18.1 Mission and Purpose of .AARP AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people age 50 and over improve their lives and have independence, choice, and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. Since 1958, AARP has been a leading... Read more
18.1 Mission and Purpose of .AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people age 50 and over improve their lives and have independence, choice, and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. Since 1958, AARP has been a leading membership organization that has worked to change how society views older Americans. AARP advocates on behalf of all people 50+ and ensures that valuable information, products and services are available. AARP is deeply involved with its members and provides resources and engagement opportunities in the local communities through support from staffed offices in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. AARP content is accessible in multiple TLDs, including the .COM, .ORG, .NET, and .MOBI, gTLDs, and the .US, and .TV ccTLDs.
AARP believes that a comprehensive digital strategy will allow it to more effectively serve its members in the digital age. AARP was recently named one of the nation's top public groups for social media by George Washington University and L2, and has built a number of mobile apps that put AARP content at the fingertips of its members. The centerpiece of AARP's digital strategy - a redesigned website - was debuted in May 2010. Reflecting its membersʹ vitality and wide-ranging interests, the website includes a greater array of information and enhanced search capabilities, among other new features. A comparable Spanish-language website has been developed as well.
AARP's digital strategy focuses on making valuable information and resources available to its members, as well as nonmembers, in an intuitive and convenient manner. The .AARP gTLD has the potential to be a key part of AARP's online growth as the Internet continues to expand across all corners of the globe. AARP will be analyzing and evaluating other applicantsʹ .BRAND gTLD applications once they are made public, as well as general market adoption, to determine the short- and long-term potential best-in-class use case options that will most effectively serve and enhance AARPʹs online strategy.
The intended future mission and purpose of the .AARP gTLD is to serve as a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive namespace provided by AARP and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates for members and Internet users. AARP will be the entity to bring the .AARP gTLD to market.
Although ICANN has not specifically recognized a .BRAND gTLD specification in the current version of the Applicant Guidebook, it is widely anticipated within the brand owner community that this will become a specialty subset of new gTLDs. The .AARP gTLD was planned as a .BRAND gTLD, with the goal of expanding AARPʹs marketing and promotional efforts, providing a secure channel for online content and information, offering a platform through which to consolidate many of the intellectual property activities of AARP, and protecting AARPʹs online presence and identity. The intent of .AARP is to provide greater ease of use and to enhance AARPʹs relevance through broader brand awareness of many of its key initiatives, programs, and services offered.
AARP intends to initially limit registration and use of domain names within the .AARP gTLD to AARP and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates. This initial use will allow AARP to establish its operations and achieve full sustainability. This limited distribution, coupled with the other requirements set forth in Specification 9 of the template Registry Agreement, is intended to exempt AARP from its annual Code of Conduct Compliance requirements.
AARP has currently planned a four-stage rollout for the .AARP gTLD:
1) Stage 1
The initial stage of implementation of the .AARP gTLD will involve AARP registering a limited number of second-level domain names.
This initial use will provide AARPʹs IT and security personnel with the time to run a number of tests to ensure seamless and secure access using .AARP domain names, interoperability with various software and Web-based applications, and unbroken and secure use of all domain names. This initial allocation will also allow the appropriate AARP staff to coordinate with the internal and external staff responsible for the delegation and setup phases of the .AARP gTLD to ensure proper transition from delegation to full operation.
2) Stage 2
Once all testing has been successfully completed, AARP will begin allocating domain names in .AARP for more widespread internal use. During this same period of time, AARP will begin evaluating strategies to potentially migrate traffic away from its current network of second-level domain names, which are registered in a variety of TLDs, to AARPʹs new .AARP gTLD.
It is during Stage 2 that AARP will evaluate expanding the operations of the gTLD to permit registration by other registrants, including licensees and strategic partners. Should an assessment of its expansion strategy lead to a decision to extend registration rights to other parties, the expansion would take place during Stage 3. However, any expansion would be conditional upon a review of Specification 9 (Registry Code of Conduct), as set forth in the template Registry Agreement, to ensure compliance with AARPʹs business model.
3) Stage 3
Depending upon the analysis of the evaluations undertaken in Stage 2, AARP may begin to implement the permanent migration of Internet traffic away from the TLDs in which AARPʹs domain names are currently registered, toward the .AARP gTLD. It is during this stage that AARP may also implement its decision to extend registration rights to a wider class of registrants, including licensees and strategic partners, depending upon compliance with Specification 9 as noted above. The dates of such an expansion are subject to change depending upon business, strategic, and industry factors at the time.
After consideration of the following factors: analysis of AARPʹs existing domain name portfolio; internal analysis of marketing initiatives; and the fact that AARP will have full control over the number of registrations in the .AARP gTLD namespace, AARP is confident that the number of domain name registrations will be less than 10,000 in the first five years of operation.
4) Stage 4
Based on its experience from Startup through Year 5, and based on its experience with any expansions implemented in Stage 3, AARP will assess whether its business plan and expansion strategy should be augmented by extending registration rights to a wider class of registrants, including AARP members. AARP anticipates that changes to the domain name industry, particularly the impact of .BRAND gTLDs, will take at least five years to be realized and assessed. Any decision to expand the .AARP gTLD beyond use by AARP and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates will take into account this experience as well as the technical analysis of potential expansion.
Utilizing current projections based upon AARPʹs existing businesses, future business plans, current domain name portfolio, and other strategic factors, AARP estimates that second-level domain name registrations will be in line with the projections set forth in the financial template provided in response to Question 46 of this application.×