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Username: John Lewis
Date/Time: Fri, November 3, 2000 at 7:50 PM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.7 using Windows 95
Score: 5
Subject: New TLDs


Comments on Proposals for New Top Level Domains

British Telecommunications plc notes that:

Given that assignment of generic and country code Top Level Domains has been passed to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, and
Given that the responsibility for ensuring a stable framework for the existing and future primary domains is paramount.

and supports the ICANN decision that extensions of the current framework should take place in a well-controlled manner. Furthermore we recommend that :-

ICANN should establish a clear policy on dealing with any pre-emption, requested extensions from private domains to the Root Server system or reservations that seek to avoid the procedures created for this purpose.
ICANN should also consider carefully the benefit arising from each proposal for the users of the Internet and not only the volume of support which a proposal has generated.

Furthermore we recommend that ICANN should:

1) Establish a Classification Framework for existing and future Top Level Domains

ICANN should seek to enhance the public benefit by ensuring improved ease of access through an appropriate semantic framework for domains as recommended by the Business & Commercial constituency of the DNSO, in the excerpt from their paper below:

'The BC believes that a possible long-term solution is to extend the classification role of gTLDs to their logical conclusion. One option is to create a large set of gTLDs to reflect the needs of the consumer. Thus, for example, the following three commercial and one non-commercial options could all co-exist: Lotus.paper

Such a system has wide-ranging benefits:
A browser search would be more likely to turn up relevant options.
There would be little purpose in defensive ownership of unwanted sites.
Each new gTLD would have uniqueness and its added value would enhance competition.

A process to identify possible new names should be evaluated by a gTLD panel established by the ICANN Board under the auspices of the DNSO Names Council'

2) Limit Assignments and Reservations

Proposers submitting multiple applications or single applications with multiple proposals should identify which single proposal they wish to be considered.
New domains should be assigned to new TLD operators with the positive aim of re-balancing the current geographical distribution of registry locations.
Operators of unauthorised TLDs or those pre-selling registrations before assignment should not receive preferential consideration.
Each successful proposer should be assigned no more than one domain at this time.

3)    Defining the Scope of the Assignment

There should be a clear statement from ICANN of the scope of the assignment to avoid confusion between domains, such as .air being used for air transport or radio communications industries.

4) Differentiation Between Top Level Domains

New domains should not merely duplicate existing assignments under a synonymous generic label, which would merely confuse Internet users, but add value by differentiating its scope and target registrants. Registry operations should be unique not-for-profit services within each domain, competition being established at the registrar level.

5) Require the inclusion of the following Registry Policy Requirements:

to accept the legal principles covering the intellectual property, trade marks and brand names for registrations within their domain(s) in all jurisdictions in which they take registrations;
to verify that applications for domain names do not infringe the rights of holders of  intellectual property, trade marks or brand names of existing entities, whether commercial, non-commercial or individual;
to reject bulk registrations and pre-emptive registrations which seek to create an opportunity for speculative resale of domain names;
to proscribe the reselling or auction of domain names through the assignment policies;
to provide, in advance, protective registrations for domain names that are the intellectual property, trade marks or brand names of existing businesses, at cost;
to provide for a structured semantic sub-domain that enables ease of access to specific content areas. Without such an approach any new domain will sustain the risks of exhaustion and also protective registrations that has been quoted as limiting further registrations in domain.
to adopt the policies recommended by ICANN based on the WIPO report;
to resolve any infringement of trademark, cyber-squatting and warehousing through the recommended UDRP;
to proscribe the use of any domain for abusive or denigratory purposes subject to immediate suspension and withdrawal of the assignment;
to require operators of the new TLDs to disclose sufficient information on the registrants that contending applicants can contact those registrants to resolve domain name rights issues. This disclosure is subject to various national laws affecting data privacy, but applicable conditions should not permit registrants to opt-out of identification and avoid resolution of Domain Name ownership;
to provide free access to Whois facilities as part of the service for registrants seeking to confirm the availability or registration of given domain names;
for Registry operators to provide registrars with facilities to discourage potential infringement of existing Domain Name holders, including providing information when the same second-level domain name is already in use in another TLD;
for Registry operators to be required to flag applications when there is a risk of homonyms arising which may create confusion with other registrants' names.

6) Support for Proposals:

6.1 ICANN should assign the new TLDs to proposers' whose applications provide the greatest scope for the rapid extension of the Internet to the public at large. For example, by enabling access through proposals including existing addressing systems such as telephony numbering. This will also meet the requirements for expanding competition, as there are multiple service providers in such industries.

6.2    ICANN should also assign new TLDs to proposals that offer the capability of improved access for users through a directory-based TLD. This will enhance and accelerate usage of the Internet by many who seek greater selectivity in searching for contacts providing products and services, enabling greater adoption of e-commerce solutions. BT considers that the name structure proposed (eg: bt.sld.dir) helps to eliminate possible Cyber-squatting issues and also because it promotes:-
- use of white pages worldwide (fixed, mobile, internet-based)
- use of Yellow Pages related e-Commerce/m-Commerce worldwide
- B2B by enabling businesses to locate new partners and interact in a secure  (federated) fashion
- use of future Directory Enabled applications


Link: New TLDs

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