[Newgtld-input] Comments on Processing of New gTLD Applications

Henry Chan henry.chan at hkirc.hk
Thu Aug 16 09:39:28 UTC 2012

Dear new gTLD Program Committee,

Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (HKIRC), the registry of
the .hk and .香港ccTLDs, submits the following comments on the processing of
new gTLD applications on behalf of the .MTR new gTLD application, in HKIRC's
capacity as the application's consultant.

We also attached a PDF version of the same comment for your use.

Overall comment:

HKIRC would like to commend ICANN on continuously seeking and addressing to
inputs from the community, especially from the applicants, regarding the
application process. HKIRC also appreciates the termination of the batching
process in the form of "Digital Archery", in response to the negative
feedback shared by majority of the applicant community.
HKIRC supports the idea of evaluating all the applications in a single batch
and announcing all the Initial Evaluation results simultaneously, as
suggested by the community during the Prague ICANN meeting. We acknowledge
the fact that the time required for the Initial Evaluation might be
lengthened, yet, we regard the likely delay in conclusion of the Initial
Evaluation process a justifiable sacrifice for the sake of fairness to all

HKIRC acknowledges that the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) will only
be able to finalise the considerations for providing any GAC advice on gTLD
applications by April 2013 and that the clearance from GAC advice is a
component of the gTLD application process. 

HKIRC appreciates that ICANN is not planning to delegate TLDs at a rate
greater than 1,000 per year, due to the challenge with maintaining root zone
stability by controlling the rate of change to the root zone system. 

However, HKIRC is of the view that there shall be a natural smoothing of
applications ready to enter the stages of pre-delegation testing and
delegation. There are currently 751 contended applications out of the total
of 1,927 (with deduction of the three application withdrawals as of 10
August 2012). Potentially, there shall be less than 1,176 applications ready
to enter the next stages right after Initial Evaluation concluded and the
number is very close to the 1,000 per year delegation rate mentioned above.
ICANN should be able to delegate all of these TLDs within a one-year time
frame. By replying to the three questions ICANN posted for this comment
opportunity, HKIRC shall propose below a metering method for delegating the
TLDs within the one-year time frame.

Reply to the specific questions:

1.	Should the metering or smoothing consider releasing evaluation
results, and transitioning applications into the contract execution and
pre-delegation testing phases, at different times?
a.	How can applications be allocated to particular release times in a
fair and equitable way?
b.	Would this approach provide sufficient smoothing of the delegation
c.	Provide reasoning for selecting this approach.

HKIRC is of the view that the release of Initial Evaluation results for all
applications should be simultaneous. As mentioned before, there shall be a
natural smoothing of the 1,927 applications where at least 751 of them will
be taking different paths through objections and contention resolution
processes. The approximate 1,000 applications should all be transitioned
into the contract execution and pre-delegation testing phases at the same
time and handled within the one year time frame. This arrangement shall
ensure that the release time of the applications is fair and equitable (it
is in fact equal).

2.	Should the metering or smoothing be accomplished by downstream
metering of application processing (i.e., in the contract execution,
pre-delegation testing or delegation phases)?
a.	How can applications be allocated to a particular timing in contract
execution, pre-delegation testing, or delegation in a fair and equitable
b.	Provide reasoning for selecting this approach.

HKIRC would suggest that all “brand”, or specifically, trademark TLD
applications that will be reserved for internal use and will not be open for
registration (i.e. as closed registry) shall be handled first in contract
execution, pre-delegation testing or delegation phases on a first-come,
first-served basis. This arrangement is in fact a common and proven practice
in the domain name industry, where trademark holders are usually given the
highest priority when a new TLD is introduced via a "sunrise" registration
period. The reason behind such arrangement is that the protection of
trademarks and intellectual property has always been considered the most
important priority to the community, and that the ICANN new gTLD process has
incorporated and should continue maintaining elements that protect the
interests of trademark and intellectual property owners. 

Moreover, we expect that the work required for executing the contracts and
testing for delegation should not be controversial and should be
straightforward with the “brand” and closed TLD registries. ICANN would be
given a good chance to process these TLDs in a relatively short period of
time and learn from the experience, so that when it moves forward to process
the “commercial” TLD delegations after this phase, it can ramp up the
speed easily and smoothly. Processing the “brand” TLD delegation also
posts minimal to zero impact to the “commercial” TLDs offering
registration services, where they are more likely to be impacted by the
launch time of their peers. 

Our proposed priority should not be given to closed registries with generic
and non-trademarked applied-for strings. As their TLDs are not trademarks,
they have no good reason to be considered eligible for the priority as
proposed above.

After all the “brand” TLDs are delegated, or when resource is available
for ICANN to start taking up the work for other “types” of applications,
other applications shall be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

3.	Include a statement describing the level of importance that the
order of evaluation and delegation has for your application.

We are of the view that it is of utmost importance for our application to be
evaluated simultaneously with others and to have the Initial Evaluation
results released also at the same time with others. As “MTR” is an
established, rightful and well recognised trademark of MTR Corporation
Limited, we consider that it is important and equitable for .MTR to be
delegated at the first phase of the one-year time frame after the release of
the Initial Evaluation results.


Henry CHAN
Manager, Business Development
Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (HKIRC)
Tel: +852 2319 3830
Mobile: +852 9034 0174
Fax: +852 2319 2626

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