gTLD App A plica ant uide ebook Gu (30 May M 201 11) Potentia al applicantts should be e aware that this version n of the Guidebo ook is for co onsideration n and not ye et approved d. The propose ed details off the New gTLD g Program m remain su ubject to furrther consulta ation and re evision.
30 May M 2011
30 May 2011 Dear Prospective Applicant, Thank you for your interest in the New Generic Top‐Level Domain Program. This landmark program has the potential to create more choice for Internet users, empower innovation, stimulate economic activity and generate new business opportunities around the world. The program seeks to introduce new gTLDs while providing new protections for rights holders and Internet users, creating a safer online environment. Since ICANN’s creation in 1998, the domain name space has only expanded to 22 generic top‐level domains. Today we are preparing to launch a program that will mark a new phase of diversity in languages, participants, and business models on the Internet. Throughout this process, I have been struck by the amount of time and effort our stakeholders have devoted to improving the New gTLD Program. Your insightful, thoughtful and provocative comments have shaped every aspect of this program, which in turn will shape the future of the Internet. In keeping with our established timeline, the Applicant Guidebook has been updated in advance of the special Board of Directors meeting to be held on Monday, 20 June 2011. This draft is based on public comments received in the last four weeks from a wide range of stakeholders. It also reflects the productive and ongoing dialogue between the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and the Board, which has resulted in refinements to trademark and consumer protections. In parallel, the GAC and Board have engaged in important discussions on a process for providing assistance to potential applicants from developing countries. ICANN works toward the common good of providing a stable, secure and unified global Internet. In performing its core function of overseeing the Internet's unique identifier systems, it also promotes competition and consumer choice. New gTLDs are in line with those goals, and I thank you for your support. Respectfully,
Rod Beckstrom President and CEO
Preamble New gTLD Program Background New gTLDs have been in the forefront of ICANN’s agenda since its creation. The new gTLD program will open up the top level of the Internet’s namespace to foster diversity, encourage competition, and enhance the utility of the DNS. Currently the namespace consists of 22 gTLDs and over 250 ccTLDs operating on various models. Each of the gTLDs has a designated “registry operator” and, in most cases, a Registry Agreement between the operator (or sponsor) and ICANN. The registry operator is responsible for the technical operation of the TLD, including all of the names registered in that TLD. The gTLDs are served by over 900 registrars, who interact with registrants to perform domain name registration and other related services. The new gTLD program will create a means for prospective registry operators to apply for new gTLDs, and create new options for consumers in the market. When the program launches its first application round, ICANN expects a diverse set of applications for new gTLDs, including IDNs, creating significant potential for new uses and benefit to Internet users across the globe. The program has its origins in carefully deliberated policy development work by the ICANN community. In October 2007, the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO)—one of the groups that coordinate global Internet policy at ICANN—formally completed its policy development work on new gTLDs and approved a set of 19 policy recommendations. Representatives from a wide variety of stakeholder groups—governments, individuals, civil society, business and intellectual property constituencies, and the technology community—were engaged in discussions for