18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?
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Response to Question 18b - Mission⁄Purpose
According to the Applicant, the proposed gTLD has clear goals, offering more choice and enhanced competition, resulting in a number of benefits for registrants and Internet users. At the same time, a clear and open registration policy has to guarantee a fair, broad and non-discriminatory access to the new gTLD in full conformity with national and supra-national rules and regulations. The new gTLD will be operated on a strictly not-for-profit basis thus allowing the community to take full advantage of its existence. This will lead to fair prices for domain name registrations and renewals and re-investment of resources of the registry in further enhancement (technical, operational, marketing) of the proposed gTLD.
i. The goal of the .brussels gTLD is to provide users and registrants (both private persons and businesses) with the possibility to choose for a domain name registration with an obvious link to and entirely matching with the geographical region of Brussels and the territory of the capital city of Brussels.
ii. From the Applicant’s perspective, .brussels will bring a high degree of recognition and specialization to the currently existing name space. Where in most cases the specific connotation that has been initially given to the gTLDs (or even ccTLDs) has disappeared, the .brussels top-level domain will be unambiguously linked to the region and capital city of Brussels and will provide a unique online identifier for local governments, businesses and private persons from within that area. Alternatively, it will also provide the resources for businesses and private persons from outside the region of Brussels but with a clear link to the region and city (e.g. expatriates) to get in touch with the local community. As many domain names are already registered in the national .be top-level domain the new .brussels TLD will provide many users with a new chance to register those domain names that are linked to their interests or business.
iii. As mentioned in the vision ⁄ mission statement before, some of the key reasons why Applicant is applying for .brussels are:
1. Direct link between proposed TLD and the region and city of Brussels, enabling its inhabitants, businesses and government entities to apply for a domain name with local character;
2. Enhance digital presence of the Brussels Region and capital city of Brussels and strengthen their visibility and identity;
3. Assurance for users and registrants that TLD will be operated in their best interest given the not-for-profit model and the fact that the national ccTLD operator will be the registry operator for .brussels;
iv. The Applicant intends to implement the following policies and procedures with respect to the registration of domain names in the .brussels top-level domain including but not limited to:
1. Reservation and exclusion of domain names. These names include:
a) descriptive names, referring to the actual day-to-day business activities of the Applicant;
b) geographical names, referring to the government entities and public authorities within the Brussels Region and capital city;
c) domain names considered illegal, harmful or not suited for public usage can be put on an exclusion list and will not be available for registration;
2. Launch of the TLD:
a) Sunrise: allow government entities, physical persons, organizations and companies that meet the eligibility requirements in force at that point in time to choose the domain names that are identical to their rights (trademarks, trade names, geographical names, etc.);
b) General availability: other available domain names may be registered by physical persons, organizations and entities that meet the eligibility requirements in force at that point in time to choose the domain names in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions.
3. Security measures regarding quality of whois data:
a) Screening of whois data of newly registered domain names: upon registration all whois data linked to new domain names will be examined on obviously false, fraudulent or missing information in order to discourage fraudulent or suspicious registrations;
b) Screening of whois data of registrations made by non-Belgian users: upon registration all whois data linked to new domain names of users from outside Belgium will be examined in order to verify the accuracy of the provided contact information;
c) If the examination under a) or b) reveals fraudulent or inaccurate information that obstructs the identification of the domain name holder, Applicant will initiate a breach procedure allowing the registrant to complement and correct his contact information where needed within a time period of 14 days. If registrant fails to correct his contact information, the domain name will be deleted by Applicant.
v. Given the fact that the Applicant is an organization that is established in Belgium, it is subject to both national and European privacy and data protection rules and practices. Applicant intends to provide users and registrants of .brussels the same level of protection that is also in place for users and registrants of .be domain names. In that perspective a distinction will be made between corporate registrations (registrations for companies, organizations, government agencies and other legal persons) and private registrations (registrations for private individuals). While full whois disclosure is intended for corporate registrations, private registrants will be allowed to opt out for full whois disclosure of the personal data linked to their domain name registrations. Nevertheless, all registrants will have the full obligation to provide (during registration of the domain name) and maintain (as long as they remain registrant of the domain name) full and accurate whois data. This is necessary in order to allow Applicant to disclose the contact data of the registrant in situations where the applicable data protection rules allow such a disclosure e.g. when a third party wants to start a litigation against the registrant for alleged breach of specific rights the third party could have in relation to the domain name registered by the registrant. Disclosure of the personal data requires the party seeking such a disclosure to follow a specific procedure and file a motivated request with Applicant. After legal examination and verification of the motivation of the requestor, personal data may be communicated to requestor by Applicant. The obligation to provide and maintain accurate whois data in combination with the enhanced protection for private registrants is specifically aimed at preventing practices whereby registrants deliberately provide inaccurate or fake personal data at the time of registration. Such occurrences would jeopardize the overall quality and reliability of the databases managed and operated by Applicant and might have a negative influence on how the .brussels TLD would be perceived by users.
The Applicant intends to achieve the above listed benefits by reaching out and communicate in the following ways:
-The Government of the Brussels Region and the Applicant will establish working groups and committees to determine the details of the registration policy, the rules for sunrise phases and applications, possible exclusion of domain names (exclusion list), protection of rights mechanisms such as alternative dispute resolution (ADR), pre-sunrise reservation possibilities for governments. All policies agreed upon will be communicated in a broad way in order to assist registrars and registrants and help them prepare their applications and registration requests. As the Applicant is the registry operator for the .be ccTLD, it already has a solid reputation and will not have to face difficulties in getting widespread attention for the communication of policy details for the new gTLD;
-The Applicant is under contract by the Government of the Brussels Region to operate the new gTLD on a pure not-for-profit model and Applicant is in itself a not-for-profit entity. This means that the growing number of new registrations and renewals will create additional income over time while costs stay more or less at the same level. This will allow Applicant to lower the set fee levels for new registrations and renewals. By lowering the fee levels, access to the new gTLD will be further widened, providing also very small businesses and individual users opportunity to register domain names;
-The Government of the Brussels Region has a very clear determination to use the new gTLD as the primary TLD for all its administrations, agencies, ministries, etc. This means that those entities will gradually migrate from the .be domain names towards the .brussels equivalents. The Government of the Brussels Region will of course make usage of .brussels in all publications and statements, both internally as addressed to the public at large. This will assist in making the new gTLD visible and tangible for registrants and Internet users;
-The Government of the Brussels Region has worked in close cooperation with the organization VisitBrussels, a not-for-profit entity especially established for the marketing and communication for the Brussels Region. VisitBrussels is the official communication agency of the Tourist Information Services of the Brussels Region and is in charge for the promotion of Brussels as a region and city and to introduce its culture and touristic value to visitors. VisitBrussels is in charge of every aspect hereof including communication and organization of large events. VisitBrussels will adopt a new marketing⁄communication plan end 2012 or by mid 2013 at the very latest and intends to make the .brussels gTLD its focal point of the global plan. The .brussels gTLD will be massively present in all marketing and communication of the Brussels Region and city.
Similar gTLD applications: (1)
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