[AfrICANN-discuss] Questions on new gTLDs process at ICANN?

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Wed May 9 14:52:34 SAST 2007

Here is a FAQ available at:
http://www.icann.org/topics/new-gtld-strategy-faq.htm  -- Please share with

New gTLDs — Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated 8 May 2007

* 1. What is a gTLD? *

gTLD stands for generic top-level domain. gTLDs are part of the structure of
the Internet's domain-name system (DNS). Each of the generic TLDs was
created for a general category of organizations (see RFC
Examples of gTLDs are .EDU, .JOBS, and .COM. A complete list of existing
gTLDs is available at http://www.iana.org/gtld/gtld.htm.   The
responsibility for operating each gTLD (including maintaining a registry of
the domain names within the gTLD) is delegated to a particular organization.
These organizations are referred to as "registry operators" or "sponsors."

ccTLDs (country-code top-level domains) are also part of the DNS structure.
ccTLDs are top-level domains which have been established for over 240
countries and territories (for example, .ZA, .AU, .FR). A listing of
existing ccTLDs is available at http://www.iana.org/root-whois/index.html.

*2. How are gTLDs established? *

New gTLDs have previously been established based on proposals that were
submitted to ICANN during specific application periods. Materials from the
previous application processes are available at
http://www.icann.org/tlds/app-index.htm (2000) and
http://www.icann.org/tlds/stld-apps-19mar04/ (2003-4). Applications received
during these rounds were evaluated against previously-published criteria,
and those applicants who were successful went on to sign TLD Registry
Agreements <http://www.icann.org/registries/agreements.htm> with ICANN.

*3. How do I apply for a new gTLD? *

There is no gTLD application process open at this time, but work is underway
to lead to announcement of a new gTLD application round. A policy
development process (see below) is in progress with the aim of creating a
standing policy that will guide future introduction of new gTLDs. You can
find more information on this process at
http://www.icann.org/topics/gtld-strategy-area.html. When this process is
complete and a policy has been adopted, ICANN will be able to initiate a new
gTLD application process.

*4. When will I be able to apply for a new gTLD and how long does the
process take? *

No dates for a new gTLD application process have been established at this
time. The time frame for this is dependent on the outcome of the policy
development process mentioned above. There will be an extended period of
outreach and information sharing prior to any new round to ensure that
potential applicants have all the information they need.

Detailed application information will be published prior to the application
round opening, and timeframes for the application process will be available
at that time.

*5. How will gTLD applications be assessed? *

A detailed request for proposal (RFP) will be published prior to
commencement of any application period. The RFP will provide complete
applicant and string criteria requirements, and applications will be
assessed against these published criteria. See also the GNSO's policy
development documents <http://gnso.icann.org/issues/new-gtlds/> for
background on draft recommendations in regard to criteria.

*6. I have an idea for a new gTLD. Can I register my idea with ICANN in
advance of the next application period? *

No. ICANN will accept submissions only during an open application period.

*7. How much is the application fee? *

The application fee will be published as part of the RFP. The RFP is
currently in development and thus fee information is not yet available. As a
general guide, the fee will be set at a level which enables the full
recovery of costs associated with running the application process.

*8. Does this application process cover new ccTLDs also? *

No. Information on procedures for establishing ccTLDs is available at
anyone, including ccTLD operators, may apply to operate a new gTLD.

*9. Can applicants who were not selected in previous rounds re-apply in
future rounds? *


*10. Will applicants who participated in the previous gTLD application
processes receive special treatment in future rounds? *

No. All applications submitted will receive the same level of scrutiny. See
also http://www.icann.org/correspondence/schwartz-to-hemphill-24jan07.pdf<http://www.icann.org/general/bylaws.htm#annexA>.

*11. Will applicants operating alternate root systems be given preferential
treatment in future rounds? *

No. All applicants in a potential future application process would be
equally eligible for a particular TLD string. ICANN is committed to a
single, authoritative public root for the DNS and to the management of that
unique root in the public interest according to policies developed through
community processes. Please see ICP-3
<http://www.icann.org/icp/icp-3.htm>for a detailed statement of
ICANN's position on alternate roots.

*12. How does the policy development process work? *

The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) is responsible for creating
policy applicable to gTLDs. The GNSO's constituencies and Council members
work to arrive at consensus policy recommendations which, if adopted by the
GNSO Council, are passed on to the ICANN Board of Directors. If approved by
the Board, the policy is adopted and implemented by staff.

The GNSO Policy Development Process (PDP) is formally defined in the ICANN
Bylaws (see http://www.icann.org/general/bylaws.htm#AnnexA).

*13. How can I participate in the policy development process? *

The GNSO contains six constituencies. To get involved in one of these
groups, see the links below or http://gnso.icann.org.

   - Commercial & Business<http://gnso.icann.org/commercial-and-business/>
   - gTLD Registries <http://gnso.icann.org/gtld-registries/>
   - Internet Service & Connection
   - Non-Commercial <http://gnso.icann.org/non-commercial/>
   - Registrars <http://gnso.icann.org/registrars/>
   - Intellectual Property <http://gnso.icann.org/intellectual-property/>

 Other groups within the ICANN community also provide input into the GNSO's
process from specific perspectives, including those of individual users,
governments, and technical experts. See http://www.icann.org/structure/ for
additional information on ICANN's structure.

Additionally, the GNSO frequently requests general input and submissions
from the community as part of its deliberations. For more information, see

*14. How can I get updates on the GNSO policy development process? *

The GNSO's page on new gTLDs is at http://gnso.icann.org/issues/new-gtlds/.
You can also sign up for general ICANN updates at

*15. What is the process for submitting questions about new gTLDs? *

ICANN encourages community inquiries on the gTLD process and questions may
be sent to newgtld at icann.org. Questions and answers will be posted to this
FAQ, which can be viewed at
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