The GNSO Council has voted to launch a Policy Development Process on new gTLDs and to establish a work program in consultation with the ICANN staff and the Board. As part of this process, the GNSO Council has extended the public comment process until January 31, 2006 (see http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-06dec05.htm ). In addition, in order to inform the recently launched Policy Development Process on new gTLDs, the GNSO is inviting organizations and individuals to submit substantive papers on the issue areas identified in the Terms of Reference for this PDP:
1. Should new generic top-level domain names be introduced?
Given the information provided here and any other relevant information available to the GNSO, the GNSO should assess whether there is sufficient support within the Internet community to enable the introduction of new top-level domains. If this is the case the following additional terms of reference are applicable.
2. Selection Criteria for New Top-Level Domains
(a) Taking into account the existing selection criteria from previous top-level domain application processes and relevant criteria in registry services reallocations, develop modified or new criteria that specifically address ICANN's goals of expanding the use and usability of the Internet. In particular, examine ways in which the allocation of new top-level domains can meet demands for broader use of the Internet in developing countries.
(b) Examine whether preferential selection criteria (e.g. sponsored) could be developed which would encourage new and innovative ways of addressing the needs of Internet users.
(c) Examine whether additional criteria need to be developed which address ICANN's goals of ensuring the security and stability of the Internet.
3. Allocation Methods for New Top-Level Domains
(a) Using the experience gained in previous rounds, develop allocation methods for selecting new top-level domain names.
(b) Examine the full range of allocation methods including auctions, ballots, first-come / first-served and comparative evaluations to determine the methods of allocation that best enhance user choice while not compromising predictability and stability.
(c) Examine how allocation methods could be used to achieve ICANN's goals of fostering competition in domain name registration services and encouraging a diverse range of registry services providers.
4. Policy to Guide Contractual Conditions for New Top-Level Domains
(a) Using the experience of previous rounds of top-level domain name application processes and the recent amendments to registry services agreements, develop policies to guide the contractual criteria which are publicly available prior to any application rounds.
(b) Determine what policies are necessary to provide security and stability of registry services.
(c) Determine appropriate policies to guide a contractual compliance program for registry services.
The purpose of this additional request for substantive contributions is to gather detailed input from experts, interested parties and individuals to inform the policy development process. Submitters of papers should address the topics or sub-topics related to the above areas and should provide reasoned background analysis and references for statements expressed. Contributions can be submitted until 31 January 2006 as text documents and/or as PowerPoint presentations to the GNSO Secretariat by email to email@example.com . Received papers will be considered for oral presentations to the GNSO Council during February 2006, via scheduled conference calls with the GNSO Council.