.est Domain Information
Applicant Full Legal Name
Charleston Road Registry Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View 94043
State of Delaware (General Corporations Code)
Applied for gTLD
Mission/Purpose of Domain Extension
18.a. Mission/Purpose of the Proposed gTLD Charleston Road Registry is an American company, wholly owned by Google, which was established to provide registry services to the Internet public. Google is an American multinational public corporation and global technology leader focused on improving... Read more
Charleston Road Registry is an American company, wholly owned by Google, which was established to provide registry services to the Internet public. Google is an American multinational public corporation and global technology leader focused on improving the ways its hundreds of millions of users connect with information. Since its formation, Google has been developing technology that can improve upon existing ways of doing business on the Internet. Google provides a variety of services and tools for Internet users and advertisers of all sizes, from simple search features and local ads to enterprise-scale business applications and global advertising solutions. These tools make it easier for people to make use of the world's information and enable entrepreneurs and publishers around the world to grow their businesses.
In line with Google's general mission, Charleston Road Registry's mission is to help make information universally accessible by extending the utility of the DNS while enhancing the performance, security and stability of the Internet for users worldwide. Charleston Road Registry aspires to create unique web spaces where users can learn about products, services and information in a targeted manner and in ways never before seen on the Internet. Its business objective is to manage Google's gTLD portfolio and Google's registry operator business. As discussed further in the responses to questions 23 and 31, Charleston Road Registry intends to outsource all critical registry functions to Google Registry Services.
The proposed gTLD will provide the marketplace with direct association to the term, ʺest,ʺ a common suffix utilized to describe the superlative of an adjective (e.g., smallest, fastest, smartest.) The mission of this gTLD, .est, is to provide a dedicated domain space in which registrants can enact second-level domains that provide content related to the registrantsʹ usage of the term ʺest.ʺ Charleston Road Registry expects these uses may include but are not limited to offering content that is centralized around a second-level domain name, such as fast.est or cool.est. The proposed gTLD will enhance consumer choice by providing new availability in the second-level domain space, creating new layers of organization on the Internet, and signaling the kind of content available in the domain. Charleston Road Registry believes that registrants will find value in associating with this gTLD, which could have a vast array of purposes for businesses, organizations or individuals.
The proposed gTLD will also provide Charleston Road Registry with the means to meet its business objectives.×
18.b. Benefits to Registrants, Internet Users, and Others 18.b.i.1 Specialty The goal of the proposed gTLD is to create a new Internet environment that provides registrants, Internet users, and the public with the opportunity to associate with a meaningful term. Specialization will arise from... Read more
The goal of the proposed gTLD is to create a new Internet environment that provides registrants, Internet users, and the public with the opportunity to associate with a meaningful term. Specialization will arise from this environment through market dynamics as entities align their offerings with the term.
The specialization goal of the proposed gTLD is to create a new Internet environment that provides registrants with the opportunity to associate with the term ʺest.ʺ This specialization introduces a new domain name hierarchy with the express purpose of generating content specific to superlatives and other terms ending in ʺest.ʺ
18.b.i.2 Service Levels
Through its association with Google, Charleston Road Registry is uniquely positioned to enable and support the proposed gTLD by providing its service reliability and speed of delivery as a part of its services. Google brings unique expertise and a proven record of excellence in infrastructure operations: Google now runs the largest DNS system in the world, has industry-leading uptime on its services, such as web search, and offers enterprise services on which governments and businesses depend.
Google is known for its high level of quality and speed, and Charleston Road Registry's service level goal for the proposed gTLD is to extend that high level of quality, speed, and service to registrars. Indeed, two of Google's core principles in providing Internet search and related goods and services are "focus on the user and all else will follow" and that "fast is better than slow."
Charleston Road Registry is committed to using the most technologically advanced, secure, and reliable registry services for all of the domain names in the gTLD so as to not compromise the service levels, security, and stability of the gTLD to users worldwide.
Charleston Road Registry will provide both Engineering and Customer Service support to registrars. All registrars will also have the same level of access to Charleston Road Registry resources to resolve disputes and technical and/or administrative customer service issues.
Charleston Road Registry will provide all registrars with 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week Customer Support in the form of telephone, email, and/or web chat for technical and non-technical issues relating to the operation of the gTLD system. Charleston Road Registry will provide all registrars with the same level of access to customer support via telephone, email, and Charleston Road Registryʹs website; email and web-based interactions will be the primary method of provisioning customer service support to registrars.
Additionally, Charleston Road Registry will implement strict policies and procedures to minimize abusive domain name registrations and uses and other activities that have a negative impact on Internet users. It will dedicate ample resources for the purpose of responding promptly to abuse complaints from government, judicial and/or law enforcement.
Google has a proven record of providing high-quality, secure online services. Charleston Road Registry seeks to enhance Google's reputation for excellence, superior quality, and high level of security and become known as an exemplary domain name services provider. When registrants assess opportunities in the marketplace to obtain a name, they will have confidence in Charleston Road Registry's ability to meet ongoing needs as the registry operator for the proposed gTLD. When Internet users visit a domain name in the proposed gTLD environment, they will be able to reliably expect and experience the high level of security and quality on which Google's reputation has been built.
The registry will be structured so that Charleston Road Registry allows registrars to register and oversee second-level domain names in the proposed gTLD; that registrars develop and deploy a reasonable process for ensuring that those domain names are used for gTLD-relevant purposes as specified in the registry-registrar agreement; and per Specification 4 that the WHOIS is thick and reliable; and that the registry is responsive to legal rights owners (if applicable) who may have complaints about potentially abusive registrations.
In addition, Charleston Road Registry's operation of the new gTLD will provide the opportunity for registrars and registrants to build and/or bolster their unique brands and brand reputation in association with the proposed gTLD.
Charleston Road Registry supports the advancement of registry operators as a whole and the diffusion of gTLDs amongst diverse stakeholders to generate increased competition for the benefit of the Internet public. Increased competition will result in more competitive prices for consumers, generate efficiencies and increase productivity in enterprises, and spur innovation in the gTLD space.
The proposed gTLD, .est, will provide new web spaces dedicated to terms that incorporate ʺestʺ such as ʺsmart.estʺ, ʺb.estʺ, etc. As an alternative to existing second-level domains, Charleston Road Registry anticipates that the .est gTLD will increase competition among registrars by increasing consumer choice and creating new opportunities for registrar pricing differentiation. Charleston Road Registry also anticipates the .est gTLD will encourage the public to provide more content related to specific terms that include ʺestʺ thereby increasing competition among those offering such content.
Managing this Internet space will allow Charleston Road Registry to provide to registrars and registrants the high level of technical operations quality and service for which Google is known, which in turn will incent other existing and new gTLDs to improve the quality of their offerings.
Charleston Road Registry will facilitate a fair and equitable registrar process, providing open access to any registrar who meets ICANN accreditation guidelines by fully complying with the Registry Operator Code of Conduct. Charleston Road Registry is committed to treating all registrars equitably and will not offer preferential treatment to Google in its capacity as registrar.
Charleston Road Registry believes in the commercial viability of alternatives to existing gTLDs such as .com and .net. The proposed gTLD will provide the marketplace with opportunities for differentiation not currently available in the gTLD space.
The .est gTLD will provide a new mechanism whereby businesses, organizations and individuals can differentiate their content by signifying that it is related to a superlative (fast.est) and/or associate content to any other term that includes ʺest.ʺ
Given its association with Google, Charleston Road Registry offers a unique value proposition to registrars resulting from the strength of Google's trusted brand, technical leadership, and support for free speech on the Internet. Registrars will have the opportunity to leverage this brand in devising their own market positions.
The proposed gTLD will foster innovation by creating a new space for the categorization and classification of online content. It will therein provide a mechanism by which registrars and registrants can better brand and manage their online presence by associating it with the .est namespace. This namespace delivers value to the public through the provision of new and differentiated content, goods, and services to Internet users.
The proposed gTLD, .est, will promote innovation among registrars by providing for the sale of a second-level domain in a gTLD that will attract a specific segment of registrants. This provides registrars with the opportunity to create and offer tailored new products and services that benefit registrants and/or improve user experience in association with the registration of a second-level domain in the .est gTLD.
In addition, the proposed gTLD will promote innovation in the marketplace by providing additional second-level domain options for the public's use. This will invite new entrants to establish a domain name presence, facilitating innovation in their offerings, and their interactions with Internet users.
Charleston Road Registry considers the proposed gTLD to be a platform for innovation with existing and future Google products and services. Charleston Road Registry, therefore, may incorporate these new offerings into future registry service options (subject to the ICANN approval process), infusing new ideas into the gTLD for the betterment of the public.
Google consistently aims to improve upon technologies that connect people with information, as demonstrated by a proven record of innovation and iteration. Charleston Road Registry strives to offer its constituents this same level of continuous development in advancing its management and operation of the gTLD, engendering benefits to registrars, registrants, and end users.
18.b.iii User Experience
Charleston Road Registry will strive to provide the highest level of user experience through operational stability, security, and performance to serve the interest of registrants in the proposed gTLD. Charleston Road Registry is uniquely positioned to provide this level of experience given its relationship with Google; Google invested over $3 billion in its IT infrastructure in 2011 and maintains a record of excellence in infrastructure operations.
The proposed gTLD will provide registrants with the opportunity to differentiate their dedicated domain space such that the end users are able to discern the type of content intended to be found within the proposed gTLD. This will enable increased user visibility of registrants' offerings, as well as provide registrants with the opportunity to enhance their respective content offerings and innovate in new ways.
The proposed gTLD will provide a more trusted and user-friendly environment where domain names and content related to the .est gTLD can flourish. Charleston Road Registry seeks to have users deem the gTLD trustworthy and reliable and recognize it as an aggregated source of targeted goods, services, and information.
The proposed gTLD, furthermore, facilitates an improved online user experience through greater structure and categorization on the Internet.
18.b.iv Registration Policies
Charleston Road Registry believes that given its wide variety of uses, the .est gTLD will best add value to the gTLD space by remaining totally open and unencumbered by registrant restrictions. There will, therefore, be no restrictions on second-level domain name registrations in the proposed gTLD, .est.
Charleston Road Registry will make access to Registry Services, including the shared registration system, available to all ICANN-accredited registrars. Domain names within the proposed gTLD will be available to the general public for registration and use.
Charleston Road Registry is committed to implementing strong and integrated intellectual property rights protection mechanisms. Doing so is critical to Google's goals of model Internet citizenship and fostering Internet development, especially in emerging regions. Accordingly, Charleston Road Registry intends to offer a suite of rights protection measures, which builds upon ICANNʹs required policies while fulfilling our commitment to encouraging innovation, competition and choice on the Internet.
18.b.v Protection of Privacy and Confidential Information
Charleston Road Registry will strive to ensure the appropriate level of privacy and security will be met for its users. Charleston Road Registry and its provider of registry services, Google, have imposed measures to achieve this protection; additional specifics regarding the practices for the registry include but are not limited to the following:
- All data transmitted from registrars to the registry will be encrypted using transport layer security (TLS) or other similar data protection schemes to ensure that third parties cannot access personally identifying information or other sensitive data as it crosses the Internet.
- Charleston Road Registry will attempt to prevent the misuse of WHOIS data for improper purposes such as spam, intellectual property theft, or phishing. Charleston Road Registry will attempt to identify patterns of abusive usage of the WHOIS and will appropriately use CAPTCHA, query throttling or other techniques to prevent information scraping.
- Google will restrict access to data and information systems maintained by the registry to a specific list of individuals involved with supporting the Google Registry system in production. Google will review this list on a periodic basis to ensure that the level of access granted to individuals is appropriate. Google uses two-factor authentication and other mechanisms to ensure that staff with access to user information are properly identified prior to using registry systems.
- Google data backups stored offsite are encrypted with passwords that are securely managed on Google's internal systems. Google can effectively remove the ability to access this data by destroying the relevant encryption password.
- Supplying Google account information will be optional for registrants unless the domain registration is directly associated with another Google product offering. Google will not disclose Google account information except for any contact information provided by the user that is required by ICANN (per Specification 4) to be displayed in response to a WHOIS query.
- Registrar billing and payment information will not be stored alongside domain name registration information. All registrar billing and payment information will be stored in a payment card industry (PCI)-compliant billing system similar to that used by Google Ads.
- Data will not be shared with third parties without the permission of registrants, except as required for registry operations or as required under the law, such as in response to a subpoena, other such court order, or demonstrated official need by law enforcement.
18.b.vi. Outreach and Communications Efforts
Once Charleston Road Registry begins developing public-facing resources in its gTLD, it intends to inform the public about the gTLD and the opportunity to obtain domain space there through investments in marketing and public relations.
Charleston Road Registry intends to promote gTLDs in its portfolio, such that the public gains an awareness and understanding of new gTLDs and the availability of new second-level domain space on the Internet. Charleston Road Registry believes that this approach will make the strongest impact in modifying consumer behavior and is the best path to achieving success for all new gTLDs collectively.
Charleston Road Registry will reach out to the Internet community via a number of different outreach and communications methods and venues to deliver its mission and message to the public, including but not limited to: press briefings, videos posted on various Internet sites, blogs and other social media, and paid advertising. In addition, when developing resources for localized Internet registrars in different global regions, Charleston Road Registry will use local marketing and communications platforms as needed.×
Operational Rules and Cost Benefits
18.c. Minimizing Social Costs and Other Negative Consequences 18.c.i Registration will be managed by Charleston Road Registry in three phases. Phase 1 - The first phase will be an extended 60-day sunrise phase. Only owners of trademarks listed in the Trademark Clearinghouse may participate in... Read more
Registration will be managed by Charleston Road Registry in three phases.
Phase 1 - The first phase will be an extended 60-day sunrise phase. Only owners of trademarks listed in the Trademark Clearinghouse may participate in this phase, and such owners may register domain names that consist of an identical match to their listed trademarks. If multiple qualified parties express an interest in registering the same domain name, Charleston Road Registry will award the domain name on a strictly first come, first served basis. At the end of the sunrise phase, at a minimum, Charleston Road Registry will follow ICANN rules for subsequent attributions of trademarked second-level domains and will offer other protections for trademark owners, including but not limited to an extended Trademark Claims Service of indefinite length.
Phase 2 - The second phase will be a four-week open registration phase. During this phase, any interested applicant may apply for all second-level domain names not previously registered in the sunrise period. Trademarked terms will be subject to the Rights Protection Mechanisms set forth in Response 29. At the end of the second phase, if multiple parties have expressed an interest in registering the same second-level domain name, Charleston Road Registry will award the domain name through an auction to the highest bidder.
Phase 3 - The third phase will be a steady state phase for the duration of registry operation. During this phase, any interested applicant may apply for all second-level domain names not previously registered in an earlier phase. Trademarked terms will be subject to the Rights Protection Mechanisms set forth in Response 29. If multiple parties express an interest in registering the same domain name, Charleston Road Registry will award the domain name on a strictly first come, first served basis.
While Charleston Road Registry reserves the right to charge different prices for unique second-level domains within the gTLD, once Charleston Road Registry determines the price for a particular second-level domain, Charleston Road Registry will not price discriminate among ICANN-accredited registrars. Charleston Road Registry does not intend but reserves the right to offer introductory discounts and bulk registration discounts. Volume discounts, marketing support and incentive programs may be made available, and if so will be offered to all ICANN-accredited registrars without preference.
Pursuant to the ICANN-Registry Operator Agreement, Charleston Road Registry will provide written notice a minimum of 30 days prior to any increases in price for initial registrations, as well as written notice 180 days prior to any increase in registration renewals. Further, Charleston Road Registry will offer uniform pricing for renewals as specified in the ICANN-Registry Operator Agreement.
Charleston Road Registry does not currently intend to make contractual commitments to registrants regarding the magnitude of price escalation. Charleston Road Registry does, however, intend to keep its practices competitive and aligned to activity in the marketplace.×
Is this a Community-based TLD?
Is this a Geographic-based TLD?
Protection of Geographic Names
As specified throughout this application, Charleston Road Registry (CRR) plans to implement comprehensive anti-abuse mechanisms. CRR will protect against the abusive registration of geographic names at the second and other levels in the applied-for gTLD by reserving to the registry protected... Read more
In that regard, CRR has thoroughly reviewed Specification 5 of the Registry Agreement, the Government Advisory Committee's (GAC) "Principles Regarding New gTLDs", and the .info methodology for reservation and release of country names. Accordingly, CRR will, in connection with its registry services operator and registrar, initially reserve from registration by any party names with national or geographic significance within the TLD during the TLD's Sunrise Period and Trademark Claims Period.
The names with national or geographic significance (hereto referred to as "geographic names") that will be initially blocked are those specified in Specification 5 of the New gTLD Registry Agreement, namely:
(1) The short form (in English) of all country and territory names contained on the ISO 3166-1 list, as updated from time to time, including the European Union, which is exceptionally reserved on the ISO 3166-1 list, and its scope extended in August 1999 to any application needing to represent the name European Union;
(2) The 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; and
(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.
As noted above, the top-level domain shall not permit the public to register domain names with national or geographic significant at the second-level. The names will be set aside by use of the Reserved state making them inaccessible (See response to Question 27 for details). Google, as the registry services provider, has arranged for such reservation to occur prior to the launch of the TLD.
In the event there is a compelling use of a two-character geographic name, the two-character label string may be released to the extent that CRR reaches agreement with the government and country-code manager and consults with the GAC and ICANN. The Registry may also propose the future release of these reserved names based on the implementation by the prospective registrant of measures to avoid confusion with the corresponding country codes.
As with the .info TLD, only if a potential second-level domain registrant makes a proper showing of governmental support for country or territorial names will CRR relay this request to ICANN. CRR also plans to consult with the GAC and of ICANN before proceeding to delegate the domain at issue.