Mission and Purpose of .MUTUAL The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company ("Northwestern Mutual") is a mutual company serving the insurance and investment needs of more than three million clients, offering a variety of financial services throughout the United States. Northwestern Mutual's... Read more
Mission and Purpose of .MUTUAL
The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company ("Northwestern Mutual") is a mutual company serving the insurance and investment needs of more than three million clients, offering a variety of financial services throughout the United States. Northwestern Mutual's online content is viewable in the .COM, .NET, .BIZ, .INFO, .JOBS, .TEL, .MOBI, and .ORG gTLDs, and also in the .US ccTLD. In order to apply for the .MUTUAL gTLD, Northwestern Mutual has selected its subsidiary company, Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry, LLC ("Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry"), as the entity to file this application and bring the .MUTUAL gTLD to market. Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry is a wholly owned subsidiary of Northwestern Mutual.
Ranked 112 on the Fortune 500, Northwestern Mutual is the largest direct provider of individual life insurance in the United States and has received the highest possible financial strength ratings awarded to any life insurer by four of the major credit rating agencies. Northwestern Mutual's portfolio of financial services includes: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, mutual funds, and employee benefit services, among others.
The intended future mission and purpose of the .MUTUAL gTLD is to serve as a trusted and intuitive namespace provided by Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry for Northwestern Mutual, its subsidiaries, and its current and future clients and policyowners. However, to date there has not been enough time, and currently there is not enough market information available, to fully analyze and evaluate all potential use case options.
Northwestern Mutual will be analyzing general market adoption to determine short- and long-term potential best-in-class use case options to most effectively serve and enhance Northwestern Mutual's online strategy.
The goal of the .MUTUAL gTLD is to protect Northwestern Mutual's online presence and identity; expand its marketing and promotion efforts; provide a secure channel for online products and services; and offer a platform through which to consolidate many of the intellectual property activities of Northwestern Mutual.
Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry intends to initially limit registration and use of domain names within the .MUTUAL gTLD to Northwestern Mutual and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates. This initial limited use will allow Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry 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 Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry from its annual Code of Conduct Compliance requirements.
After Stage Two (see below), Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry and Northwestern Mutual will evaluate whether opportunities exist to carry out the business strategy for the gTLD through expansion that continues the registry's sustainable operations through fee-based registrations to parties other than Northwestern Mutual and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates.
Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry currently plans a four-stage rollout for the .MUTUAL gTLD. The dates of these stages are subject to change depending upon business, strategic, and industry factors at the time.
1. Stage One
The initial stage of implementation of the gTLD will involve Northwestern Mutual registering a limited number of .MUTUAL second-level domain names.
This initial use will provide Northwestern Mutual's IT and security personnel the time to run a number of tests to ensure seamless and secure access using the .MUTUAL gTLD domain names, interoperability with various software and Web-based applications, and unbroken and secure use of all names. This initial allocation will also allow the appropriate Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry staff to coordinate with the internal and external staff responsible for the delegation and setup phases of the .MUTUAL gTLD to ensure a proper transition from delegation to full operation.
2. Stage Two
Once all testing has been successfully completed, Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry will begin allocating domain names in .MUTUAL to Northwestern Mutual and potentially its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates for more widespread internal corporate use. During this same period of time, Northwestern Mutual will begin evaluating strategies to potentially migrate traffic away from its current patchwork network of second-level domain names, which are registered in a variety of TLDs, to the .MUTUAL gTLD.
It is also in Stage Two that Northwestern Mutual will evaluate expanding the operations of the gTLD to permit registration by other registrants such as licensees or strategic partners. Should an assessment of its expansion strategy lead to a decision to extend registration rights to other parties, this expansion is currently planned to take place during Stage Three. However, any expansion would be conditioned upon a review of Specification 9 (Registry Code of Conduct) set forth in the template Registry Agreement to ensure compliance with Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry's business model.
3. Stage Three
Depending on the analysis of the evaluations undertaken in Stage Two, Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry may implement the permanent migration of Internet traffic away from the TLDs in which Northwestern Mutual's domain names are currently registered, and toward the .MUTUAL gTLD. It is in this stage that Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry also may implement Northwestern Mutual's decision to extend registration rights to licensees or strategic parties, depending upon compliance with Specification 9 as noted above.
After consideration of the following factors: analysis of Northwestern Mutual's existing domain name portfolio; internal analysis of marketing initiatives; and the fact that Northwestern Mutual will have full control over the number of registrations in the .MUTUAL gTLD namespace, Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry is confident that the number of domain name registrations will be less than 10,000 in the first five years of operation.
4. Stage Four
Based on its experience with any expansion implemented in Stage Three, Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry and Northwestern Mutual will assess whether the business plan and expansion strategy should be augmented by extending registration rights to a broader class of licensees, including potential clients and policyowners of Northwestern Mutual. It is anticipated by Northwestern Mutual that changes to the domain name industry, and particularly the impact of .GENERIC gTLDs, will take at least five years to be realized and assessed. Any decision to expand the gTLDs beyond corporate, qualified subsidiary/affiliate, and licensee use will take into account this experience as well as the technical analysis of potential expansion.
Utilizing current projections based upon Northwestern Mutual's existing businesses, future business plans, current domain name portfolio, and other strategic factors, Northwestern Mutual MU TLD Registry estimates second-level domain name registrations to be in line with the projections set forth in the response to Question 46 of this application.×