18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.weatherThe Weather Channel LLCView

18(b)i. What is the goal of your proposed gTLD in terms of areas of specialty, service levels or reputation?

The key goals of the proposed new .weather gTLD are in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments: to promote consumer trust, competition and consumer choice. Via the .weather gTLD, TWC will create a means for quicker access to relevant, personalized, and potentially lifesaving weather-related information. The .weather gTLD will help to increase the already established consumer perception of TWCC as a safety and preparedness expert. TWC also seeks to foster its online reputation and provide an authoritative internet space through which TWC is able to communicate with its customers directly and effectively. The ability to create domain names on demand related to specific marketing, specialty service, product development and personalized weather related content for users supports these goals. Strengthened security measures, service levels and more effective functionality will provide a trusted and positive user experience for internet users looking up online weather-related content via TWC.

18(b)ii. What do you anticipate your proposed gTLD will add to the current space, in terms of competition, differentiation, or innovation?

It is anticipated that the proposed .weather gTLD will make positive contributions to the wider internet community by providing:

Differentiation (Increased trust):
The .weather gTLD will simplify how internet users interact with weather-related content by providing a distinctive domain space that will come to be known as the authoritative domain space for weather-related content. Internet users will be able to utilize fast and easy access to weather-related content by directly navigating to the .weather gTLD domain space, saving time and resources searching for an official site. The .weather gTLD will create an innovative, personalized and localized weather experience for consumers to get important and potentially lifesaving weather-related information quickly. The current domain name system has shown that it is vulnerable to malicious abuses due to registration of domain names which seek to exploit consumer confusion. TWC can address some of these vulnerabilities by maintaining complete control over the domain names registered under the .weather domain space, thus increasing consumer trust by providing a secure and safe .weather gTLD. Internet users will be able to rely on the authoritativeness of the domain names and information presented under .weather domain space, which will differentiate interaction between internet users and TWC.

Competition:
The differentiation of .weather gTLD as an innovative and trusted domain space will drive existing and new TLD registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust and innovation in their TLDs. Internet users will be encouraged to interact with domain names under .weather domain space, given the easy and speedy access to relevant and important weather-related information. As a result, .weather will have a flow-on effect to enable increased competition. Therefore, the benefits of the proposed .weather will be distributed not only to its direct customers, but to the internet community at large forcing improved services and competitive pricing in the market place.

Innovation:
With the expansion of the internet community to all corners of the world, the existing TLD structure presents limitations, not only in the availability of domain names for registrants, but also to businesses and organizations establishing a coherent global online brand presence to meet their evolving business needs. This problem is amplified for organizations such as TWC that work across many different jurisdictions and geographical markets. TWC has the ability to create second or third level domain names including the use of geographic names and IDNs on demand that are relevant to its customer base, services and products. The domain names within the .weather gTLD will be used primarily to provide consumers access to personalized weather-related information about a given geography (city, town, or postal code) relevant to the particular user in the fastest and most efficient manner possible on the internet. Internet users will be assured of brand authenticity and data quality via the trusted .weather gTLD. TWC will be able to combine its use of the domain space with innovative user focused marketing and services to address the currently unmet needs in the existing domain name system, providing greater consumer choice.

18(b)iii. What goals does your proposed gTLD have in terms of user experience?
The proposed .weather gTLD will provide an innovative user experience with simplicity that meets the changing and growing needs of the global internet community and mobile device users. TWC will maintain control in the registration and use of domain names and will ensure that the new gTLD will only be used for purposes authorized by TWC. Therefore, .weather gTLD will:
- provide an easy, speedy and intuitive reference and access point for users that access the internet via computers (desktop, laptops) and mobile devices;
- represent authenticity, thus promoting user confidence;
- direct internet users to relevant and potentially life-saving weather-related information in a timely manner and on demand;
- use IDNs at a later stage to enable customers to interact directly in their native language;
- use geographic names to localize its websites (city, town, postal code) to connect with internet users in the relevant regions in order to provide them a localized weather experience and to comply with local laws;
- enhance security and minimize security risks by implementing necessary technical and policy measures;
- strengthen brand reputation and user confidence by eliminating user confusion; and
- prevent potential abuses in the registration process reducing overall costs to businesses and users.

The .weather gTLD should address the concerns that the current domain name system is open to potential malicious abuse and user confusion in the registration processes. Although the current system allows an eligible party to lodge a claim through existing Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) or other dispute resolution processes, the .weather gTLD will reduce potential abuses in the registration processes and overall costs to internet users. User confidence in the domain name system will be strengthened, which will ultimately contribute towards promoting ICANN’s core values in benefiting the public interest.

18(b)iv. Provide a complete description of the applicantʹs intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above

The proposed registration policy is attached in response to Question 28.

Only affiliate entities of TWC will be eligible to register domain names in .weather at this stage. The domain name registration processes will address the requirements mandated by ICANN, including rights abuse prevention measures.

18(b)v. Will your proposed gTLD impose any measures for protecting the privacy or confidential information of registrants or users? If so, please describe any such measures.

TWC is committed to protection of privacy and confidential information in accordance with its objective of increasing consumer trust and providing a safe and legitimate internet space for internet users. Privacy and confidential information will be protected in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations and industry standards relating to internet security, privacy and user’s confidential information including compliance with the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (Can Spam Act) 2003 (US) and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (US). TWC is also accredited by TRUSTe for compliance with TRUSTe’s requirements including transparency, accountability and choice regarding the collection and use of personal information from internet users.

TWC has also implemented its own privacy policy to demonstrate its commitment to the protection of user privacy and confidential information. TWC’s Privacy Statement includes provisions regarding collection, use, transfer and storage of personal data as well as protection of children’s privacy.

As the .weather gTLD will only be available to affiliate entities of TWC, initially, the amount of data that will be collected for the purposes of operating the gTLD and made publicly available in the WHOIS database will be very limited. TWC will provide a publicly available and searchable WHOIS look up facility, where information about the domain name status, registrant information including administrative and technical contact details can be found in accordance with Specification 4 of the Registry Agreement. In order to prevent misuse of the WHOIS look up facility, TWC will utilize measures including a requirement where any person submitting a WHOIS database query is required to read and agree to the terms and conditions in accordance with the registration policy. This will include the terms of use that the WHOIS database is provided for information purposes only and that the user agrees not to use the information for any other purposes such as allowing or enabling the transmission of unsolicited commercial advertising or other communication.

TWC will deploy Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) which is intended to benefit both TWC and its users interacting with TWC online. DNSSEC provides additional security by validating information in the transmission, therefore it is intended to benefit those who publish information in the domain name system (DNS) and the users who retrieve information from the new .weather gTLD. TWC already implements measures to protect privacy or confidential information of its users against misuse, loss, alteration and unauthorized access. Such measures include the use of the TRUSTe Privacy Seal, demonstrating TWC’s privacy policy and practices have been reviewed by TRUSTe for compliance with TRUSTe’s requirements including transparency, accountability and choice regarding the collection and use of personal information from internet users.

TWC will continue to apply all security measures currently implemented and will comply with all other policies and practices required by ICANN in the Registry Agreement and any relevant Consensus Policy for protecting the privacy and confidential information of registrants and users in the new .weather domain space.

18(b)vi. Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits.

The proposed new gTLD will be publicized by a media plan to promote recognition of the new gTLD within the internet community to be a trusted site and as a sign of authenticity.
TWC will utilize its reach across TV and digital platforms (160 million unduplicated users monthly) to publicize the existence of the .weather gTLD. For marketing, TWC can use at its discretion:
1. promotional videos on The Weather Channel® TV network and on digital platforms;
2. banner advertising placements on the weather.com® site and TWC mobile platforms;
3. mobile text message and promotional messages distributed to its mobile users; and
4. advertisements on third party services.

During the first year TWC will be focused on marketing its new .weather gTLD to US weather users. Marketing in the following years will expand to markets outside the US. By the end of the third year, TWC expects to be marketing its new .weather gTLD on all of its owned and operated properties globally.

During the initial stage of the operation of the proposed new gTLD, it is anticipated that internet users will be re-directed to current websites. However, over time, it is foreseen that communication to the internet community of the existence of the proposed new gTLD and encouragement to utilize the trusted site will contribute towards minimizing malicious abuses and protecting internet users.

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gTLDFull Legal NameDetail