Community Priority Evaluation

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Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) is a review process to resolve string contention. In the previous round of nTLDs, it was described in section 4.2 of the Applicant Guidebook. It occurs if a community application is in contention and elects to pursue the CPE process. The evaluation refers to an independent analysis conducted by a panel from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), who reviews and scores the community applicant against four criteria:[1]

  1. Community Establishment,
  2. Nexus between Proposed String and Community,
  3. Registration Policies, and
  4. Community Endorsement.

The CPE application must score at least 14 points to prevail.

2012 Round of nTLD Applicants


If an application is eligible, it then is invited to CPE and has 21 days to accept the invitation and pay the fee. Then, the evaluation begins after two weeks of the invitation. To be eligible, an application must:

  • be a self-designated Community Application
  • have an application status of "Active"
  • be in an unresolved Contention Set
  • not have a pending change request
  • not be in an active comment window for a recently approved changed request
  • have completed all previous stages of the process.

All applications in the contention set must:

  • have completed evaluation
  • have no pending objections
  • have addressed all applicable GAC Advice
  • not be classified in the "High Risk" category of the Name Collision Occurrence Management Framework

Program Details

  • ICANN began sending invitations to eligible applicants to initiate CPE in early October 2013.
  • The fee for CPE was US$22,000, which was refunded if the applicant prevailed.
  • The evaluation took three to four months.[2]

Accelerated Invitation to CPE

Sometimes ICANN notifies applicants that they have the option to request an Accelerated Invitation to CPE. An Accelerated Invitation to CPE allows the applicant to elect to start CPE earlier than the typical conditions would normally allow. The requirements for this process were: if the outstanding eligibility criteria would not impact the community applicant's membership in a contention set and/or if the contention set as a whole had not met all eligibility requirements for the standard CPE Invitation process.

FTI Review of CPE Process

In December 2017, FTI Consulting's Global Risk and Investigations Practice and Technology Practice released its review reports on ICANN's CPE process. ICANN initiated the review in 2016. FTI considered ICANN organization's interaction with the CPE Provider,[3] evaluated whether the CPE criteria were applied consistently,[4], and compiled the reference material used by the CPE Provider based on the Reconsideration Requests pending at the time that ICANN initiated the CPE Process Review.[5]