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Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice Review (CCT)

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Objectives of the CCT Review

ICANN is committed to ensuring that it will adequately address issues of competition, consumer protection, security, stability and resiliency, malicious abuse issues, sovereignty concerns, and rights protection prior to increasing in the number of new generic top-level domains under an application process initiated after 1 October 2016 (“New gTLD Round”).

The review team for the CCT Review (“CCT Review Team”) examines the extent to which the expansion of gTLDs has promoted competition, consumer trust and consumer choice.  It also assesses the effectiveness of the New gTLD Round’s application and evaluation process, as well as the safeguards put in place to mitigate issues arising from the New gTLD Round.

For each of its recommendations, the CCT Review Team should indicate whether the recommendation, if accepted by the Board, must be implemented before opening subsequent rounds of new generic top-level domain applications periods.

The CCT Review Team shall also assess the extent to which prior CCT Review recommendations have been implemented and the extent to which implementation of such recommendations has resulted in the intended effect. 

Timeline of Review

  • The first CCT Review was launched in October 2015 and is conducted under the rules and procedures stated in the Affirmation of Commitments.
  • The Board shall cause future reviews to be conducted after a new gTLD round has been in operation for one year.

Review

Call for Volunteers

Review Team Announced

Final Report Issued

Board Action

Details

CCT

1 October 2015

23 December 2015    

 

 

The graphic below illustrates phases and status of each review - a  indicates that all activities within a given phase have been completed.  The chart that follows the graphic provides further details of key activities and milestones within each phase – you can view these details by clicking on each of the phases in the graphic.  The table also contains links to relevant documents.

Competition, Consumer Trust and Consumer Choice
PhaseActivityDescriptionStart DateDocuments
Assemble Review TeamCall for Volunteers ExtensionExtension of call for volunteers to submit application2 Nov 2015
ApplicationsApplications Received for CCT16 Nov 2015
Appointment of review team membersAppointment of review team members based on AoC requirements23 Dec 2015
Call for VolunteersCall for Volunteers1 Oct 2015
Plan ReviewVariousReview team activities and detailed information available on the community wiki24 Dec 2015
Terms of ReferenceDocument outlining the scope of work adopted by the review team23 Mar 2016
Conduct ReviewCCT Draft ReportDraft report published for public comment7 Mar 2017

Metrics to Support the CCT Review

ICANN conducted a series of activities to prepare for the first CCT review. These activities included developing metrics and collecting data for benchmarking purposes to be available to the review team.  A comprehensive set of metrics and data were adopted by the ICANN Board based on recommendations from the community.  These metrics have been collected by ICANN to assess various aspects of new gTLDs.  For further information related to the work of the community that proposed these metrics, please visit the IAG-CCT Wiki.

The metrics and data collected by ICANN to support the CCT Review are published here.  ICANN commissioned a global survey and economic study to gather data on some of the recommended metrics.  The baseline report on consumers and registrants has been published, in addition to a Phase 2 study for both surveys to compare changes in consumer and registrant attitudes in the year since the baseline report was published.  In addition, the baseline assessment of competition in the domain name marketplace has also been published.  A Phase 2 assessment was published and can be viewed here.

Global Consumer and Registrant Surveys

ICANN commissioned a global survey to measure aspects of consumer awareness, perceived consumer choice, experience and trust related to the current generic top-level domain (gTLD) landscape and the domain name system (DNS).  Nielsen was retained to conduct an initial survey to create a meaningful baseline of data on Internet users' and domain name registrants' attitudes and will perform a follow-on survey to generate a set of comparison data to inform the CCT Review.  This second survey was conducted one year after the first survey to determine how opinions changed over time and as more new gTLDs became available in the domain name marketplace.

ICANN has published the Phase One Results from Multiyear Consumer Study of the Domain Name Landscape.  The Phase One study surveyed 6,144 consumers aged 18+ representing Asia, Europe, Africa, North America and South America, and was administered in 18 languages and drawn from 24 countries. The research was conducted by Nielsen between February 2-19, 2015.  The full Phase One Report is available here.  The Phase Two study surveyed 5,452 consumers ages 18+ and representing all five regions previously mentioned, encompassing the same 18 languages and 24 countries as the Phase One study. The research was conducted between April 12-May 2, 2016. The full Phase Two Report is available here.

ICANN also commissioned Nielsen to conduct a global survey of domain name registrants and their perceived sense of trust and choice in the domain name space.  Results from the Phase One survey are available here.  Phase Two results can be found here.

Economic Study

ICANN retained the Analysis Group to conduct an economic study examining pricing trends and other competition indicators in the global DNS market. The Analysis Group designed and executed an initial study to create a meaningful baseline of data on multiple factors of competition and will perform a follow-on study one year later, to generate and analyze a set of comparison data.

Results from the Phase One study are available here.  Results from the Phase Two study are available here.

Additional Information

More information on the CCT Review is available on the CCT-Wiki.

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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."