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TLD Application Review Update

On Monday, 2 October 2000 the application period for those seeking to sponsor or operate new TLDs ended. A total of 47 applications were received during the application period. Forty-four of these applications are still active.

Tasks That Have Been Completed

ICANN has completed the following steps in its review of applications:

  • Acknowledging receipt of applications.
  • Reviewing the applications to ensure they include all the required parts. All applications being considered now have all the required major parts, although some still appear to be missing exhibits, postable HTML versions, etc.
  • Verifying payment of the application fee. Two of the 47 applications submitted were not accompanied by the US $50,000 application fee. These two applications (.number/.tel/.phone and .wap) have been returned.
  • Reviewing confidentiality requests and contacting applicants to notify them of the disposition of the request. One of the 47 applications (.nyc) was withdrawn because the applicant and ICANN did not agree on treatment of confidentiality claims. All other confidentiality claims have been resolved by agreement. In general, ICANN agreed to treat only a very limited portion of application materials as confidential.
  • Completing posting of non-confidential portions of applications on the ICANN web site. We have now posted all of the basic application materials, though a few partial omissions are still being addressed.

Tasks Currently Underway

ICANN is currently involved in the following aspects of the review:

  • The web-based public comment forum is currently collecting public comments on the applications. In nineteen days of operation, over 3000 comments have been submitted. We are reviewing and digesting the comments.
  • Technical, business/financial, and legal review of applications.
  • Where an application seeks alternative or multiple TLD strings, verifying that it is a single application (i.e. that all parts of the application apply, without significant variation, to all of the strings). Applicants submitting materials that constitute more than one application will be notified in the near future.
  • We have begun sending questions out to many of the applicants. As responses are received, we will post the questions and responses with the application materials.

The Schedule

Here is the current schedule:

  • First Public Comment Period. The web-based public comment forum on the applications will remain open until 4:00 pm California time (midnight UTC) on Sunday, 5 November 2000.
  • Staff Report. The results of the staff review of the applications will be posted on approximately 8 November 2000. We expect these results to be presented in a detailed report, including an explanation of the goals of the analysis, a detailed statement of how the analysis was performed, identification of those who participated in the review process, summaries of findings as to each application, compilations of comparative data on the applications, observations regarding how the posted criteria for evaluation apply, and other relevant results of the analysis.
  • Second Public Comment Period.A second web-based public comment forum will be established at the time the Staff Report is issued to allow the public to comment on the report. The second forum will also permit persons wishing to make their own comments on the applications to do so.

Legal Claims Concerning TLDs

We continue to receive various correspondence concerning additional legal claims concerning TLDs. We are preparing responses that we will post along with the correspondence asserting the claims.

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

It is important that persons having financial interests in the applicants not be involved in making selections among the applications. Accordingly, the members of ICANN's Board of Directors (who will vote on the selections) and its officers and employees (who will be advising the Board on the selections) have reviewed whether they have any relationship to applicants or applications that would make their participating in the selection inappropriate. Based on this review, the following persons recused themselves prior to their consideration of any application:

Person's Name

Reason for Recusal
Amadeu Abril i Abril Relationships with CORE and Nominalia, which are participating in various applications.
Rob Blokzijl On Advisory Board of CentralNic, a company which was involved in preparing one of the proposals as a technical advisor.
Greg Crew Independent chairman of partly owned telecom subsidiary of Melbourne IT, a company which is participating in several applications.
Phil Davidson Employment by British Telecom, which supports the .one application.

More Announcements
Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."