Archives For ICANN

This week here on the gTLD Strategy blog, we’re going to be talking finance. Specifically, we’ll be breaking down the costs of applying for and operating a new gTLD, the application questions that deal with finances, and a little thing called the Continued Operations Instrument. Today, we’re going to get started with the cost breakdown.

At this point, it’s common knowledge that it costs a cool $185,000 to apply for a new gTLD. But what exactly does that sum cover? Essentially, it amounts to a “pay-to-play” filing charge, and it is really just the cover charge applicants will have to pay to get into the new gTLD club. If the application faces complications like String Contention, any kinds of objections or Extended Valuation, that amount will creep up. Continue Reading…

Working on Batches

FairWinds Partners —  December 16, 2011

In the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook, there is a provision that if ICANN receives more than 500 new gTLD applications, then applications will be processed in “batches.” The first batch will consist of 500 applications, and subsequent batches will consist of 400 applications apiece. This batching process is designed to allow the third-party evaluator that ICANN hires to process applications to handle any extended evaluations, string contentions, or any other issues that may arise without overwhelming its capacity. Continue Reading…

Delay? Not Today.

FairWinds Partners —  December 9, 2011

Recent attention from the U.S. Congress, as well as negative statements from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz, have caused some to speculate that the U.S. government will intervene to either stop ICANN’s New gTLD Program or delay its launch, currently scheduled for January 12, 2012. Continue Reading…

On Thursday, December 8, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will host a full committee hearing on “ICANN’s Expansion of Top-Level Domains.”

According to the Committee’s website, the hearing will “examine the merits and implications of this new program and ICANN’s continuing efforts to address concerns raised by the Internet community.” The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse, the non-profit that FairWinds co-founded in 2007 as an advocate for brand owners in both U.S. and international legislation, has been working with Commerce Committee leaders to prepare for the hearing. CADNA has provided the Committee with background information on the New gTLD Program, and has discussed various issues that may be raised during the hearing. Continue Reading…

It’s time to talk about Question 18. We’ve alluded to it, hinted at it and even warned about it before here on gTLD Strategy, but now, with just over a month until the application period opens, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and dig into Question 18 of the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook.

Question 18, or the “Mission/Purpose” question, is all about how applicants plan to use their new gTLD. Applicants must address the following three sub-questions: Continue Reading…

A few weeks ago, we blogged about ICANN’s recent reluctance to own up to its role as an advocate of new gTLDs (according to statements by CEO Rod Beckstrom, the organization is just educating people about the new extensions). But over the past few months, as we here at FairWinds have been studying the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook inside and out, we’ve noticed a few other instances where ICANN seems to be trying to evade responsibility when it comes to new gTLDs. Continue Reading…

A few weeks back, we wrote about the upcoming expiration of the IANA contract between the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and ICANN. At that point, the NTIA had announced that it will be accepting proposals from potential new contractors between early November and early December of this year.

Now, the NTIA has officially issued its Request for Proposal, and it includes a few marked changes from previous iterations of the IANA contract. For one, it includes much more stringent language requiring the contractor disclose any conflicts of interest.But perhaps most surprising to some is the fact that the NTIA will now require the new contractor to be a wholly U.S. owned an operated firm or fully accredited U.S. college or university. Previously, the NTIA had only required that the contractor maintain a physical address in the U.S. Continue Reading…

This is the second post in a two-part series of blog posts explaining String Contention Sets, a complex aspect of ICANN’s new gTLD evaluation process.

So you’ve found yourself in a String Contention Set. Another party has applied for the same new gTLD as you, or one that is so visually similar that ICANN believes that allowing both strings to become full-fledged new gTLDs will cause confusion among Internet users.

Let’s assume that the Contention Set consists of you and one other applicant. What happens now? First, ICANN encourages you both to reach an agreement amongst yourselves as to which application will proceed. Both of you can choose to drop out at this point, or one can concede to the other, but there is no way that both applications can proceed with each of you operating a separate registry. Continue Reading…

This is the first post in a two-part series of blog posts explaining String Contention Sets, a complex aspect of ICANN’s new gTLD evaluation process.

When the news about the New gTLD Program first broke, before details about the application process and trademark protection mechanisms were widely discussed, many assumed that ICANN would be doling out new top-level domains to the highest bidders through a series of auctions.

Of course, we all know that’s not really the case – in reality, there is only one scenario where two or more gTLD applicants would end up in an auction over an extension, or “string,” as ICANN refers to it. That scenario is if applicants end up in a String Contention Set. Continue Reading…

Caveat Emptor

FairWinds Partners —  November 9, 2011

As we draw closer to the opening of the new gTLD application period on January 12, 2012, more and more new gTLD service providers are coming out of the woodwork. In order to stand out from the pack, some of these providers have dropped their prices, offering services like application preparation for as little as $20,000. Given that applying for a new gTLD is not exactly a cheap endeavor, due to the $185,000 price tag for submitting the application, it may be tempting to pick a partner who offers the lowest price. But like everything, when it comes to new gTLDs, you get what you pay for. Continue Reading…