on the global Internet community, including the rights
of others. The panel, as a whole, should Reflect a breadth of experience
gained from working in different non-profit and for-profit communities;
Each panel member should have significant and broad experience working
with technology issues from a community-based, non-profit, policy or
legal perspective. Each Evaluator must demonstrate the ability, based
upon experience and education, to review and judge the following criteria:
- Does the proposed sTLD meet the definition of a Sponsored TLD Community?
a. Has the Applicant established that there is a “clearly defined
b. If the Applicant has demonstrated that the Sponsored TLD Community
is precisely defined, can it readily be determined which persons or
entities make up the Community?
c. Does the proposed sTLD address the needs and interests of the people
making up the Community?
d. If the Sponsored TLD Community is comprised of persons that have
needs and interests in common, are they differentiated from those of
the general global Internet community?
e. Does the Sponsored TLD Community benefit from the establishment of
a TLD operating in a policy formulation environment?
f. Is the Sponsored TLD Community able to participate in this policy
- Is there evidence of support from the Sponsoring Organization?
a. Has the Applicant provided evidence of support for its application
from the Sponsoring Organization?
- Has the Applicant demonstrated the appropriateness of both the Sponsoring
Organization and the policy formulation environment?
a. Does the explanation of the policy-formulation procedures demonstrate
that the sTLD operates primarily in the interests of the Sponsored TLD
b. Does the explanation of the policy-formulation procedures demonstrate
that the sTLD has a clearly defined delegated policy-formation role
and is appropriate to the needs of the Sponsored TLD Community?
c. Does the explanation of the policy-formulation procedures demonstrate
that the sTLD has defined mechanisms to ensure that approved policies
are primarily in the interests of the Sponsored TLD Community?
- Is there broad-based support from the community the Sponsored TLD
is intended to represent?
a. Is there evidence of support for the application from the Sponsoring
b. Is there an outreach program that illustrates the Sponsoring Organization’s
capacity to represent a wide range of interests within the Community?
- For the sTLD;
- For the Sponsoring Organization; and
- For the proposed policy-formation process?
- Does launching the new sTLD add new value to the Internet name space?
a. Is the sTLD name of broad significance and does it establish clear
and lasting value?
b. Is the name appropriate to the defined community?
c. Has the Applicant demonstrated that its proposal:
- Categorizes a broad and lasting field of human, institutional, or
social endeavor or activity?
- Represents an endeavor or activity that has importance across multiple
- Has lasting value? And
- Is appropriate to the scope of the proposed Sponsored TLD Community?
- Does the proposed new sTLD enhance diversity of the Internet name
a. Does the proposed new sTLD create a new and clearly differentiated
b. Does the proposed new sTLD satisfy needs that cannot be readily met
through the existing TLDs?
c. Does the proposed new sTLD enhance competition in registry services?
d. Has the Applicant demonstrated that its proposal:
1. Is clearly differentiated from existing TLDs?
- Meets needs that cannot reasonably be met in existing TLDs at the
- Attracts new supplier and user communities to the Internet and delivers
choice to end-users? And
- Enhances competition in domain-name registration services, including
competition with existing TLD registries?
- Does the proposed new sTLD enrich broad global communities?
a. Does the proposed new sTLD have broad geographic and demographic
b. Does the proposed new sTLD serve a larger user community and appear
likely to attract a greater number of registrants?
c. Does the proposed new sTLD’s charter have relatively broader
- Does the proposed sTLD protect the rights of others?
a. Do its policies and practices minimize abusive registration activities
and other activities that affect the legal rights of others?
b. Are there safeguards against allowing unqualified registrations,
and to ensure compliance with other ICANN policies designed to protect
the rights of others?
- Is there an assurance of charter-compliant registrations and avoidance
of abusive registration practices?
a. Are there safeguards to ensure that non-compliant applicants cannot
register domain names?
b. Are there precise measures that:
- Discourage registration of domain names that infringe intellectual
- Ensure that only charter-compliant persons or entities (that is,
legitimate members of the Sponsored TLD Community) are able to register
domain names in the proposed new sTLD?
- Reserve specific names to prevent inappropriate name registrations?
- Minimize abusive registrations?
- Comply with applicable trademark and anti-cybersquatting legislation;
- Provide protections (other than exceptions that may be applicable
during the start-up period) for famous name and trademark owners?
- Is there an assurance of adequate dispute-resolution mechanisms?
a. Has Applicant demonstrated that its proposal will implement the ICANN
b. Has Applicant demonstrated that, where applicable, its proposal will
supplement the UDRP with policies or procedures that apply to the particular
characteristics of the sTLD?