Progress on new gTLDs

Last Updated: 31 August 2009
GNSO Home | issues | new-gtlds | progress-new-gtlds-table.htm


GNSO Policy

Board decision

Staff Action

18/19 April 2000

The Names Council determines that the report of Working Group C and related comments indicate that there exists a consensus for the introduction of new gTLDs in a measured and responsible manner. The Names Council therefore recommends to the ICANN Board that it establish a policy for the introduction of new gTLDs in a measured and responsible manner, giving due regard in the implementation of that policy to

  • (a) promoting orderly registration of names during the initial phases;
  • (b) minimizing the use of gTLDs to carry out infringements of intellectual property rights;
  • and (c) recognizing the need for ensuring user confidence in the technical operation of the new TLD and the DNS as a whole.

Because there is no recent experience in introducing new gTLDs, we recommend to the Board that a limited number of new top-level domains be introduced initially and that the future introduction of additional top-level domains be done only after careful evaluation of the initial introduction.


The Names Council takes note of the fact that the WG C report indicates that several types of domains should be considered in the initial introduction, these being:

  • fully open top-level domains,
  • restricted and chartered top-level domains with limited scope,
  • non-commercial domains and personal domains.

Implementation should promote competition in the domain-name registration business at the registry and registrar levels.

The Names Council recognizes that any roll-out must not jeopardize the stability of the Internet, and assumes a responsible process for introducing new gTLDs, which includes ensuring that there is close coordination with organizations dealing with Internet protocols and standards.

To assist the Board in the task of introducing new gTLDs, the Names Council recommends that the ICANN staff invite expressions of interest from parties seeking to operate any new gTLD registry, with an indication as to how they propose to ensure to promote these values.



19 May 2000

The Names Council recognizes the enormous work undertaken by Working Group B. The Names Council acknowledges that according to its final report, Working Group B has reached consensus on three points, namely:

1. Some type of mechanism, yet to be determined, is necessary in connection with famous trademarks and the operation of the Domain Name System.

2. There does not appear to be the need for the creation of a universally famous marks list at this point in time.

3. The protection afforded to trademark owners should depend upon the type of top-level domains that are added to the root.

"With regards to points (1) and (3), the NC notes that the Working Group members could not reach consensus on the type of mechanism that should be incorporated into the roll-out of new gTLDs (point (1)), which is understandable given their consensus in point (3) that the protection should likely vary depending on the type of top-level domain.

"The NC concludes that there is community consensus and recommends that there should be varying degrees of protection for intellectual property during the startup phase of new top-level domains. Therefore, the NC recommends that the ICANN Board make clear that nothing in the general consensus items, or areas of non-consensus, should be construed as creating immunity from the UDRP or other legal proceeding should a domain name registrant in a chartered top-level domain violate the charter or other legal enforceable rights. The NC notes that the principles of differentiated gTLDs (from WG-C) may provide additional assistance in avoiding confusion.

"With regards to item (2) on universally famous marks, the NC concludes that there is no consensus in the community at the present time that such a list should be adopted by ICANN.




13 June 2000



Suggested Principles for introduction of new TLDs:


  • The need to maintain the Internet's stability: a "measured and responsible" introduction
  • A well-controlled, small scale introduction as a “proof of concept” for possible future introductions
  • The purposes for adding new TLDs
    • Enhancing competition for registration services
    • Enhancing the utility of the DNS
    • Enhancing the number of available domain names
  • Delegation of policy formulation requirements for special purpose TLDs
  • New TLDs to meet new types of needs
  • Start-up challenges and the protection of intellectual property







16 July 2000 ( Yokohama)


Resolved [00.46] that the Board hereby adopts the Names Council's recommendation that a policy be established for the introduction of new TLDs in a measured and responsible manner.

Resolved [00.47] that the President is authorized to implement this policy according to the following schedule, which the President may adjust if necessary to accommodate circumstances that arise:

Resolved [00.49] in connection with applications, the President should seek information that he determines is appropriate. Without limiting the information that may be sought, the Board commends to the President's consideration the data elements described in section IV of the staff paper, and also notes that the data elements should include:

  • full information about the technical, business, management, and financial capabilities of the proposed operator of the registry;
  • a detailed description of the policies contemplated to promote orderly registration of names in the initial phases of introduction of the TLD;
  • full details concerning arrangements proposed to protect users in the event of registry failure; and
  • measures proposed for minimizing use of the TLD to carry out infringements or other abuses of intellectual property rights.

Resolved [00.50] that the President is authorized to establish guidelines for assessing which proposals to select for negotiations toward entry of agreements with registry sponsors and operators. The Board commends the following topics to the President for inclusion in the guidelines:

  • The need to maintain the Internet's stability, and especially the protection of domain-name holders from the effects of registry or registration-system failure.
  • The extent to which selection of the proposal would lead to an effective "proof of concept" concerning the introduction of top-level domains in the future, including the diversity the proposal would bring to the program, such as fully open top level domains, restricted and chartered domains with limited scope, noncommercial domains, and personal domains; and a variety of business models and geographic locations.
  • The enhancement of competition for registration services at the registry and registrar level.
  • The enhancement of the utility of the DNS.
  • The evaluation of delegation of policy-formulation functions for special-purpose TLDs to appropriate organizations.
  • The extent to which the proposal would meet previously unmet types of needs.
  • The importance of appropriate protections of rights of others, including intellectual property rights, in connection with the operation of the TLD, especially during the start-up phases.

Resolved [00.51] that the President is authorized to seek technical advice from appropriate individuals or organizations to assist the evaluation of proposals.




31 July 2002



New TLD Evaluation Planning Task Force completes its report with questions that should be addressed in the evaluation of new gTLDs.

15 Dec 2002 ( Amsterdam)


Board asks president to implement recommendations of the New TLD Evaluation planning task force.

Board asks GNSO to whether to structure the evolution of the generic top-level namespace.

Board directs the President to prepare a draft RFP to solicit proposals for a limited number of new sponsored gTLDs.


22 May 2003

In response to the question asked of it by the Board, the GNSO council concludes:

Expansion of the gTLD namespace should be a bottom-up approach with names proposed by the interested parties to ICANN.

Expansion should be demand-driven. Furthermore, there should be a set of objective criteria to be met in any future expansion.

The development of this set of objective criteria should be the subject of a new Policy Development Process (PDP).

These ideas are expanded in a report together with the responses of the GNSO Constituencies and the ALAC which will be forwarded to the Board in June.



24 June 2003 ( Montreal)

The GNSO Council advises the ICANN Board that the namespace should be market driven and that organizations were free to propose names that they believed would be of use to DNS users.



31 October 2003 ( Tunisia)


Board notes that the areas to be covered in the development of policy on TLDs include:

  • completion of the formal review of the TLDs created in the new-TLD proof of concept initiated in 2000,
  • obtaining advice and analysis on issues pertinent to long-term policy for TLDs from expert sources, receipt and review of community input,


  • consideration and commencement if deemed appropriate of a targeted Policy-Development Process within the Generic Names Supporting Organization, and consultation with ICANN’s Advisory Committees and other Supporting Organizations.

Board directs the President to begin an expeditious and targeted development of strategy and policy leading to a streamlined process for the introduction of new gtlds,



31 October 2003

( Tunisia)


Board directs the President to finalize and post no later than 15 December 2003 an open Request for Proposals for a limited number of new sTLDs, such final RFP to be based on the points of agreement indicated above and the comments received concerning the draft RFP.


Board requests that the selection process and implementation for sTLDs shall be evaluated and the results of such evaluation shall be utilized in the New gTLD process scheduled to be completed in 2004.



10 July 2004



Independent evaluation report on the “proof of concept” of the introduction of new TLDs.

30 Sept 2004



Staff report on a strategy for obtaining input from the community to determine the process for introducing new TLDs.

7 June 2005



Staff paper on questions to consider in introducing new TLDs:

  • How many new TLDs should ICANN designate and with what frequency?
  • Which naming conventions should apply?
  • Which allocation method or methods should be used?
  • What conditions should ICANN impose on new TLD operators?
  • As a special case, how will the deployment of Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) at the top level impact discussion and findings on the questions above?