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[council] Updates to New gTLD Program Implementation

  • To: "council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [council] Updates to New gTLD Program Implementation
  • From: Glen de Saint Géry <Glen@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 10 Aug 2008 07:32:20 -0700
  • Accept-language: fr-FR, en-US
  • Acceptlanguage: fr-FR, en-US
  • List-id: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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  • Thread-index: Acj69eWVFl1ppxlnR4q7/HsJ/WaoSA==
  • Thread-topic: Updates to New gTLD Program Implementation

[To: council[at]gnso.icann.org; liaison6c[at]gnso.icann.org]
[To: ga[at]gnso.icann.org; announce[at]gnso.icann.org]
[To: regional-liaisons[at]icann.org]


Updates to New gTLD Program Implementation
8 August 2008

Economic Case for Auctions in New gTLDs Paper Released -- During the ICANN 
meeting in Paris, France, ICANN staff made a commitment to release a paper 
describing the economic case for auctions as a tiebreaking mechanism for 
resolving contention among identical or confusingly similar applications for 
new gTLDs. ICANN is today making the Economic Case for Auctions in New gTLDs 
paper available so that the community can provide feedback on this element of 
the forthcoming implementation plan.

The paper [PDF, 52K] was prepared by ICANN's auction design consultant 
PowerAuctions LLC with support from ICANN staff. The paper notes that auctions 
as a tiebreaking mechanism accomplish a goal of allocative efficiency through a 
transparent, objective and scalable process for the resolution of gTLD 

This paper does not address specific details on how an auction process to 
resolve string contention may be conducted. These details will be provided as 
part of the larger information on new gTLD implementation to be presented to 
the community in the near future.

A public forum has been established at at 
http://forum.icann.org/lists/auction-consultation/. Comments submitted to 
auction-consultation@xxxxxxxxx will be considered until 7 September 2008 23:59 
UTC (8 Aug 2008).


String Similarity Algorithm Update -- ICANN staff recently completed a workshop 
with SWORD, the partner who is assisting ICANN with the creation of an 
algorithm that will help automate the process for assessing similarity among 
proposed and existing TLD strings. SWORD's verbal search algorithms are used by 
various patent and trademark offices throughout the world. SWORD has completed 
a beta algorithm and reviewed several test cases with ICANN staff. This is 
being done in order to refine the parameters and discuss how the algorithm 
could be successfully integrated as a tool to help implement the GNSO's 
recommendation that new gTLD strings should not result in user confusion with 
existing TLDs.


Backend Registry Certification Not Available in First Round -- On 31 January 
2008, ICANN posted an announcement 
(http://www.icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-2-31jan08.htm) to inform 
the community that it was exploring a potential initiative for the 
certification of backend registry operators for new gTLDs. ICANN staff has 
determined not to proceed with this initiative in the first round of the new 
gTLD process. The initiative was suggested as a possible means to streamline 
the application process for new gTLDs and to create a pool of pre-qualified 
registry operators who could provide assistance in the event of a registry 
failure. Exploration of the initiative was also prompted by inquiries from 
community members who expressed the potential positive aspects that creation of 
the certification might promote.

During the exploration of the initiative, ICANN consulted with the community 
including technical experts and gTLD and ccTLD registries and registry service 
providers. Potential operational benefits and risks of implementing the 
initiative were assessed. Ultimately, a decision was made to not proceed with 
certification as part of the initial new gTLD application round based upon a 
number of factors. Some of these are: additional assessment as to effects 
certification might have on the marketplace, e.g., whether the implementation 
might cause expansion or contraction; additional collaboration with the 
community as to the terms of such a certification; and weighing the potential 
post-certification activities including ongoing testing, re-certification and 
the introduction of new compliance activities. It was also deemed important to 
be able to assess the positive and negative aspects of the new gTLD 
implementation without possible crossover effects of this additional 
certification. This independence of interactions can be better assured by 
introducing the certification (if it is deemed appropriate after additional 
analysis) at a later date.

Both ccTLD and gTLD backend registry operators can still offer to provide 
registry services to new gTLDs. The Request for Proposals for new gTLDs, when 
published, will detail the minimum technical criteria and pre-delegation check 
requirements that must be met by every applicant prior to the approval of their 
TLD for insertion into the root. New gTLD applicants might choose to build 
their own registry infrastructure and systems, retain the services of an 
existing gTLD or ccTLD registry services provider, or contract with another 
technical services provider.

Glen de Saint Géry
GNSO Secretariat

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