TLD Application Process
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(Please note that in some cases the questions
in the following FAQs have been edited to generalize them or
otherwise to provide information of greater general interest.)
FAQ #1: What is the process for obtaining information about
how to apply to sponsor or operate a new TLD?
ICANN will make various information for
applicants available on its web site. The information can be
accessed through the web page at <http://www.icann.org/tlds/tld-application-process.htm>.
This information will include various explanatory materials as
well as application forms.
If you have a question before 3 October
2000 about the TLD application process that, after carefully
reviewing the posted materials, you feel has not yet been answered,
you may submit that question by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To help provide all applicants with equitable access to information
about the process as they prepare their applications, it is ICANN's
practice to respond to questions about applications during the
application period only when they are submitted in
writing. Please do not attempt to get additional information
by calling or visiting our offices.
We will periodically review the questions
submitted and, if a response is appropriate, we will post the
question (or an edited version of it, if we feel that would be
more informative) along with our responses on this web page.
Please watch this web page to see any response to your question.
We will not be replying separately to e-mail inquiries.
We may also create and publish other FAQs
on this page as we become aware of points that should be clarified.
Please note that any question that you
submit to email@example.com
is subject to being published verbatim on this web page. If you
do not wish to publish an idea you have to the world, you should
not include it in your question.
NOTE: Those seeking information
about the possibility of registering domain names within an existing
or to-be-created TLD should direct their questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions of this character should not be sent to
the tld-applications mailbox.
FAQ #2: My TLD concept is complicated, and I feel I need
to meet with ICANN to explain it. How do I do that?
After the close of the application period
on 2 October 2000, ICANN staff will be evaluating all of the
applications received. This process will involve not only reviewing
what has been submitted, but also consulting with technical,
financial, business, and legal experts and gathering additional
information that may be pertinent to the application.
As needed, after the application period
is concluded the ICANN staff may gather additional information
by sending applicants e-mails asking for the information, by
conducting telephone or in-person interviews with applicants,
by attending (possibly with ICANN-retained experts) presentations
by applicants or their experts, or by other means. These inquiries
will be initiated by the ICANN staff; if you feel a presentation
to ICANN is necessary to properly present your proposal you should
suggest that in your written application.
(A) I represent a fairly large ISP &
newly forming open source registrars' group that is also interested
in possibly creating a new TLD. How do I know what TLD is being
spoken for? The US$ 50,000 application fee is not a problem,
but I don't want to waste it on a TLD that already has been dealt
with or is being processed.
(B) Recently I'm drawing an Chinese
DNS standard and require information about DNS, especially TLDs.
As I know, ICANN issued new TLDs recently during the meeting
in Yokohama, and I want to know what are these new TLDs.
In Yokohama, the ICANN Board adopted a
policy that will allow the introduction of new TLDs, which will
probably become operational next year. However, no particular TLDs were approved
in Yokohama. The TLDs that are presently
in effect are described in the "Present
Structure of the Domain-Name System" section of the
of New Top-Level Domains" document published in advance
of the Yokohama meeting.
FAQ #4: Will the date I submit my application matter if
multiple candidates apply for the same name(s)? Do applicants
who submit their applications earlier get priority with everything
You must submit your complete application
to ICANN by the 2 October 2000 deadline. If you do so, the date
on which you submit your application will not affect the selection
process. In other words, the date you apply makes no difference
(as long as you get your application in on time).
FAQ #5: Is it correct to assume that new TLDs to be considered
by ICANN may utilize non-ASCII characters in both the name of
the TLD and in name components ("labels") hierarchically
No. Domain names are used as identifiers
in a variety of protocols and applications that conform to them.
These protocols expect the identifiers they use to conform to
a very narrow definition, which has been established in the Internet
for over 25 years. Use of names that do not conform to the narrowest
of the rules and conventions is known to cause operability and
interoperability problems. The format is described in several
places, most importantly section 3 of RFC
1034 and section 2.1 of RFC
1123 (both full Internet Standards).
Specifically, applications expect domain
names that are composed only of the letters A to Z (interpreted
in a case-independent fashion), digits, hyphens, and the period,
all coded according to the rules of the "ASCII" character
set (the "basic version" character coding specified
in ISO 646). The period is used only to separate name components
(called "labels" in the DNS). Labels may not start
or end with a hyphen or be more than 63 characters in length;
top-level domain names (i.e. the rightmost label in a name) may
not start with a digit.
At this time, ICANN will only establish
top-level domains having names that comply with the above format.
Registries will be expected similarly to follow that format for
the names they register.
Domain Name (IDN) Working Group of the Internet
Engineering Task Force (IETF) is charged with specifying
the requirements for internationalized access to domain names
and a standards track protocol and encodings, based on those
requirements, which will adequately respond to applications restrictions.
When IDN's work is complete, the above name-formation requirements
might be modified.
#9 and FAQ
#36 for related information.
FAQ #6: Will applications submitted after 2 October 2000
(around December or early next year) be considered?
The current activity (in calling for proposals
to sponsor or operate new TLDs) is part of a "proof of concept"
program in which various ideas for new TLDs will be tested in
actual practice. The plan is to introduce a limited number of
new TLDs in a measured and responsible manner and then to evaluate
how the introduction fared.
To be included in this proof-of-concept
program, applications must be received by 2 October 2000. Based
on evaluation of how things proceed, next steps will be decided,
and later applications might then be accepted.
FAQ #7: How can I arrange for ICANN to send me a hard
copy of the application form?
You can't. Applications will consist primarily
of comprehensive technical, business, and policy proposals prepared
by or for the applicant. There will also be various forms to
be submitted, which are scheduled to be available on the ICANN
web site on 15 August 2000. Once these are available, you should
print them, fill them out, and submit them as part of your overall
FAQ #8: In some jurisdictions, it is a long process to
authorise a not-for-profit corporation. Will ICANN accept an
application for which the temporary applicant is an ordinary
corporation with the intent to convert it to a not-for-profit
corp? Such an authorisation may be conditional upon the conversion
prior to fully implementing the registry.
The appropriate course in this situarion
depends on whether the to-be-formed not-for-profit corporation
is proposed to be a sponsoring organization (the usual case),
the registry operator, or both.
A proposed sponsoring organization need
not actually be formed at the time that the application is made.
The application for a sponsored TLD can be made by those proposing
to form the sponsoring organization. Of course, formation must
be complete before the organization enters a TLD sponsorship
agreement with ICANN. Ordinarily, ICANN's decision to delegate
to a sponsoring organization will be made based partly on the
characteristics of the proposed organization, and that organization
should be the one that will serve as the sponsoring organization
throughout the period of the requested delegation.
In contrast, the registry operator's proposal
should be submitted by an existing organization. As with sponsoring
organizations, ICANN's decision to delegate to a registry operator
will be made based partly on the characteristics of the operator.
The proposed operator should be the one that is proposed for
the entire period of the requested delegation.
#12 for related information.
FAQ #9: If a restricted TLD were to be the subject of
an application, would ICANN accept a TLD name in ASCII letters
which are conversions from another symbolic system to Roman letters?
A TLD name must conform to format requirements
summarized in FAQ
#5. Provided it does, it can be a transliteration having
meaning in another symbolic system. For example, .san (transliterated
from Japanese) would acceptable as the name of a TLD for personal-use
FAQ #10: Will there at any time be the opportunity to
secure an extended window to lodge an application or the posibility
of securing some sort of option over the right to lodge an application?
The very short time frame within which to lodge applications
The current application process is part
of a "proof of concept" program that is intended to
involve introduction of only a limited number of new TLDs. In
recognition of the limited recent experience in introducing new
TLDs, the program is meant to allow the Internet community to
evaluate possible additions and enhancements to the DNS and possible
methods of implementing them. After these initial introductions,
decisions can be made about evolution of the DNS (including new
TLDs) based on the experience gained. While it would not be appropriate
to prejudge those decisions, they may involve seeking additional
applications in the future.
FAQ #11: One might think that all applicants must be not-for-profit
organizations. Is this understanding correct?
No. Depending on the type of TLD being
proposed (sponsored or unsponsored), the applicant will be either
a sponsoring organization or a registry operator. For discussions
of the role of each, see the Sponsored
and Unsponsored TLDs section of the New TLD Application Process
Overview document and criteria
7 in the Criteria for Assessing TLD Proposals document. Each
organization should have characteristics (not-for-profit, for-profit,
etc.) appropriate to its role within the overall context of the
FAQ #12: Can multiple organizations make an application
to sponsor a TLD?
Yes, in the situation where the sponsoring
organization is not yet formed. See, for example, item
A1 on the Sponsored TLD Application Transmittal Form and
I9.2. In all other situations, there should be only a single
applicant. For related information, see FAQ
FAQ #13: I have the question about paying the US$50,000
fee. If the application is not granted, is ICANN giving the US$50,000
No. The fee is only an application
fee, in exchange for which ICANN will review your application.
ICANN will keep your fee even if it does not grant your application.
There is only one situation in which your
application fee might be returned. If you claim your application
contains confidential information and ICANN disagrees, ICANN
will delete the information before reviewing your application
on the merits. In this situation, you will be offered the opportunity
to withdraw the application and obtain a refund of the US$50,000
application fee. See section
I of the Statement of Requested Confidential Treatment of Materials
Submitted for details.
FAQ #14: If the application is granted by ICANN, is ICANN
keeping the fee?
Yes. Applications will be granted only
after review and evaluation by ICANN. The fee is designed to
defray ICANN's costs associated with processing and and evaluiating
the applications, and follow-up.
Please note that ICANN recovers its costs
of operation from domain-name and IP-address registries and registrars.
Those preparing Registry Operator Proposals should factor
their share (if the application is accepted) of ICANN's cost-recovery
needs into their business model.
FAQ #15: Why is the application fee so high? Aren't you
going to prevent non-profit TLD registry proposals by requiring
such a steep application fee?
As a small non-profit organization, ICANN
must conduct its activities so they are essentially self-funding,
on the principle of cost-recovery. For example, the accreditation
process for .com, .net, and .org registrars is funded through
application and accreditation fees paid by those registrars.
Likewise, the new-TLD-application process must be self-funding.
This process will include very intensive review and analysis
of applications on many levels (including technical, financial,
legal, etc.). The application fee was set at a level intended
to cover all of ICANN's costs related to the process. It would
not be justifiable to require existing registries and registrars
to subsidize the process.
In establishing the fee, ICANN's Board
was concerned that the application fee might discourage some
applications for special-purpose restricted TLDs. However, a
multi-tiered fee structure would mean that some applicants would
subsidize the application-review costs of others. This would
be particularly unfair because of difficulties in distinguishing
between for-profit and non-profit proposals in the global context.
Accordingly, a single, cost-recovery-based application fee has
been adopted for this year's new-TLD-application process.
FAQ #16: ICANN states clearly its intention to create
competition among gTLD registries as it did with registrars.
Will ICANN grant an application for a new registry for an existing
gTLD like .com, .net, or .org?
No. The current program involves the evaluation
of applications to sponsor or operate "new
TLDs," not existing ones. As stated in the New
TLD Application Process Overview document, "The adopted
policy calls for submission of proposals to sponsor or operate
new TLDs by interested persons and organizations." There
is no intent to upset arrangements for existing TLDs through
FAQ #17: My group is dissatisfied with the operation of
the two-letter ccTLD that has been assigned to our country. We
would like to apply to operate a registry for that ccTLD. Should
we submit an application under the New TLD program?
No. The New
TLD Application Process involves establishing new TLDs, not
changing the delegation of existing ones. Applications in the
New TLD program should not seek TLD strings that match alpha-2
codes on the ISO 3166-1 list.
#21 and FAQ
#24 for related information.
FAQ #18: If we go through all the effort to apply for
a top level domain, who owns it? What could potentially happen
to change ownership?
Top-level domains are established for the
benefit of the Internet community. Their operation is delegated
to particular organizations based on a showing that doing so
is in the best interests of the Internet community. An operator
does not "own" a top-level domain. As noted in RFC 1591 (written
by Jon Postel in 1994 and entitled "Domain Name System Structure
and Delegation"): "Concerns about 'rights' and 'ownership'
of domains are inappropriate. It is appropriate to be concerned
about 'responsibilities' and 'service' to the community."
It is anticipated that TLD registry agreements
will provide that, if a registry operator fails to meet its service
obligations, the agreement may be terminated. In their proposals,
sponsoring organizations and registry operators should state
the term they are suggesting and explain why they believe that
term would best serve the interest of the Internet community.
See, for example, item
D13.2.10 of the Registry Operator's Proposal.
#39 for similar information concerning sponsored TLDs.
FAQ #19: Is the non-refundable US$ 50,000 application
fee per TLD or per idea? In other words, if I apply for multiple
TLD strings is that one or many applications?
It is US$ 50,000 per application.
VIII of the New TLD Application Instructions discusses the
circumstances in which a single application can propose multiple
FAQ #20: I am planning to submit an application to ICANN
for a new TLD. I would like to submit my application in writing.
What address should I send my application to?
This information is provided in item
I22 of the New TLD Application Instructions. Persons considering
submitting an application are urged to carefully review that
document as well as the instructions stated in the applications.
Failure to follow all of the instructions can lead to denial
of your application.
FAQ #21: Will an application which accidentally proposes
a TLD that is an alpha-3 code on the ISO-3166-1 list fail?
As stated in FAQ
#17, applications in the New TLD program should not seek
TLD strings that match alpha-2
codes on the ISO 3166-1 list. There is no similar, automatic
disqualification on alpha-3 codes on the ISO 3166-1 list.
#24 for a follow-up question.
FAQ #22: What is the procedure in the event of duplicate
submission of a domain name by different parties? Which party
would get preference? Would the fee be non-refundable for the
party that is not selected?
Applications to sponsor or operate a TLD
will be evaluated according to the Criteria
for Assessing TLD Proposals, under which all aspects of the
proposal (operational, financial, technical, etc.) will be considered.
The particular TLD string requested is only one of many factors
in the evaluation. Clearly, the same TLD cannot be established
for both proposals; differences between the applications would
be considered according to the criteria. The fee paid by a non-selected
applicant would not be refundable.
FAQ #23: Will two (or more) parties that apply for a TLD
in related fields or that propose identical plans be asked to
negotiate to present a joint proposal?
Although it is possible that negotiations
toward a joint proposal would be urged depending on the circumstances,
applicants should not assume that ICANN will request or require
such negotiations. Applicants should consider discussing their
proposals with other interested members of the community before
FAQ #24: FAQ
#21 states that there is no "automatic disqualification"
of applications proposing TLD labels that are alpha-3 codes on
ISO 3166-1 list. Is this the correct even if a ccTLD
has been established for the corresponding alpha-2 code on the
ISO 3166-1 list?
Yes, it is correct that there is no automatic
disqualification. Please take note, however, of consideration
4(b) in the Criteria for Assessing TLD Proposals, which states:
b. Is the proposed TLD semantically "far"
from existing TLDs, so that confusion is avoided? (For example,
TLD labels suggesting similar meanings might be more easily confused.)
Is it phonetically distinct from existing TLDs? Meanings and
pronunciations in different languages may be relevant to these
In this context, "existing TLDs"
includes ccTLDs that have been established.
FAQ #25: We are an established not-for-profit institute
that wishes to sponsor a chartered TLD. However, we feel that
the eventual formation of an international sponsoring organization
would be best for this chartered TLD. We would therefore like
to propose our institute as the sponsoring organization pro tem,
with a well-defined schedule for the establishment of the international
sponsoring organization (as negotiated with ICANN). Would such
a proposal be acceptable to ICANN?
Assuming that a proposal qualifies in other
respects, the fact that the proposed sponsoring organization
has not yet been formed should not disqualify the proposal. As
noted in section
1(c)(i) of the New TLD Application Process Overview, "Where
the proposed sponsoring organization has not yet been formed,
the submission may be made by the organizers of that organization."
Thus, it would be appropriate to have a proposal under which
your not-for-profit institute would propose to establish the
international sponsoring organization. If you wish your proposal
to be evaluated based on the appropriateness of the to-be-formed
international organization (rather than the institute) as sponsor,
we recommend that your proposal include plans to form the organization
before completion of any contract negotiations with ICANN. The
proposed organization could be affiliated initially with your
institute, with a spin-off scheduled for a later time.
In submitting your application, you should
check the box in item
A1 of the Sponsored TLD Application Transmittal Form next
to "Organization(s) or person(s) proposing to form the sponsoring
organization (check this item only if the sponsoring organization
has not yet been formed)." Section
I of the Sponsoring Organization's Proposal should be completed
to give the information for the sponsoring organization that
is proposed (i.e. the one to be formed).
FAQ #26: Will existing ICANN-accredited registrars for
.com, .net, and .org be able to act as registrars in the new
The type of channels used for registrations
in a TLD is only one of many factors that will be considered
in determining whether to select a proposal for negotiations
toward possible establishment of a TLD. For a discussion of some
relevant factors that may pertain to the considerations raised
by your question, see Criteria
for Assessing TLD Proposals, and particularly "the
enhancement of competition for registration services" (factor
#38 for related information.
FAQ #27: Can the floppy diskette requirement be expanded
to allow softcopy submission on CD?
Yes, it can. Thanks for the great suggestion!
We have already changed the documents to make this change.
#40 for related information.
FAQ #28: Can you provide any estimate on the timing for
the "proof of concept" phase for new TLDs, and when
the next opportunity to propose TLDs after this initial phase
There is not yet any date that has been
scheduled for a "next round," and at present we have
no predictions as to the schedule. In the current round of applications,
applicants are requested
to describe the value of their proposals as proofs of concept.
E30 of the Description of TLD Policies requests suggestions
for how the results of the introduction being proposed should
be evaluated. Once a decision is made on the evaluation procedure
to be used for TLDs introduced in the current round, the timing
of future steps should become clearer.
#54 for related information.
FAQ #29: We would like to provide an Executive Summary
of our TLD proposal (perhaps 1 to 3 pages in length) that describes
the motivation and overall goals of the TLD. Where should such
a summary be placed in the application? Perhaps as a cover letter?
We suggest that you attach it to your Description
of TLD Policies. Before item E1 on your description, you
should type in a statement such as "An Executive Summary
of this proposal is attached."
Materials that you wish ICANN to consider
in support of your application should be included in the body
of your application materials (i.e. your transmittal form, the
Sponsoring Organization's Proposal, the Registry Operator's Proposal,
the Description of TLD Policies, the fitness disclosures, or
the Statement of Requested Confidential Treatment) or as a referenced
attachment, not in an unreferenced, separate cover letter.
FAQ #30: Item
(c) under factor 8 of the Criteria for Assessing TLD Proposals
states that when evaluating proposals ICANN will examine: "c.
Has the proponent considered intellectual property interests
or otherwise designed protections for third-party interests?"
What types of intellectual-property protections should be included?
Applicants should propose measures they
believe are appropriate to protect intellectual property and
other third-party interests. The types of protections that are
appropriate will depend, to some extent, on the nature of the
TLD and other circumstances. Applicants should anticipate that
one of the topics of public
comments on their proposals will be the appropriateness of
the protections they propose.
In preparing their proposals, applicants
may wish to consult the materials prepared by the ICANN DNSO
Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) and posted
on the IPC website. These are the views of the IPC only.
FAQ #31: What TLDs are already established?
Presently, there are seven traditional
"generic" TLDs (.com, .edu, .gov, .int, .mil, .net,
and .org), nearly 250 two-character
"country-code" TLDs, and one infrastructure TLD
For a more detailed description of the
present TLDs, see the detailed
topic paper on TLDs prepared in advance of the ICANN Yokohama
FAQ #32: I'm investigating the possibility of two companies
(parent companies) with complimentary capabilities forming a
jointly held company (joint venture) to operate a new non-sponsored
TLD registry. The joint venture would not have any operational
experience and history. Am I correct in assuming that the Registry
Operator's Proposal should describe the data and history for
the two parent companies? Also, will ICANN consider the application
if the joint venture is not yet established when the application
Operator's Proposal must be submitted by a proposed registry
operator that is in existence (i.e. has already been formed)
at the time the proposal is signed and submitted. Note that the
proposed registry operator should be an organization, such as
a corporation, having the ability to enter legally binding contracts.
The Registry Operator's Proposal should
describe the capabilities of the entity proposed actually to
serve as registry operator. In the circumstances you describe,
that could be done by describing the data and history of the
parent companies and by providing documentation that the parent
companies are firmly committed to transferring their relevant
operational units to the newly formed entity.
FAQ #33: How do I pay the application fee?
When they were first posted, the instructions
required that the non-refundable application fee be paid by check.
That is still the payment method we prefer that you use. However,
for the convenience of those that may have difficulty in obtaining
a check drawn on a United States bank, we have decided to permit
payment by wire transfer. In either case, because your application
will only be considered once we are satisfied you have fully
paid the application fee, it is vital that you follow the payment
- If you choose to pay by check, with your
application you must send a check, drawn on a United States bank
and payable to the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), in the amount of 50,000 United States
- If you choose to pay by wire transfer,
you must arrange for the wire transfer to be sent to ICANN at
the following account:
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names
Account number 09141-04900
Routing indicator 121000358
Bank of America Branch 0914
4754 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292 USA
We must receive wire transfers at least five business days before we receive your application and you
must include a wire transfer receipt or other document
identifying the wire transfer with your application.
#57 for related information.
FAQ #34: Where can I obtain a list of the parties that
previously submitted a letter of interest and brief proposal
to operate/sponsor a new gTLD?
For a list of expressions of interest received
in the period leading up to the ICANN meeting in Yokohama, click here.
#49 for related information.
FAQ #35: Can I propose to act as both the registry operator
also a registrar?
Applicants should describe the marketing
channels they are proposing. See item
D13.2.4 of the Registry Operator's Proposal. A proposal to
act as both registry operator and registrar is not forbidden,
though that feature may affect how your proposal is evaluated.
In formulating recommendations for the ICANN Board, the ICANN
staff currently intends to consider at least the factors stated
in the Criteria
for Assessing TLD Proposals, including factor
3: "The enhancement of competition for registration
FAQ #36: In your response to FAQ
#5, regarding the use of non-ASCII characters in a TLD string,
you stated, "top-level domain names
may not start
with a digit." Having conducted research into this specific
area, we have proven (just by the adoption of simple policies
that can be applied at the registry level) that it is possible
to operate a TLD with a digit as the first character while maintaining
the stable operation of the DNS, and we believe that a proposal
of this sort "might
increase the utility of the DNS." Can the no-beginning-digit
statement of FAQ #5 be relaxed?
Not at this time. It is important to Internet
stability that DNS names conform to the relatively narrow format
rules and conventions stated in the RFCs because, among other
things, application developers have relied on those format rules
and conventions in designing, implementing, and testing software
that handles DNS names. Although the statements in RFC
1034 and section 2.1 of RFC
1123 (cited in the response to FAQ #5) might, standing alone,
be subject to differing interpretations, subsequent RFCs have
interpreted those RFCs to prohibit TLD labels starting with digits.
See RFC 2396,
pages 13-14 (August 1998); RFC
1738, page 6 (December 1994). At least one of these RFCs
has been available to software developers for over five years.
If the no-first-digit requirement for TLD
labels is to be relaxed, it should be done through the IETF,
which developed the documents articulating the requirement.
FAQ #37: It has been rumored that there is a financial
backing requirement of $10,000,000. Can you please clarify these
details? If not $10,000,000, what is the specific requirement?
There is no specific, fixed amount of firmly
committed capital required. The level of capital will depend
on the nature of the overall proposal. The Registry Operator's
Proposal submitted with the application should contain a detailed
analysis of capital requirements and demonstrate firm commitments
for that capital. See Items D13.2.5,
As noted under factor
9 of the Criteria for Assessing TLD Proposals:
The ICANN staff intends to place significant
emphasis on the completeness of the proposals and the extent
to which they demonstrate that the applicant has a thorough understanding
of what is involved, has carefully thought through all relevant
issues, has realistically assessed the business, financial, technical,
operational, and marketing requirements for implementing the
proposal, has procured firm commitments for all necessary resources,
and has formulated sound business and technical plans for executing
FAQ #38: Is ICANN planning on establishing a general registrar
accreditation process for all the new TLDs?
As noted in Item
E4 of the Description of TLD Policies, an applicant for the
operation or sponsorship of a new TLD should propose policies
for selection of, and competition among, registrars concerning
the TLD. That policy can include use of ICANN's accreditation
program for the .com, .net, and .org or some alternative mechanism.
Please refer to FAQ
#26 for a discussion of the effect the proposed policies
may have on evaluation of the application.
FAQ #39: In the case of a sponsored and restricted TLD
where policy formulation is granted by ICANN, under which conditions
may this delegation be
revoked? Are there precedents? What appeal mechanisms exist?
The conditions for revocation of the delegation
of policy-formulation responsibility for a sponsored and restricted
TLD would be set forth in an agreement between ICANN and the
sponsoring organization (likely including a charter for the TLD).
In general, violations by the sponsoring organization of the
agreed conditions for the delegation, or a determination that
the charter is no longer appropriate to the needs of the Internet
community and should be revised or rescinded, could lead to revocation
of the delegation. The terms of agreements will be discussed
in negotiations after initial selections are made in November.
in the Detailed Topic Paper prepared for the Yokohama meeting,
in many respects the sponsorship paradigm is a generalization
of the concepts underlying appointment of managers for ccTLDs
under existing ccTLD delegation policy. The current policies
in that regard are set forth in ICP-1.
ICANN decisions are subject to review by
the ICANN Board under ICANN's
reconsideration policy. One topic of the negotiations will
be other "appeal" mechanisms.
FAQ #40: Assuming that the required HTML-format electronic
copy of the specified parts of the application is for posting
on the web site for public review, are other formats acceptable
as long as they fulfill the same purpose of being publicly readable?
Would you allow for PDF as an alternative/supplement to be posted
on the site?
Applicants must provide electronic copies
of the specified portions of their applicaitons in both HTML
format and a common word-processing format. See Items I7
of the New TLD Application Instructions. Applicants may, if they
choose, also submit those portions of their applications in PDF
format. ICANN staff will decide whether to post the PDF format
in addition to the HTML format once all the applications are
#60 and FAQ
#73 for related information.
FAQ #41: How many hard (i.e. paper) copies of the application
should be submitted?
A single copy is sufficient.
FAQ #42: We are planning to propose a sponsored, restricted
TLD. We propose that the sponsoring organization be responsible
for making policies, assessing individual applications, informing
the registry operator which applications meet the TLD's requirements
and should be registered, providing customer support, and carrying
out marketing. The sponsoring organization will be the profit
center and the registry operator will be paid fees by the sponsor
and receive an equity interest in the sponsor. Does this structure
meet the structural requirements for running a TLD or do we have
to place the marketing, advertising, and other operational functions
in the hands of the registry operator?
The configuration of the proposed structure
is up to the applicant. Please note, however, that sponsoring
organizations are intended to allow participation of the affected
segments of the relevant communities. As stated
in the New TLD Application Process Overview:
The extent to which certain policy-formulation
responsibilities are appropriately delegated to a sponsoring
organization will depend upon the characteristics of the organization
that may make such delegation appropriate. These characteristics
may include the mechanisms the organization proposes to use to
formulate policies, its mission, who will be permitted to participate
and in what way, and the degree and type of accountability to
the community it will serve (to the extent these are necessary
and appropriate). The Sponsoring Organization's Proposal provides
an opportunity to provide information on these characteristics.
FAQ #43: What period should the pro-forma financials included
in the registry operator's business plan cover?
The registry operator's business plan required
D13.2 of the Registry Operator's Proposal, as well as the
pro-form financial projections required by Item
D13.3, should cover the entire term of registry agreement
being proposed (see Item
D13.2.10), but in any event need not be presented for more
than four years. As noted in Item
D13.3, the pro-forma projections should be broken down into
periods no longer than quarterly.
FAQ #44: In Item
D13.2.5 of the Registry Operator's Proposal you ask for projections
of demand for registry services in the proposed new TLD "for
at least 10%, 50%, and 90% confidence levels." What does
Proposed registry operators are requested
to provide at least three estimates of the demand for registry
services. One estimate (the 50% confidence estimate) should express
the projection of demand that the registry operator concludes
is equally likely to be exceeded as to be not met. The other
two estimates (the 90% and 10% confidence estimates) should be
nine times as likely to be exceeded as to be not met, and vice
FAQ #45: The application transmittal forms (e.g., Items
limit ICANN's liabilities to the applicant unless and until the
application is selected for negotiations, those negotiations
are successfully concluded, and formal, written agreements are
entered. What about the applicant's liabilities to ICANN? For
example, the persons proposing to form a sponsoring organization
may fail to successfully organize the sponsoring organisation
(broad based, etc.) even though they may have started negotiations
with ICANN. Would they be liable to ICANN (other than for the
US$50,000 non-refundable application fee)?
The applicants must abide by the various
obligations and certifications (concerning, as one example, truthful
and complete disclosure) stated in the application materials.
Assuming they do so, neither a sponsoring organization, its organizers,
nor a registry operator incurs any monetary liability to ICANN
by submitting the application, beyond the US$50,000 non-refundable
application fee. In particular, submitting an application does
not subject the applicants to liability for failing to properly
form a sponsoring organization even though negotiations are commenced.
In the event that, after negotiations,
formal written agreements are reached, those agreements will
specify the obligations of the selected sponsoring organizations
and registry operators to ICANN. Sponsoring organizations must
be formed before agreements with them will be entered.
FAQ #46: Regarding the the Registry-Registrar Protocol
(RRP) used in the .com, .net, and .org TLDs and described in
(A) Will new registries have open, unrestricted
access to the RRP for use and future modification, without the
requirement of a license from Network Solutions, Inc.?
(B) If a license will be required, will
such license require a license fee and allow the future modification
of the RRP, including the creation of derivative works?
(C) Does Network Solutions Registry
claim intellectual property rights in the RRP as described in
RFC 2832, or any other basic functionality necessary for the
efficient interface between registries and registrars utilizing
(D) Will Network Solutions cooperate
with a formal IETF process to create a permanent open and peer
Questions (A), (B), and (C) involve legal
issues, about which you should consult your lawyer. Please note
the following two items in that connection:
a. The RRP is described in RFC 2832,
which contains the following statement:
"Copyright (C) The Internet Society
(2000). All Rights Reserved.
"This document and translations of
it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works
that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation
may be prepared, copied, published and distributed, in whole
or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the
above copyright notice and this paragraph are included on all
such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself
may not be modified in any way, such as by removing the copyright
notice or references to the Internet Society or other Internet
organizations, except as needed for the purpose of developing
Internet standards in which case the procedures for copyrights
defined in the Internet Standards process must be followed, or
as required to translate it into languages other than English.
"The limited permissions granted above
are perpetual and will not be revoked by the Internet Society
or its successors or assigns."
b. NSI Registry is offering
its RRP software development kits as open source software
under the terms of the GNU
Lesser General Public License.
On Question (D), please note that Scott
Hollenbeck of NSI Registry has submitted an Internet
Draft on "Generic Registry-Registrar Protocol Requirements"
(New: Now in version 5).
Members of the Internet community wishing to contribute in this
area should contact Mr.
FAQ #47: What are the acceptable lengths (number of characters)
for TLD labels?
Ordinarily, TLD labels (e.g., "com")
that are proposed for the new TLD program should be between three
and sixty-three characters long, inclusive.
Two-letter codes must be available for
establishing ccTLDs according to the policy set forth in ICP-1. Under that
policy, ccTLDs are established with two-letter codes that appear
on the ISO
3166-1 list. To avoid the possibility of future name collision,
proposals for two-letter TLDs will not be accepted in the new
TLD program unless the ISO
3166 Maintenance Agency has indicated that the proposed two-letter
code will not be placed on the ISO 3166-1 list in a way that
would be incompatible with the proposal. Compatibility could
be demonstrated, for example, for a proposed TLD not meeting
the alpha-2 code format used in the ISO 3166-1 list (e.g., "a1")
or where the Maintenance Agency has reserved the proposed code,
in a manner compatible for the proposed usage under the new TLD
program, for stated "particular applications" including
Internet TLD usage (this includes reservations for all usages).
Under current practice of the Internet
Assigned Numbers Authority, one-letter codes are reserved from
assignment to allow for future DNS extensibility.
#56 for related information.
FAQ #48: Will ICANN require that current second-level-domain-name
holders in .com, .net, and .org be given an opportunity to register
their names before the general public?
Applicants should propose mechanisms to
deal with start-up issues for the proposed TLD in a way that
takes account of the rights and expectations of existing domain-name
holders, trademark owners, and others. See
Item E15 in the Description of TLD Policies. At this stage
of the new TLD program, there is no fixed set of required mechanisms
in this regard, such as giving a preferential opportunity for
registration in the proposed TLD to domain-name holders in the
existing TLDs. One
factor that will be considered in evaluating proposals is
the adequacy of the proposed mechanisms for allocation of names
during the start-up phase of the proposed TLD.
FAQ #49: Where can a sponsoring organization obtain a
list of registry operators?
We are not aware of any comprehensive list
of organizations seeking to become registry operators. However,
you might review the expressions
of interest that ICANN received before its Yokohama meeting in
FAQ #50: How many unrestricted TLDs and how many restricted
TLDs will ICANN be approving?
At its 16 July 2000 meeting in Yokohama,
the ICANN Board adopted
a recommendation, which was made by ICANN's Domain Name Supporting
Organization, to introduce new TLDs in the next several months
in a measured and responsible manner. The exact number of TLDs
that will be introduced will depend on the character of the proposals
received. The mix of restricted and unrestricted TLDs will also
depend on the character of the proposals.
FAQ #51: What is the current amount that NSI Registry
pays for each domain name in the registry? Will the fee structure
be the same for new TLDs?
ICANN's operating costs are supported by
the name registries and registrars and the address registries
according to formulas established through a budget process that
includes discussions among those entities. For the 2000-2001
fiscal year, .com, .net, and .org registrars are contributing
US$2,140,000 and NSI Registry is contributing US$250,000. The
exact arrangements for new TLDs are not yet established, but
they will be expected to contribute a fair share of ICANN's cost-recovery
FAQ #52: What guidance can you provide on independent
but related registry submissions that seek to solve a common
problem, specifically where there is a cross subsidy from one
registry to the other?
If there are multiple registries, multiple
applications (with multiple application fees) should be submitted.
I30. The applications should note their relationship to each
other, and should take account of the subsidy (for example, in
forma financial projections).
FAQ #53: Item
D13.2.15 of the Registry Operator's Proposal asks for a detailed
description of plans for dealing with the possibility of registry
failure. Does this refer to system failure, business failure,
It refers to all types of failures from
any cause, including business failures, system failures, natural
disasters, and sabotage.
FAQ #54: If our TLD application is not accepted, what
becomes of our application? I understand that the $50,000 is
non-refundable, but does the application remain active for the
second round of TLD applications?
As stated in FAQ
#28, plans for any subsequent rounds of TLD introductions
will not be made until evaluation of the present "proof
of concept" round. It is likely that, if there are subsequent
rounds, there will be revisions in the program based on experience
in the first round. This will likely require submission of new
application materials. As to the non-refundable application fee,
please note that it "is only an application fee to obtain
consideration of this application." See Items A7
of the transmittal forms.
FAQ #55: The Registry
Operator's Proposal asks for the Dun & Bradstreet D-U-N-S
Numbers (if any) of the operator and certain subcontactors. What
is a D-U-N-S Number?
Information about D-U-N-S Numbers is available on the
Dun & Bradstreet web site. Although any existing D-U-N-S
number(s) should be given in the application, you need not obtain
a D-U-N-S Number to apply.
FAQ #56: According to FAQ
#47, two-character TLDs must be available for ccTLDs. However,
it is not clear as to whether or not a two-character TLD can
be proposed if it in fact has not been assigned a country. Can
a two-character TLD can be established if it is not currently
on the ISO 3166-1 list?
Generally, no. A two-character code will
be considered only if (a) it is not presently on
3166-1 list and (b) the ISO
3166 Maintenance Agency has indicated that the code will
not be added to the list in the future for any purpose that is
incompatible with the use you propose for the code.
FAQ #57: Please confirm my understanding that if payment
of the non-refundable application fee is made by check, payment
is timely if it is received by ICANN on 2 October. I.e. that
the five-day requirement applies solely to wire transactions.
If you pay by check drawn on a United States
bank and payable to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names
and Numbers (ICANN) in the amount of 50,000 United States dollars
I8.1 of the Instructions), then your payment will be timely
if the check is received at ICANN's offices by 2 October. If
you choose to pay by wire transfer, your wire transfer must be
received at least five business days before we receive your application
and you must include a wire transfer receipt or other document
identifying the wire transfer with your application (which must
be received by 2 October).
FAQ #58: Item
C18.2 of the Sponsoring Organization's Proposal indicates
that ICANN will accept an application for a sponsored TLD where
there is not yet a finalized contract between the sponsor and
the registry operator, if the sponsoring organization submits
proposed terms for a contract (i.e. at least a detailed term
sheet) with the registry operator for provision of registry services,
proof of commitment from the registry operator for provision
of services under those proposed terms, and a notation of the
estimated date of entry into the contract. What do you mean by
"proof of commitment from the registry operator"? Isn't
the signed copy of the Registry Operator's Proposal sufficient
An example of sufficient proof of commitment
by the registry operator would be a signed letter of intent stating
the proposed terms for the contract. The signed Registry Operator's
Proposal is not necessarily sufficient because it may not indicate
the registry operator's willingness to enter into a contract
on the proposed terms.
FAQ #59: I am confused as to the meaning of a sponsored
vs. unsponsored TLD. Please describe the difference between the
two and what ICANN's involvement in the policy making process
would be in each case.
For a description of the differences between
sponsored and unsponsored TLDs, please see section
1(b) of the New TLD Application Process Overview.
FAQ #60: Item
C1 of the Sponsoring Organization's Proposal states that
the following documents should be attached to the proposal: articles
of incorporation, association, etc.; bylaws or any similar organizational
document; list of persons presently on the supervising Board
of the organization (or to be initially on the Board); and their
resumes. Because we were established long ago, we do not have
these in electronic form. Is it acceptable to attach hard copy
documents instead, with a brief summary in the electronic version?
Because we expect to post these materials
for public review and comment, they should be submitted in electronic
#40 and FAQ
#73 for related information.
FAQ #61: Item
D15.2.4 of the Registry Operator's Proposal asks about interface
and user authentication in the zone generation process. If the
zone file generation process is automated and user intervention
is not required, what interface and user authentication is referred
If your registry systems design does not
contemplate user intervention in any circumstances please note
this and explain how operations ordinarily done with user intervention
(e.g., emergency updates) are accomplished.
FAQ #62: Item
D15.2.3 of the Registry Operator's Proposal asks about the
reporting capabilities of the registry database. Are you looking
for the native reporting capabilities of the proposed database?
Or are you looking for reporting capabilities that can be added
on top of the database? What types of reports? Financial, technical?
Please be more specific.
Item D15.2.3's reference to database reporting
capabilities is directed to the reporting capabilities of the
registry database system as it will be implemented. Please explain
what reporting capabilities will be implemented in the overall
system you employ. This includes financial, technical. operational,
and any other type of report you anticipate will be available.
Your response should be as specific as possible.
FAQ #63: Do you anticipate granting any extensions of
the time to submit applications beyond 2 October?
No, we do not.
FAQ #64: Our sponsoring organisation and the registry
operator are based in different countries. We plan to send the
two parts of the proposal separately to ICANN, although the proposals
will be clearly labelled as being component parts of the same
proposal. Is this acceptable to ICANN?
Yes. Please be sure each proposal clearly
designates the connection to the other proposal.
FAQ #65: At what time on October 2, 2000 does the application
process conclude? Since this is a Monday does this mean that
all applications need to be received by the previous Friday,
September 29, 2000? At what time do your offices close?
Item I24 of the Instructions
I24. The complete application, including
all forms, attachments, and accompanying materials, along with
the check for the non-refundable application fee (or wire-transfer
documentation), must be received by ICANN at its office in Marina
del Rey during the period beginning 5 September and ending 2
October 2000. All materials must be received before 5:00 pm,
California time, on 2 October 2000.
Lately we have been receiving many questions
that are answered in the instructions, the application forms,
these FAQs, and the other materials we have posted. This indicates
that some persons are considering applying without carefully
reading all the materials. Failure to fully understand
and follow exactly all the instructions in all the materials may
result in your application being denied.
FAQ #66: Item
E7 in the Description of TLD Policies talks about policies
on data privacy, escrow and Whois service. What is "escrow"
For background on escrow requirements,
please see Section
II.I of the .com, .net, and .org Registrar Accreditation Agreement
7 of the ICANN-Network Solutions Registry Agreement.
FAQ #67: In completing Item
E9 of the Description of TLD Policies, regarding "Services
and Pricing", is it obligatory to specify how much would
be charged, or will a description of the guiding principles behind
a tariff structure be sufficient?
There are no absolute requirements on this,
but the ICANN staff has indicated that specificity and completeness
will be postive factors in the evaluation process. See Factor
9 of the Criteria for Assessing TLD Proposals. Please note
that pricing levels will ordinarily be important to formulate
Capabilities and Plan and pro-forma
financial projections. See Item
D13.2.12 of the Registry Operator's Proposal. If your pricing
formula is not pegged to a specific value (such as a system in
which overall registry costs are divided equally among all registrants),
please describe exactly the formula and in connection with your
pro-forma financial projections give projections of the resulting
FAQ #68: Is it appropriate to include references to pricing
C18.2 of the Sponsoring Organization's Proposal, which refers
to "proposed terms for a contract with the registry operator",
or is this area reserved for direct discussion between ICANN
and the Registry Operator?
Ordinarily, the proposed terms for a contract
between the sponsoring organization and the registry operator
should cover the services the registry operator will provide
and the terms on which they will be provided.
FAQ #69: Item
A3 in the Sponsored TLD Application Transmittal From asks
for "copies of documents demonstrating the authority (of
the person signing the application)". What type of documents
are you expecting? Is an officer or employee of the sponsoring
If the person is not a top officer of the
organization (Chair, etc.), you should submit a Board resolution
(certified by the secretary or similar officer) authorizing the
application. A top officer may simply state that she or he has
authority to make the application.
FAQ #70: I am located in the Southern California area.
May I hand deliver my application to ICANN at its Marina del
Rey office or do I have to send my application by mail or courier
as stated in Item
I22 of the Instructions?
You may mail your application, have a messenger
deliver it to our offices, or act as the messenger yourself.
The deadline is 5:00 pm California time. Please note that we
will not discuss your application in any way with you on 2 October.
FAQ #71: What level of detail is necessary for the pro-forma
financial projections required by Item
D13.3 of the Registry Operator's Proposal? Are the following
categories sufficient levels of detail: personnel costs, research
and development, marketing expenses, general administrative expensives
exclusive of salaries?
The level of detail is ultimately up to
the organization preparing the Registry Operator's Proposal.
In reviewing the proposals, however, ICANN will place significant
emphasis on their completeness and the extent to which they demonstrate
that the applicant has a thorough understanding of what is involved,
has carefully thought through all relevant issues, has realistically
assessed the business, financial, technical, operational, and
marketing requirements for implementing the proposal, has procured
firm commitments for all necessary resources, and has formulated
sound business and technical plans for executing the proposal.
These characteristics are more likely to be demonstrated by specific
pro-forma financial projections, based on clearly articulated
assumptions, than by general ones.
FAQ #72: We are submitting our proposal with a letter
of intent from our subcontractor for the registry operations/data
center. Is it acceptable to submit a complete detailed document
of their operations no later than Wednesday, 4 October? The
additonal document is in the final stages of completion for that
section of the proposal.
Item 24 of the New TLD Application Instructions states:
I24. The complete application, including
all forms, attachments, and accompanying materials, along with
the check for the non-refundable application fee (or wire-transfer
documentation), must be received by ICANN at its office in Marina
del Rey during the period beginning 5 September and ending 2
October 2000. All materials must be received before 5:00 pm,
California time, on 2 October 2000.
Only the following materials will be accepted
after the 5:00 pm (California time) 2 October 2000 deadline:
(a) notification of a material change in circumstances (b) withdrawal
of the application, and (c) items requested by ICANN. (Please
note the completion after the deadline of documentation required
as part of the application does not constitute a "material
change in circumstances".) If you submit your application
on 2 October without some element of documentation, ICANN will
consider the application without that element. If the element
is required by the application materials (such as Item
D15.3(c) of the Registry Operator's Proposal, which requires
a comprehensive technical proposal from certain subcontractors),
omission of that element may reflect negatively on the application.
FAQ #73: I understand application must be in both hard
copy and electronic format. For attachments such as lengthy shareholder's
agreements from participating organizations --- can they be scanned
and submitted as jpeg or tiff or must they by submitted in Word
The portions of the application specified
in Items I7
of the New TLD Application Instructions must be submitted in
both hard copy (paper) form and electronic form on one or more
3 ½" floppy diskettes (IBM high density) or on a
CD-ROM in a common word-processing format and in HTML format.
(MS Word is acceptable for the word-processing format.) Accompanying
materials requested in these portions (such as the articles of
incorporation, association, etc. sought by Item
C1 of the Sponsoring Organization's Proposal) must be submitted
in HTML and word-processing format.
#40 and FAQ
#60 for related information.
Comments concerning the layout, construction and
functionality of this site
should be sent to email@example.com.
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Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
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