New gTLD Subsequent Procedure PDP Working Group

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New gTLD Subsequent Procedure PDP Working Group
Organizer: GNSO
Status: Active
Issue Areas: New gTLDs
Type: PDP
Date Established: January 2016
Charter: [ WG Charter]
Workspace: [ Community Wiki]

In 2012, the new Generic Top-Level Domains (TLDs) Program opened to applicants interested in being part of the unprecedented increase in the number of new gTLDs. During this round 1930 applications were received and 1227 new gTLDs have been delegated as of the end of September 2017.

The process leading up to this expansion of the DNS Root Zone was no easy task. It began back in ICANN’s infancy. In 1999, ICANN established Working Group C to examine if new generic top-level domains should be introduced. Prior to this, there were only 7 gTLDs and one special TLD (.arpa), plus a long-list of ccTLDs. After deliberation, the WG concluded that ICANN should add new gTLDs to the root zone, with a preliminary round of 6-10, followed by an evaluation period. The WG’s findings were accepted and ICANN carried out the first round of introducing new gTLDs in 2000, followed by an evaluation period. This was then followed by another round of gTLD expansion in 2003 and 2004, increasing the number of gTLDs to 22.

In 2005, Following the successful implementation of these two expansion rounds, the GNSO developed an Issues Report to determine whether or not to continue introducing new gTLDs and recommended Policy Development Process (PDP). With community input, including the “GAC Principles Regarding New gTLDs” the GNSO released its Final Report on the Introduction of New Generic Top-Level Domains in 2007 and they were adopted by the ICANN board in 2008. Subsequently, in 2011 the Application Guidebook (AGB) and the new gTLD Program was approved by the ICANN Board, finally launching in January 2012.

In the AGB it stated the intention the introducing new gTLDs on an ongoing basis and that the timing of future application rounds would be based on the “experiences gained and changes required” after the completion of the first round. After the application period closed, the GNSO created a Discussion Group (DG) to evaluate the first round of applications and use experiences to identify potential areas for policy development for subsequent rounds. The DG released its findings in June 2015 and the GNSO Council requested a single Issue Report, which was submitted in December 2015 and led the Council to initiate the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process (PDP), adopting its charter in January 2016.

Current Status

The WG for the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP is currently examining what, if any, changes need to be made to policy adopted from the GNSO’s 2007 report. If the WG does not recommend any changes, the current policy would remain in place for future rounds.

There are currently four work tracks underway, examining the following areas:

  • WT1 - Overall Process/Support/Outreach
  • WT2 - Legal/Regulatory/Contractual Obligations
  • WT3 - String Contention/Objections and Disputes
  • WT4 - Internationalized Domain Name/Technical and Operational

Work Track 5

The Co-chair’s are currently developing a fifth working track that will focus on geographic names at the top level. Work Track 5 will have a shared leadership model, with co-leaders from ALAC, GAC, ccNSO and GNSO. Currently, the ALAC, ccNSO, and GNSO have made their nominations, with the GAC yet to release their appointee. After the co-leadership team is finalized, they will issue a formal call for volunteers.

The subject of geographic names was a topic of much discussion at ICANN59, with two cross-community sessions.