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Internet Users Forum - New Top Level Domains (TLDs ) -
launching a process that meets the needs for the world's user and registrants

Sunday, 26 March, 14:00 - 16:30
Wellington Convention Centre
Wellington, New Zealand
Sponsored by ICANN's At-Large Advisory Committee

Welcome and Introductions - Moderator, Bret Fausett, At-Large Advisory Committee Liaison to the GNSO Council

The ICANN community seems poised to collectively answer "YES" to the question "Should there be new TLDs?" and must now resolve the challenging issues of "How." The focus of this forum is how to launch a new top level domain selection process that enhances user and registrant choice worldwide. Community leaders will help frame an open discussion of the key issues listed below.

What are the lessons learned from previous rounds of domain name selections and how do we apply them?

The "proof of concept" seven and the latest sTLDs - are these TLD models successful or are changes needed? Were the objectives of these selection rounds met? Were these selection processes a good judge of what users, registrants, and the market wanted? Do they scale? Can they be politically hijacked? Are small TLDs OK and should they continue to be encouraged? How have the existing Registry operator business models and recent amendments to Registry Services Agreements affected users and registrants? Etc.

How do we "internationalize" top level domains?

Did the previous TLD selection processes provide a "level playing field" internationally? How can the next selection process meet demands for broader use of the Internet throughout the world, and particularly in developing countries? Should new gTLDs be required to participate in IDN tests and take steps to incorporate non-ASCII character sets? What should be done to encourage TLD applications in major non-English languages? Is a wider geographical distribution of TLD registries needed? Etc.

What should the next Top Level Domain application process look like?

What allocation method is in the best interest of users and registrants -- auctions, ballots, firstcome firstserved and comparative evaluation? What standards need to be applied to ensure "predictability and stability?" Should ICANN set prices? Should preferential selection criteria be developed and what should it encourage? Etc.

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