[council] Progress on new gTLDs

Bruce Tonkin Bruce.Tonkin at melbourneit.com.au
Mon Aug 15 10:15:24 UTC 2005

Hello All,

I have been reviewing the paper produced by Olof on past decisions
relating to new TLDs.   There is certainly a lot of work done on this
topic already.

I have also found some additional decisions from the GNSO Council around
May and June 2003 as an outcome of the GNSO Council gTLDs committee.

I have attached a table that may assist the Council track the major
policies and decisions.

The basic flow of the table is that the GNSO Council has made policy
recommendations to the ICANN Board.  The ICANN Board has approved these
recommendations as ICANN policy, and directed staff to take various
actions to implement the policies.

There seem to be two main threads in the decisions.

The first thread is as follows:
- the Names Council/GNSO support introducing new TLDs, but requests that
the ICANN community first start with a proof of concept, and evaluate
the outcome of that proof of concept, before moving ahead with the
introduction of more TLDs
- The ICANN Board authorises a proof-of-concept round, and then a
further extension of that proof-of-concept for additional sponsored TLDs
- the evaluation of the first phase of the proof-of-concept was
completed in July 2004

The second thread starts around Dec 2002, and assumes that new TLDS will
be created:
- The GNSO Council is asked by the Board whether to structure the
evolution of the generic top-level namespace
- the GNSO responds that interested parties should be free to propose
names and the process should be market driven (ie the market decides
what new names to add).
- the GNSO recommends that a Policy Development Process be used to
establish a set of objective criteria for new TLDs
- in October 2003, the Board asks the ICANN staff to come up with the
process for addiing new TLDs
- subsequently the staff have produced a report detailing the input
necessary to develop the process, and also created a set of questions
that need to be addressed

The Council has not been actively involved since 2003.

I believe that we first need to complete the first thread:
- ie should we continue to introduce new TLDs based on the outcomes of
the proof-of-concpet round?
(to answer this question we should review the original reasons
for/against introducing new TLDs, allow a short comment period for other
(or new) reasons for/against to be supplied, review the output of the

With respect to the second thread, it is clear that the GNSO intended
that interested parties be able to submit proposed names.   I think we
should focus first on developing an objective criteria for new
applications.   In parallel we could look at the question of how many
new TLDs (and whether to introduce them in phases).   If the outcome is
that only a limited number of new TLDs can be introduced at a time -
then we need to consider how they will be allocated (e.g ballot,
auction, first-come first served).

I would like to hear the views from others on this list on this issue.

It seems to me that once we have discussed this material, that the next
step would be a joint teleconference with interested members of the
Board and the Council to agree on the next steps.


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