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

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.osakaInterlink Co., Ltd.View

ICANN has determined that the opening of the new gTLD program is unified with its mission to increase competition and innovation in the namespace. Interlink proposes that “.osaka” will play a vital role in expanding online communities in Osaka as well as promoting the Osaka brand. One of Interlink’s overall goals is to ensure that the ʺ.osakaʺ top-level domain becomes a trusted, secure, and stable operation that benefits the Osaka community as described in the response to Question 18A. Running an operation that achieves this goal will allow Internet users in the Osaka community to take advantage of the benefits a geographic TLD can offer.

For example, “.osaka” will enable users to derive high value from easily identifiable websites for sharing information, collaborating in local communities and forums, promoting goods and services, and other innovative platforms. Names under the “.osaka” top-level will become the standard for finding local, relevant content. As local search and location based services become more and more prevalent “.osaka” will help usher in a new era of user behavior on the web in terms of finding goods, services, and relevant content aimed at the community.

The Osaka brand will benefit substantially by having its own specialized top-level domain name. Each time an Internet user searches for travel or sightseeing information about Osaka, the user will find a trusted “.osaka” domain name to guide them to the most relevant websites. As usage grows within the TLD, the Osaka brand will experience greater reinforcement locally, within Japan, as well as on an international scale.

In order to accomplish the goals of maintaining a strong platform for building strong branding opportunities, Interlink has been developing policies that will ensure that the name is used appropriately, and as part of its policies, intends to implement a Nexus Requirement for registrants in the “osaka” TLD. The Nexus Requirement is expected to minimize purely speculative registrations from non-community members and will prove to be a key in creating a highly useful, community-centered geographic top-level domain.

Interlink will run the “.osaka” TLD using a “community-first” philosophy as described in response to Question 20. The creative and structured implementation of the TLD in tandem with a community structure that works in the public interest will help build “.osaka” into a preferred platform among Osaka Internet users. As more and more governments move toward providing online services for citizens, the Osaka Government will have access to a new and intuitive platform for providing unrivaled online services for its citizens. Furthermore, citizens will be able to leverage the platform to find local information more easily, and visitors to Osaka will have the luxury of having the entire digital world of Osaka at their fingertips.


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

The “.osaka” top-level domain will be a safe and secure TLD for all Internet users connected to Osaka. By implementing a Nexus Requirement and enforcing registry policy and eligibility requirements, the TLD will be driven by the Osaka community. In planning for the “.osaka” top-level domain, Interlink proposes that it is important to build a roadmap and ensure that key names are allocated to users with the highest likelihood to maintain ongoing operations of those names in a consistent matter. Interlink will work with the Osaka Prefectural Government as well as the Osaka community in a highly transparent manner to map out a well-organized namespace that breeds trust among its users.

According to research and analysis that Interlink performed in building its business case for Osaka, it is not uncommon for generic or “open” TLDs to contain a lot of so-called “junk sites.” As referenced in the response to Question 18A, relatively low price points and lack of clear rules creates an atmosphere for cyber criminals, squatters, and speculators. Interlink will work with the community to ensure that the TLD specializes in being a utility for the Osaka community.

Interlink has teamed up with Neustar, a world-class registry services provider and Iron Mountain, the industry’s most trusted Registry Data Escrow provider in order to provide high service levels, and build and maintain a reputation as a safe and secure TLD. These providers are highly reputable, and together with their high quality services, Interlink can be confident that “.osaka” meets or exceeds all service level requirements. Teaming up with the best in the business allows Interlink to more fully focus its resources on building a sound structure that benefits the entire Osaka community.


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

The “.osaka” TLD is designed to serve the Osaka community. Out of the current 22 gTLDs in use on the Internet today, there are only two TLDs that have a similar purpose; .CAT and .ASIA, both of which have strict policy enforcement policies and have been successful in their respective communities. Likewise, the aim of “.osaka” is to help build a community-driven namespace that benefits Internet users. Interlink is committed to producing a high quality namespace over creating a registration volume-centered registry, which is reflected in Interlinkʹs business case presented in response to Questions 45-50.

The current geographic naming scheme in the .JP zone is overly complex; consisting of four distinct labels. For example, individual users can currently register a name such as ʺUSER.taisho.osaka.jpʺ. The manager of the JP zone, Japan Registry Services (JPRS) has worked to remedy this problem and is currently planning to launch third-level geographic names as part of its offering under the .JP zone. Thus, registrants will be able to own names such as ʺUSER.osaka.jpʺ. It is anticipated that these names will be introduced to the public in the first quarter of 2012.

While this new program may be good for smaller cities and⁄or prefectures, these names are less intuitive for the average Internet user. A name directly under the “.osaka” top-level is intuitive, easy to remember, and will surely become the default name for users seeking information related to Osaka. A TLD for Osaka will allow registrants to connect with targeted audiences as well as be part of a new movement to grow online communities.

Interlink has a solid relationship with JPRS and intends to work together to ensure that minimal consumer confusion occurs with the introduction of “.osaka”.


iii. What goals does your proposed gTLD have in terms of user experience?

Interlink has carefully considered various factors that will likely play a role in creating a successful TLD and a great user experience for the Osaka Community. In its research Interlink identified that the structure of the TLD before its launch is important to its long-term success.

The structure of “.osaka” will enable the community to proactively participate in programs to strengthen online communications and services, as well as other programs that will benefit the community. Interlink intends to implement a launch schedule that includes a timeframe for a founders program.

The founders program will be announced in the early stages after the delegation of the TLD in order to appeal to the community. Interlink plans to allocate a strong set of base registrations in the zone that are fully operational and contain useful content prior to the public launch of the TLD. These base registrations will be intricately planned with the assistance of government planning authorities, and the Osaka Domain Advisory Committee. Having a base of active registrations upon launch will enable users enjoy instant access to the relevant local information.

Interlink has worked closely with its backend provider, Neustar, devise a viable plan to launch a successful registry which works to achieve Interlink’s intended goals as described in Question 18A. Several factors were taken into account and have been implemented in Interlinkʹs business approach as described in Questions 45-50.


iv. Provide a complete description of the applicant’s intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above.

Registration policies are a very important step in building up to a successful launch. Interlink has spend a considerable amount of time researching existing registry polices and believes that the construction and implementation of policies requires careful planning that will ultimately assist the registry in accomplishing its goals.

The primary objective of the launch policies and inclusion of a Nexus Requirement in the “.osaka” TLD is to maximize the user experience and utility for the Osaka community while minimizing any social costs. Interlink proposes the implementation of the following registration policies for “.osaka”:

 1. Osaka Domain Name Eligibility Requirements
 2. Acceptable Use Policy
 3. Reserved Names
 4. Founders Program
 5. Sunrise Period
 6. Landrush Period
 7. ICANN Consensus Policies and Rights Protection Mechanisms


1. Osaka Domain Name Eligibility Requirements

The Osaka Domain Eligibility Requirements policy defines who or what entities can register a domain name, the types of names that may be registered, as well as the technical requirements for allowable labels in the “.osaka” top-level domain.

1a Eligible Registrants

All registrants will be required to abide by a Nexus Requirement. The Nexus Requirement will require registrants to be in compliance with the registration agreement and the Nexus Requirement at all times. The Registry will conduct scans of registration request information from time to time in order to ensure compliance with the registration requirements. Any failure of a registration request to satisfy the Nexus Requirement will result in the name being placed on a hold for an initial period of at least 30 days. The sponsoring registrar will be notified of such a hold and be given the opportunity to correct any information. If the registrant does not comply during the hold time frame, the domain name may be subject to deletion. Additional details about registration requirements can also be found in answer to Question 20C.

1b Eligible Domain Names

An acceptable domain name that is valid for registration is one that:

 • has not already been registered
 • has not been blocked or reserved
 • meets the technical requirements
 • does not construe an abusive or obscene meaning in Japanese
 • does not construe an abusive or obscene meaning in English or other languages

2b. Technical Requirements

The standard technical requirements of the domain name are described below:

 • Labels containing the letters a - z in the standard US ASCII character set.
  Domain names may include the numbers 0 (zero) through 9 (nine) as well as a hyphen. (-).
 • The string my not begin with a hyphen (-)
 • The string my not contain a hyphen in both the third and forth positions unless it is a
  valid Internationalized Domain Name (in their ASCII encoding)
 • The string may be a maximum of 63 characters in length


2. Acceptable Use Policy

The Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is one of central policies of the “.osaka” registry and will be implemented to ensure that the registry maintains the rights to protect the integrity of its registry and achieve its goal of maintaining a safe and stable operation for the community. The policy further describes the process for applying for and registering, renewing, and transferring a domain name in the “.osaka” zone as well as any restrictions, and how the registry can enforce its policies. (The AUP is more fully described in the response to Question 28).


3. Reserved names

The registry will reserve names as required by the new gTLD Registry Agreement. These names will include:

 • The label ʺEXAMPLEʺ as required by ICANN
 • All two character labels will be initially reserved. Provisions for the release of these names
  is further described in relation to question 22: Protection of Geographic Names.
 • Tagged domain names (labels with a hyphen (ʺ-ʺ) in the third or fourth positions will
  only be allowed if they represent a valid internationalized domain name (IDN) in their ASCII encoding.
 • Second level names for registry operations, defined by ICANN as: NIC, WWW, IRIS, and WHOIS.
 • Country and territory names listed the following internationally recognized lists will be initially reserved:
   1. the ISO 3166-1 list including the short form and long form English versions,
   2. United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, Technical Reference manual
     for the Standardization of Geographical Names, Part III Names of Countries of the World
   3. The list of United Nations member states in 6 official United Nations languages prepared by the
     Working Group on Country Names of the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names

The registry plans to create a list of reserved names based on its work with the community and local governments to ensure that names that serve the public interest are allocated in the most efficient and beneficial way.


4. Founders Program

Interlink is dedicated to the long-term expansion and development of the “.osaka” top-level domain and plans to implement a founders program to encourage usage of the TLD.

Interlink is currently in the process of selecting names (singular names and groups of names) to be part of the Osaka Domain Name Allocation Program. Interlink will take necessary steps to ensure that generic terms or trademarked terms are not included. Interlink will work with the Osaka government as well as the Osaka Domain Advisory Committee to produce a list of names that will maximize public utility. Additional details regarding the implementation a founders program can be found in response to Question 20C.


5. Sunrise Period

Interlink is committed to implementing methods of rights protection in accordance with Specification 7 of the ICANN gTLD Agreement. As part of its compliance with this criteria, Interlink will offer a Sunrise period for a minimum of 30 days to allow trademark holders the opportunity to secure trademarked names under the “.osaka” TLD before the public launch. Interlink will employ the Trademark clearinghouse for this phase and will utilize the Trademark Notification Service for the life of the registry (A full description of the registry’s compliance with specification 7 can be found in response to Question 29.)

At the time of application submission during the sunrise phase, requested domains are checked against registrations in the ICANN-mandated Trademark Clearing House (TMCH). (As of the submission date of this application the Trademark Clearinghouse is still in the early stages of development and the protocol is not yet known.)


6. Landrush Period

Interlink will offer a landrush period in which any interested party will be permitted to submit one or more applications to purchase high value domains at reasonable costs. Only domain names that have not been reserved, restricted, registered and follow all registration rules and policies will be available during this launch period. Applications in the landrush period will be accepted throughout the period and will be considered as accepted at the same time.

At the end of the landrush period domain names for applications that do not have any competing applications will be approved and the domain name will be allocated to the registrant. Applications for domain names having one or more competing applications will be auctioned at prescribed date and time.

7. ICANN Consensus Policies and Proposed Rights Protection Mechanisms

Interlink is aware of, and understands, all current ICANN consensus policies listed at http:⁄⁄www.icann.org⁄en⁄general⁄consensus-policies.htm. As the registry operator for “.osaka”, Interlink will ensure continuing compliance with all existing and future consensus policies.

Interlink understands that “.osaka” will be an important public resource for the Osaka community and has committed to ensuring that all rights holders have adequate protections for their intellectual property assets under the “.osaka” TLD and therefore, Interlink will implement all mandated rights protection mechanism as described below in Part C.


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.

All registrant data as required by the WHOIS policy and ICANN standards will be publicly available where the registrant does not use privacy registration services at their registrar of choice. Registrars will be responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the payment information used in conjunction with a domain name registration.

The Registry operator will notify each ICANN-accredited registrar of their requirement to adhere to specific consensus policies. Additionally Interlink is aware of the current work being done to analyze the current WHOIS model as well as the movement to improve it. Interlink’s partners are involved deeply in the ICANN community and Interlink commits to implementing any and all new procedures as approved by ICANN.


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

Interlink will promote a strategy for creating a strong brand, consumer awareness, sales, and use of the TLD by influential companies and people. While still under development, Interlink intends to:

 1. Create stronger awareness of domain names and the “.osaka” TLD
 2. Work with local registrars in marketing programs to grow the TLD.
 3. Strengthen the brand by promoting the usage of names by companies and influential community members

The first phase of the communications and outreach program will primarily be web-based with focus on engaging with the Osaka community through online social activities. This phase will last throughout the application evaluation process.

Interlink plans to gain the attention of Internet users by integrating Osakaʹs top companies in its communications strategies. The communications for the Founders Program will occur months before public launch, to gain awareness and convey the requirements to companies, and other organizations. The idea is to gain enough traction in the community to announce the public launch phase of the registry that already has useful registrations and websites already up and running. Interlink is confident that a strong base of active registrations at the public launch will help boost user confidence and awareness of the “.osaka” TLD.

The third phase in the communications plan will be to create awareness of the names registered under the founders program as they go live. This will help the registry build momentum as it progresses towards the public launch.

Interlink believes that a focused marketing strategy within the community will help the “.osaka” TLD become the center of the online community in Osaka.

Similar gTLD applications: (7)

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.kyotoAcademic Institution: Kyoto Jyoho GakuenView
.moeInterlink Co., Ltd.View
.politiePolitie NederlandView
.siteInterlink Co., Ltd.View
.earthInterlink Co., Ltd.View
.ableAble Inc.View
.chintaiCHINTAI CorporationView