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Old 26th July 2011, 11:13 PM
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Comments on Second Milestone Report on Applicant Support in the New gTLD Program

The BC has consistently stated for 10-years that it supports community-based gTLDs and IDNs as the optimal way to expand the name space. The BC has also said that the name space expansion should create differentiation and added-value; added-value encourages user demand. In this way, expansion will enhance choice, competition and be in the public interest. Allowing new gTLD community-based applicants the ability to serve their markets with whichever script a registrant would like also adds value to the DNS. The Economic Framework on new gTLDs notes that “a potentially important source of differentiation is in the allowable characters in a gTLD…New gTLDs, however, will be able to use Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) with characters from other alphabets. IDNs can already be used in some second-level domain names (depending on the rules of the registry), but extending the character set used in the top level domains should reduce confusion and difficulty in using the Internet”. (Para. 30)

3.1.1 Support by and/or for distinct cultural, linguistic and ethnic communities
The BC strongly supports this criterion because it is one of the long-held BC positions, i.e., community-based gTLDs and IDNs are the optimal way to expand the name space.
3.1.2 Service in an underserved language, the presence of which on the Internet has been limited
The JAS WG notes in the 2nd Report that:
a) there is broad support for incentives to facilitate the build out of underserved scripts for needy gTLD candidates; and
b) both general price cuts and ‘bundled pricing’ have been discussed; although there is real concern about the issue of the possibility of gaming connected with bundling (i.e. the idea that benefit will flow to developed world applicants).

The BC acknowledges the need to be vigilant against gaming and strongly supports using the new gTLD program to build out services not just for – but also based in – the developing world.

The BC position has long been that every community-based applicant should be allowed to increase their utility within their specific community by having the option to apply for their respective IDN-equivalent TLDs for a nominal additional fee (per IDN or translated equivalent), and feels that the same standard should be used in the case of developing economies.

Once an applicant has met the technical, financial and operational criteria detailed in the AG, and have been approved to have its string delegated, asking a community-based applicant to pay an additional $185,000 for each translation of that approved string cannot be justified in a cost recovery model.

3.1.3 Operation in an emerging market or nation

In consideration of giving support preference to those applicants originating within the world’s poorer economies, the BC agrees with the JAS WG that rather than undertaking the distracting task of being the arbiter of which economy should be ahead of another, ICANN should utilize the internationally agreed upon UN DESA list, as recommended in the Report.
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