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ICANN Consults On New TLDs

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

15 August 2007

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) last week announced that it is taking another step towards its goal of bringing new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) online, with the launch on Friday of a public consultation on a key report from ICANN’s Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO).

“This is all about providing Internet users with choice. More top-level domains – the part of the domain name that comes after the last dot – mean more competition, more options, and the possibility for more targeted or user-specific domain names,” explained Dr Paul Twomey, ICANN’s President and CEO.

He continued:

“When coupled with ICANN’s current work on introducing internationalized domain names, it is possible that hundreds and, eventually, more than 1,000 new TLDs could be created.”

The GNSO report describes proposed global policies related to the creation of new top-level domain, which would advance ICANN’s mission of preserving the security, stability and interoperability of the Internet.

“The report raises some interesting questions – like how to deal with proposals that may be considered controversial by some groups or individuals. That’s why it’s so important that as many people as possible share their advice and help us ensure that the new gTLD process works,” observed Dr Twomey.

While all input is being welcomed by ICANN, the consultation is specifically looking for comments in a number of areas:

  • The package of principles, proposed policy recommendations and implementation guidelines for new gTLDs;
  • The selection criteria for new top-level domains related to applicants, strings, and processes;
  • Contractual conditions for new top-level domain operators; and
  • Proposed procedures for resolving objections to strings or applicants.

The consultation closes on August 30, 2007.

A complete summary and analysis of community feedback will be made available at the end of the comment period, and will be considered by the GNSO Council prior to its vote on the report on September 6, 2007. If the Council accepts the policy recommendations, it will be then be considered by the ICANN Board.

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