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>ICANN Yokohama Meeting Topic: Introduction of New Top-Level Domains--Summary of Board Actions Being Considered

Posted: 6 July 2000

The Topic Summary entitled "ICANN Yokohama Meeting Topic: Introduction of New Top-Level Domains" (posted 13 June 2000) discusses in lengthy detail numerous aspects of the issues surrounding the introduction of new top-level domains and poses 74 questions on which community comment is specifically sought. Comments may be submitted through the web-based Public Comment Forum until 10 July 2000; some time will also be allotted for in-person comments on this topic at the public forum to be held on 15 July 2000 in Yokohama.

Several members of the community have asked for a summary of the actions the Board may consider taking at the Yokohama meeting concerning new top-level domains. The proposed implementation plan presented in the Topic Summary spans several months, and contemplates that the ICANN Board would take actions over several meetings to complete the introduction of new top-level domains. Under the proposed implementation plan, the following Board actions will be considered at the Yokohama meeting:

1. Adoption of principles for the introduction of new TLDs. Suggested principles are discussed at length in Section II of the Topic Summary.

2. Approval of an implementation plan, including a schedule, for the introduction. Section III of the Topic Summary suggests a detailed implementation plan and schedule, with the goal of completion of contracts between ICANN and registries/sponsors by 1 December 2000.

3. Definition of the application process, including application fees. Under the suggested implementation plan, applications from those proposing to operate or sponsor new top-level domains will be received between 1 August and 1 October 2000. To proceed with implementation, it is likely that at its Yokohama meeting the Board will consider approving an application process. Some suggested data elements to be sought in the application process are set forth in Section IV of the Topic Summary.

It is proposed that application fees be established to cover ICANN's costs in receiving, investigating, evaluating, and acting on the applications. Because ICANN has not previously conducted an application process for those proposing to operate or sponsor new top-level domains, it is difficult to determine the likely overall cost with precision. The number of applications to be received is also unknown, with only limited data available based on the (so far relatively few) expressions of interest submitted. ICANN estimates that the direct cost of receiving, investigating, evaluating, and acting on the applications is likely to be in the range of US$150,000 to US$350,000. Assuming that somewhere in the range of 7-20 applications are submitted, to recover ICANN's costs this would lead to a non-refundable application fee in the range of US$7,500 to US$50,000.

Members of the Internet community are invited to comment on the proposed application process, including the appropriate fee levels, through the ICANN web-based Public Comment Forum or in person at the public forum to be held on 15 July 2000 in Yokohama.

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