Applicant Guidebook

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The Applicant Guidebook (AGB) is an ICANN guidebook describing the entire process of applying for new gTLDs in the New gTLD Program.[1]

ICANN kept a four-month timeline for conducting a communications campaign to ensure that people who wanted to participate in the new gTLD process could get a fair idea when ICANN planned to start accepting applications for new gTLDs. It gave a chance for participants to comment either on a module or on the entire AGB, depending on the area of interest of the participant.[2]

Contents of the latest Applicant Guidebook

Module 1: Introduction to gTLD Application Process

This module provides the general summary to the applicants about the procedure to apply for the Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD). It aims to provide the guidelines on how to complete the application and the various supportive documents required to be attached with the application, necessary fees and the procedure of submission of the application, documents and fees.

Module 2: The evaluation process

This module also provides different criteria required to determine whether applicants can be approved for delegation. All the applicants have to undergo an Initial Evaluation Process. It is necessary for all the applicants to pass the initial evaluation process. If the applicants fail the initial evaluation process then they can apply for Extended Evaluation Process. During the first Initial Evaluation Process ICANN evaluates an applied-for gTLD string, an applicant’s qualifications, and its proposed registry services. In the new AGB proposed by ICANN the Background screening check has been drastically changed. Now there will only be two mandatory Background screenings which each applicant should pass. They are as follows:

  • General Business diligence and criminal history
  • History of Cyber squatting.

Module 3: Dispute Resolution Procedures

This module explains the different necessities for the Objection and Dispute Resolution mechanism. This mechanism enables an applicant to lodge a formal Objection to different gTLD application issues. This module further explains the proceedings which are conducted when the dispute resolution process is underway. It also explains the guidelines which are supposed to be followed by the applicants while filling their application for gTLD to avoid any objection or dispute. At the same time it also provides guidelines in case any such objection or dispute has been filled against the application of gTLD.

Module 4: String Contention Procedures

This mode describes conditions or situations in which arguments over an applied-for gTLD strings occur. This module also explains different procedures that are required to be followed when such contentions occur.

Module 5: Transition to delegations

This section describes the necessary final steps to be taken by the applicant of gTLD for successfully completing the procedure of applying for a gTLD. It explains the procedure required to be followed for registration with ICANN and also to prepare a delegation which will represent the new gTLD. [1]