Contributions from Asociación Puntogal
PuntoGAL is an association committed to promoting dotGAL (puntoGAL), an Internet Domain for Galician culture and language which will represent over 4 million Galicians living all over the world: We thank ICANN once again for the work put into developing this Proposed Final Applicant Guidebook (AGB). Although it is not the final version, its publication means a step forward towards the implementation of new gTLDs, as it solves many of the overarching issues of previous versions. However, the 12.000 people and more than 100 associations that support PuntoGAL are still waiting for a definitive schedule and for the specific rules that will guarantee a fast and trustworthy evaluation. Therefore, PuntoGAL would like the ICANN to bear in mind the following contributions: According to the Proposed Final AGB, if there are more than 500 applications ICANN will create batches. In order to choose who enters the first batch, the AGB just says that "this process will be based on an online ticketing system or other objective criteria". PuntoGAL arguments that a community based candidate should gain priority over a commercial proposal. For instance, dotGAL can contribute to improve Internet linguistic and cultural diversity by increasing the online content in Galician and promoting Galician cultural values on the net, as dotCat has already achieved with 47.000 new domains. It is evident that proposals developed in order to achieve commercial profits do not have as much public interest as the ones promoted by cultural and linguistic communities. Moreover, many of those proposals are financed by large corporations. Thus, for most of the commerically-oriented gTLDs, the inclusion in the first batch would not be so critical . On the contrary, puntoGAL and the rest of cultural and linguistic candidates will find it very difficult to explain to their community supporters that their proposals are still waiting to be evaluated, while ICANN examines commercial initiatives which do not have a large support among the Internet user community and that will not contribute to improving cultural diversity on the internet. -Timeline. The PuntoGAL Association congratulates the ICANN team because it has been able to solve issues in which a consensual solution was impossible to reach. Before achieving this, ICANN published five drafts of the AGB and gave everybody the opportunity to criticize them, and ICANN has taken many of the contributions into account. As its title makes clear, the Proposed Final Applicant Guidebook (AGB) is a step forward, but it is not the definitive solution. This provisional nature prevents dotGal from being able to clearly inform the Galician speaking community, which is very interested in this long process. Moreover, as there is not a definitive schedule, dotGal and the rest of candidates cannot decide about indispensable points to prepare their proposals. It is evident that ICANN knows this problem and is is trying to speed up the solution. PuntoGal encourages ICANN to write down the final rules of the AGB in order to be able to achieve the May 30 2011 opening date for applications, as ICANN has recently published. This achievement will undoubtedly contribute to improve community confidence in ICANN's work.