Cross Community Working Group on New Generic Top-Level Domains Auction Proceeds

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Cross Community Working Group on New Generic Top-Level Domains Auction Proceeds
Status: Active
Issue Areas: New gTLDs
Date Established: January 2017
Charter: [ WG Charter]
Workspace: [ Community Wiki]

The Cross-Community Working Group on New gTLD Auction Proceeds was convened to develop a proposal for the mechanism to be used for the allocation of auction proceeds from the new gTLD program. These auctions were established as a mechanism for resolving contention sets[1], or a group of applications containing identical or similar strings.[2]

It was recognized from the start that the auction process could bring in significant proceeds, so the funds received through the auction process were reserved until the ICANN Board authorizes appropriate use of the funds. Although the majority of contention sets were handled through pother means, the 17 that were resolved through ICANN Auctions totaled $233.5 million USD in proceeds.

Charter & Initiation of Work

The charter for the group specified that the funds could only be used in ways that supported ICANN's mission and values.[3] The charter implied, but did not require, that the proposal for the use of auction proceeds would include a proposed organization or foundation to manage and oversee the work of disbursing funds. This was in part based on the Applicant Guidebook's discussion of the potential uses of auction proceeds:

Possible uses of auction funds include formation of a foundation with a clear mission and a transparent way to allocate funds to projects that are of interest to the greater Internet community, such as grants to support new gTLD applications or registry operators from communities in subsequent gTLD rounds, the creation of an ICANN-administered/community-based fund for specific projects for the benefit of the Internet community, the creation of a registry continuity fund for the protection of registrants (ensuring that funds would be in place to support the operation of a gTLD registry until a successor could be found), or establishment of a security fund to expand use of secure protocols, conduct research, and support standards development organizations in accordance with ICANN's security and stability mission.[4]

The CCWG was encouraged to factor in operational costs and industry best practices for foundations or other grant-awarding bodies.[3]

Charter Adoption

Working Group Formation & Initiation of Work

The call for volunteers for the working group was published in December 2016.[6] The group commenced work in January 2017.[7]

Initial Report and Public Comment

Final Report and Recommendations

The CCWG submitted its final report in September 2020.<ref name="final">[