[council] Progress on new gTLDs

Avri Doria avri at acm.org
Mon Aug 15 17:39:03 UTC 2005


Thanks for the overview and proposed plan.

I have some embedded questions and initial comments.

On 15 aug 2005, at 06.15, Bruce Tonkin wrote:

> 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

Was the pointer to this evaluation included in Olof's report.  I  
don't remember seeing it?  Who did the evaluation?  And who approved it?

> 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.

Other then the recommendation that is should be bottom up and user  
driven, a good idea, has the council made done any work on the  
structure of evolving namespace?

Also, while defining a structured namespace and allowing bottom up  
user driven process may seem to be contradiction, it does seem  
reasonable that the bottom up process be constrained to some minimal  

> 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
> evaluation)
> 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.

This seems like a good approach.

> In parallel we could look at the question of how many
> new TLDs (and whether to introduce them in phases).

I understand there are operational constraints on how many could be  
introduced at a time.  But I don't have this information.  Is this  
info avaialble, or does someone need to research that operational  

> If the outcome is
> that only a limited number of new TLDs can be introduced at a time -

Seems almost certain that it would be.  No matter how big the limit,  
there are organizational scalability issues that would prevent too  
many from happening, in a controlled and stable manner, in any given  
unit of time.

> then we need to consider how they will be allocated (e.g ballot,
> auction, first-come first served).

If we define criteria for a successful application, then it seems  
reasonable to take them on a first come, first served as long as it  
meets criteria.  Using a ballot, leaves the selection open to  
subjective and interest driven decisions.

As for an auction, this might be a good idea if the proceeds were to  
be used for appropriate charitable purposes, such as capacity  
building and education.  But it might prevent the less well heeled  
from obtaining TLDs.  I am personally uncomfortable with only  
granting new TLDs to the richest applicants.


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