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

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.sncfSociété Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais S N C FView

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 .sncf gTLD are in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments: to promote consumer trust, competition and consumer choice. SNCF also seeks to foster its online reputation and provide an authoritative internet space through which SNCF is able to communicate with its customers and passengers directly and effectively. The ability to create domain names on demand related to specific marketing, specialty service and product development supports these goals. Strengthened security measures, service levels and more effective functionality will provide a trusted and positive user experience.

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 .sncf gTLD will make positive contributions to the wider internet community by providing:

Differentiation (Increased trust):
The .sncf gTLD will simplify how internet users interact with SNCF by providing a distinctive domain space for its uses including passengers engaging with SNCF through their mobile devices or for its online ticket booking services. Internet users and SNCF train passengers will be able to directly navigate to the .sncf gTLD site, saving time and resources searching for an official site or the relevant information they seek. Further, SNCF plans to develop specific sites to provide direct and target specific communication to their different consumer groups. 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. SNCF can address some of these vulnerabilities by maintaining complete control over the domain names registered under the .sncf domain space and limiting such registrations to its exclusive use at the initial stage. Together with consumer trust and confidence, internet users will be able to rely on the authoritativeness of the domain names under the .sncf domain space, which will differentiate interaction between internet users and SNCF online.

The differentiation of .sncf gTLD as a trusted site for SNCF will drive existing and new TLD registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs. Internets users will be encouraged to interact with domain names under .sncf domain space. As a result, .sncf will have a flow on effect to enable increased competition. Therefore, the benefits of the proposed .sncf 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.

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 organisations establishing a coherent global online brand presence to meet their evolving business needs. It is often difficult to register a domain name in existing domain space due to unavailability of the desired name. This problem is amplified for organisations such as SNCF who work across many different jurisdictions and geographical markets. Even when the desired domain name is available, it may come with a high price tag associated with a purchase of such desired name from a third party. SNCF has the ability to create second or third level domain names including the use of IDNs on demand which are relevant to its customer base, services and products. For example, SNCF Voyages will be able to innovatively utilise the .sncf gTLD to assist its customer to book tickets online in a more efficient and convenient way. With complete control over the .sncf domain space, SNCF seeks to strengthen its brand reputation as the world leader in mobility and logistics services. SNCF 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 and better customer communication.

18(b)iii. What goals does your proposed gTLD have in terms of user experience?

The proposed .sncf gTLD will provide a positive user experience, which meets the changing and growing needs of the global internet community. SNCF will maintain control in the registration and use of domain names and will ensure that the new gTLD will only be used for purposes authorised by SNCF. Therefore, the .sncf gTLD will:
- provide an easy and intuitive reference and access point for internet users;
- allow SNCF to communicate directly and efficiently with target specific content to their customers and passengers;
- represent authenticity thus promoting user confidence;
- direct internet users to relevant information in a timely manner by creating domain names on demand to cater to SNCF’s customer groups;
- use IDNs to enable customer to interact directly in their native language;
- allow the use of geographic names to localise its websites to connect with internet users in the relevant regions and to comply with local laws;
- enhance security and minimise 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.

SNCF does not intend to use geographic names in the second level initially. However, as the use of .sncf develops, SNCF may wish to use geographic names, at a later stage, to localise its websites in the 120 countries in which it operates. The use of geographic names will be in accordance with registration policy and the proposed measures for protection of geographic names as outlined in response to Question 22 and is intended to:
- connect internet users with relevant information as applicable to the territory; and
- comply with required rules and regulations in the relevant territory.

The .sncf 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 .sncf 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 SNCF will be eligible to register domain names in .sncf 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.

SNCF 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 and regulations relating to internet security, privacy and user’s confidential information including Receipt No. 1253753 of the CNIL (French National Freedom of Information Commission) and Article 38 of Act No. 78-17 (Freedom of Information Act).

Privacy is of fundamental concern to most of SNCF’s customers as the interaction between SNCF and its customers may involve monetary transactions. As such SNCF has a strong interest in ensuring a high level of privacy protection for its customers. SNCF has also implemented its own privacy policy to demonstrate its commitment to the protection of user privacy and confidential information.

The purpose of SNCF’s websites is to enable SNCF to contact with its internet users. SNCF will only use the data gathered through its website for the purposes of professional communications, to process user requests and to improve the quality of service provided to its customers. However, SNCF ensures that users are aware that SNCF may be obliged, in certain circumstances such as by reason of legal or fiscal procedures, to provide the gathered data to the relevant authorities.

As the .sncf gTLD will only be available to SNCF, initially, the amount of personal data that will be collected for the purposes of operating the gTLD and made publicly available in the WHOIS database will be very limited. SNCF 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, SNCF will utilise 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.

SNCF will deploy Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) which is intended to benefit both SNCF and its users interacting with SNCF 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 .sncf gTLD. SNCF already implements measures to protect privacy or confidential information of its users against misuse, loss, alteration and unauthorised access. Such measures include:
- use of passwords;
- use of data encryption; and
- use of Secure Socket Layers (SSL).

SNCF 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 .sncf 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 publicised 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.

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 utilise the trusted site will contribute towards minimising malicious abuses and protecting internet users.

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gTLDFull Legal NameDetail