The ICANN New gTLD Applicant Guidebook Online Viewer

presented by Cloud Registry.

Attachment to Module 2
Evaluation Questions and Criteria
Since ICANN was founded in 1998 as a not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder organization, one of its key mandates has been to promote competition in the domain name market. ICANN’s mission specifically calls for the corporation to maintain and build on processes that will ensure competition and consumer interests – without compromising Internet security and stability. This includes the consideration and implementation of new gTLDs. It is ICANN’s goal to make the criteria and evaluation as objective as possible. While new gTLDs are viewed by ICANN as important to fostering choice, innovation and competition in domain registration services, the decision to launch these coming new gTLD application rounds followed a detailed and lengthy consultation process with all constituencies of the global Internet community. Any public or private sector organization can apply to create and operate a new gTLD. However the process is not like simply registering or buying a second-level domain name. Instead, the application process is to evaluate and select candidates capable of running a registry, a business that manages top level domains such as, for example, .COM or .INFO. Any successful applicant will need to meet published operational and technical criteria in order to preserve Internet stability and interoperability.

I. 

Principles of the Technical and Financial New gTLD Evaluation Criteria
Principles of conservatism. This is the first round of what is to be an ongoing process for the introduction of new TLDs, including Internationalized Domain Names. Therefore, the criteria in this round require applicants to provide a thorough and thoughtful analysis of the technical requirements to operate a registry and the proposed business model. The criteria and evaluation should be as objective as possible.  With that goal in mind, an important objective of the new TLD process is to diversify the namespace, with different registry business models and target audiences. In some cases, criteria that are objective, but that ignore the differences in business models and target audiences of new registries, will tend to make the process exclusionary. For example, the business model for a registry targeted to a small community need not possess the same robustness in funding and technical infrastructure as a registry intending to compete with large gTLDs. Therefore purely objective criteria such as a requirement for a certain amount of cash on hand will not provide for the flexibility to consider different business models. The process must provide for an objective evaluation framework, but allow for adaptation according to the differing models applicants will present. Within that framework, applicant responses will be evaluated against the criteria in light of the proposed model. Therefore the criteria should be flexible: able to scale with the overall business approach, providing that the planned approach is consistent and coherent, and can withstand highs and lows.





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