18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?
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The key goals of the proposed new .softbank gTLD are in line with ICANNʹs Affirmation of Commitments: to promote consumer trust, competition and consumer choice. Softbank also seeks to foster its online reputation and provide an authoritative internet space through which Softbank is able to communicate with its customers 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.
It is anticipated that the proposed .softbank gTLD will make positive contributions to the wider internet community by providing:
Differentiation (Increased trust):
The .softbank gTLD will simplify how internet users interact with Softbank by providing a distinctive domain space. Internet users will be able to directly and accurately navigate to the .softbank site, saving time and resources searching for an official site, particularly on the mobile internet devices that are central to Softbankʹs business and services. 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. Softbank can address some of these limitations by maintaining complete control over the domain names registered under the .softbank domain space. Together with consumer trust, internet users will be able to rely on the authoritativeness of the domain names under .softbank domain space, which will differentiate interaction between internet users and Softbank.
The differentiation of .softbank gTLD as a trusted site for Softbankwill 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 .softbank domain space. As a result, .softbank will have a flow on effect to enable increased competition. Therefore, the benefits of the proposed .softbank will be distributed not only to its direct customers, but to the internet community at large with improved services and competitive pricing.
With the expansion of the internet community, the existing gTLD structure presents limitations, not only in the availability of domain names for registrants, but also to businesses 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. 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. Softbank has the ability to create second or third level domain names, including the use of geographic names, on demand which are relevant to its customer base, services and products. The use of .softbank will allow for greater uniformity of the Softbank brand as well as facilitating future growth and strengthening its online reputation. Softbank will be able to combine its use of the domain space with innovative user focused marketing and services creating synergy to address the currently unmet needs in the existing domain name system providing greater consumer choice.
The proposed .softbank will provide positive user experience, which meets the changing and growing needs of the global internet community. Softbank 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 Softbank. Therefore, .softbank gTLD will:
- provide an easy and intuitive reference and access point for internet users;
- represent authenticity thus promoting user confidence;
- direct internet users to relevant information in a timely manner by creating domain names on demand;
- 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.
.softbank 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 processes, the .softbank 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 ICANNʹs core values in benefiting the public interest.
The proposed registration policy is attached in response to Question 28.
Only Softbank and its subsidiary entities will be eligible to register domain names in .softbank at this stage. The domain name registration processes will address the requirements mandated by ICANN, including rights abuse prevention measures.
Softbank 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 userʹs confidential information. Softbank also complies with all relevant laws, ordinances, national guidelines and regulations regarding the handling of personal information relevant to the telecommunications industry. Companies within the Softbank Group have accreditation under the standards: PrivacyMark (JIS Q 15001) for the protection of personal information;ISO⁄IEC27001:2005(JIS Q 27001:2006) as an information security management standard and⁄or TRUSTe, as an online privacy protection seal.
Softbank will deploy Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) which is intended to benefit both Softbank and its users interacting with Softbank 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 .softbank gTLD. Softbank already implements measures to protect privacy or confidential information of its users against misuse, loss, alteration and unauthorised access. Such measures include the use of firewalls and Secure Socket Layers for all personal information collected for its users.
Softbank 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 .softbank domain space.
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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