The ICANN community has recently completed a policy development process regarding the introduction of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). This effort took place within ICANN’s Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) (see http://gnso.icann.org/) and resulted in a set of recommendations (see http://gnso.icann.org/issues/new-gtlds/pdp-dec05-fr-parta-08aug07.htm#_Toc43798015) to guide ICANN in introducing new gTLDs to the namespace.
In its recommendations, the GNSO concluded that "ICANN must implement a process that allows the introduction of new top-level domains," and called for a procedure respecting the principles of fairness, transparency and non-discrimination. In preparing for the expected implementation of the gTLD policy recommendations, staff is conducting some review and analysis of the technical issues involved in this development. The addition of gTLDs to the namespace is an expansion of the DNS on a potentially large scale, to include many more names at the top level. One of the policy recommendations developed in relation to the introduction of new gTLDs included the requirement that "Strings must not cause any technical instability." ICANN is publishing this paper to solicit informed input on the technical issues relevant to the addition of new gTLDs, and to provide transparency toward how it will interpret and implement this recommendation. The goal is a clear set of rules that will be available to potential new gTLD applicants; so that it is known from the outset what tests will be applied to each application.
ICANN is seeking feedback on the proposed approach as a step in its implementation planning for the introduction of new gTLDs. Comments may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 7 2008. Comments can be viewed at http://forum.icann.org/lists/new-gtlds-dns-stability/.
For more information about the New gTLD Program, please go to http://www.icann.org/topics/new-gtld-program.htm.