ICANN posts Draft Applicants Handbook Version 2

icann logo ICANN has produced a revised version of its gTLD Applicants Handbook.

Many alterations/additions have been made in provisions for “community-based” and “geographic name” applicants that will be of particular interest to potential applicants for a .nyc TLD. In particular details of ‘comparative evaluation’ procedures for competing applications are enumerated, as are the processes for individual or community based objections to applications.

Initial application fees will be $185,100. Notably, those repeating applications from the 2000 round will get a $86,000 discount.

An edited version of some relevant provisions is below.

1.2.2 Community-Based Designation

All applicants are required to designate whether their
application is community-based.

1.2.2.1 Definitions

For purposes of this Applicant Guidebook, a community-
based gTLD is a gTLD that is operated for the benefit
of a defined community consisting of a restricted
population. An applicant designating its application as
community-based will be asked to substantiate its
status as representative of the community it names in
the application, and additional information may be
requested in the event of a comparative evaluation
(refer to Section 4.2 of Module 4). An applicant for a
community- based gTLD is expected to:

1. Demonstrate an ongoing relationship with a defined
community that consists of a restricted population.

2. Have applied for a gTLD string strongly and
specifically related to the community named in the
application.

3. Have proposed dedicated registration and use
policies for registrants in its proposed gTLD.

4. Have its application endorsed in writing by an
established institution representing the community it
has named.

1.2.2.2 Implications of Application Designation

Applicants should understand how their designation as
open or community-based or open will affect application
processing at particular stages, as described in the
following paragraphs.

Objection/Dispute Resolution – All applicants should
understand that an objection may be filed against any
application on community opposition grounds, even if
the applicant has not designated itself as community-
based or declared the TLD to be aimed at a particular
community. Refer to Module 3, Dispute Resolution
Procedures. String Contention – Any applicant that has
been identified as part of a contention set (refer to
Section 4.1 of Module 4) may be obliged to participate
in either a comparative evaluation or an auction if the
application reaches the string contention stage and the
applicant elects to proceed.

A comparative evaluation will take place if a community
based applicant in a contention set has elected
comparative evaluation.

An auction will result in cases of contention not
resolved by comparative evaluation or agreement between
the parties. Auction occurs as a contention resolution
means of last resort. If a comparative evaluation
occurs but does not produce a clear winner, the
efficient mechanism will then result.

Community-based applications are intended to be a
narrow category, for applications where there are
distinct associations among the applicant, the
community served, and the applied-for gTLD string.
Evaluation of an applicant’s designation as community-
based will occur only in the event of a contention
situation that results in a comparative evaluation.
However, any applicant designating its application as
community-based will, if the application is approved,
be bound by the registry agreement to implement the
community-based restrictions it has specified in the
application. This is true even if there are no
contending applicants.

1.2.2.3 Changes to Application Designation
An applicant may not change its designation as
open or community-based once it has submitted
a gTLD application for processing.

1.2.3 Required Documents

Applicants should be prepared to submit the
following documents, which are required
to accompany each application:

1. Proof of legal establishment – Examples of
acceptable documentation include articles or a
certificate of incorporation, articles of association
or equivalent documents relative to the type of entity
and the jurisdiction in which it is formed, such as
statutes or membership agreements of the entity.

2. Proof of good standing – Examples of acceptable
documentation include a certificate of good standing or
other equivalent official document issued by a
competent government authority, if offered by a
governmental authority for the jurisdiction. Under some
laws or jurisdictions, it may be possible to prove both
establishment and good standing with a single document.
That is, the same document may suffice for items 1 and
2.

4. Financial statements. Applicants must provide
audited financial statements for the most recently
completed fiscal year for the applicant, and unaudited
financial statements for the most recently ended
interim financial period for the applicant. If audited
financial statements are not available, applicants may
submit the latest available audited financial
statements and unaudited financial statements for the
latest interim period. For some applicants, such as
newly formed entities, a pro forma balance sheet will
be acceptable

5. Before delegation: documentary evidence of ability
to fund ongoing basic registry operations for then-
existing registrants for a period of three to five
years in the event of registry failure or, default,
until a successor operator can be designated.

1. Community endorsement – If an applicant has
designated its application as community-based, it will
be asked to submit a written endorsement of its
application by an established institution representing
the community it has named.

2. Government support or non-objection – If an
applicant has applied for a gTLD string that is a
geographical term, the applicant is required to submit
a statement of support or non-objection for its
application from the relevant government(s) or public
authorities. Refer to subsection 2.1.1.4 for more
information on the requirements for geographical names.

3. Documentation of outside funding commitments – If an
applicant lists outside sources of funding in its
application, it must provide evidence of commitment by
the party committing the funds.

1.5.1 Description of Fees

The following fees are required from all applicants:

* TAS User Registration Fee – USD 100. This fee enables
a user to enter the online application system. This
fee is nonrefundable.

* gTLD Evaluation Fee – USD 185,000. ICANN will not
begin its evaluation of an application unless it has
received the gTLD evaluation fee by the due date.
Refer to subsection 1.5.4. The gTLD evaluation fee is
set to recover costs associated with the new gTLD
program. The fee is set to ensure that the program
is fully funded, and doesn’t take resources from
other ICANN funding sources, including generic
registries and registrars, cc TLD contributions and RIR
contributions.

In certain cases, refunds of a portion of this fee may
be available for applications that are withdrawn before
the evaluation process is complete. The amount of
refund will depend on the point in the process at which
the withdrawal is made (Refer to subsection 1.5.5.).

Note on 2000 proof-of-concept round applicants
Participants in ICANN’s proof-of-concept application
process in 2000 may be eligible for a credit toward the
evaluation fee. The credit is in the amount of USD
86,000 and is subject to:

* submission of documentary proof by the applicant that
it is the same entity that applied previously and a
confirmation that there are no existing legal rights
remaining from the 2000 proof of concept round process;
and

* application for the same TLD string that the same
entity applied for in the 2000 proof-of-concept
application round.

Applicants may be required to pay additional fees in
certain cases where specialized process steps are
applicable. Those possible additional fees include:

* Registry Services Review Fee – If applicable, this
fee is payable for additional costs incurred in
referring an application to the RSTEP for an extended
review. Applicants will be notified if such a fee is
due. The fee for a three member RSTEP review team is
anticipated to be USD 50,000. In some cases, fivemember
panels might be required, or there might be increased
scrutiny at a greater cost. In every case, the
applicant will be advised of the review cost before its
initiation. Refer to subsection 2.1.3 of Module 2 on
Registry Services review.

* Dispute Resolution Filing Fee – This amount must
accompany any filing of a formal objection and any
response that an applicant files to an objection. This
fee is payable to the applicable dispute resolution
service provider in accordance with the provider’s
payment instructions. ICANN estimates that non-
refundable filing fees could range from approximately
USD 1,000 to USD 5,000 (or more) per party per
proceeding. Refer to the appropriate provider for the
relevant amount. Refer to Module 3 for dispute
resolution procedures.

* Dispute Resolution Adjudication Fee – This fee is
payable to the applicable dispute resolution service
provider in accordance with that provider’s procedures
and schedule of costs. Ordinarily, both parties in the
dispute resolution proceeding will be required to
submit an advance payment of costs in an estimated
amount to cover the entire cost of the proceeding. This
may be either an hourly fee based on the estimated
number of hours the panelists will spend on the case
(including review of submissions, facilitation of a
hearing, if allowed, and preparation of a decision), or
a fixed amount. In cases where disputes are
consolidated and there are more than two parties
involved, the advance payment of fees will occur
according to the dispute resolution service provider’s
rules.

* The prevailing party in a dispute resolution
proceeding will have its advance payment refunded,
while the non-prevailing party will not receive a
refund and thus will bear the cost of the proceeding.
In cases where disputes are consolidated and there are
more than two parties involved, the refund of fees will
occur according to the dispute resolution service
provider’s rules. ICANN estimates that adjudication
fees for a proceeding involving a fixed amount could
range from USD 2,000 to USD 8,000 (or more) per
proceeding. ICANN further estimates that an hourly rate
based proceeding with a one-member panel could range
from USD 32,000 to USD 56,000 (or more) and with a
three-member panel it could range from USD 70,000 to
USD 122,000 (or more). These estimates may be lower if
the panel does not call for written submissions beyond
the objection and response, and does not allow a
hearing. Please refer to the appropriate provider for
the relevant amounts or fee structures. Refer also to
Section 3.2 of Module 3 for further details.

* Comparative Evaluation Fee – This fee is payable as a
deposit in an amount to cover the cost of the
comparative evaluation panel’s review of that
application. The deposit is payable to the provider
appointed to handle comparative evaluations, in the
event that the applicant participates in a comparative
evaluation. Applicants will be notified if such a fee
is due. Refer to Section 4.2 of Module 4 for
circumstances in which a comparative evaluation may
take place. An applicant who is declared the winner of
a comparative evaluation will have its deposit
refunded.

This list does not include fees (that is, registry
fees) that will be payable to ICANN following execution
of a registry agreement. See
http://www.icann.org/en/topics/newgtld-draft-agreement-18feb09-en.pdf.

[More on geographic based names]

2.1.1.4.2 Documentation Requirements

The documentation of support or non-objection from the
relevant government or public authority should include
a signed letter of support or non-objection from the
minister with the portfolio responsible for domain name
administration, ICT, foreign affairs or the Office of
the Prime Minister or President of the relevant
jurisdiction. If there are reasons for doubt about the
authenticity of the communication, ICANN will consult
with the relevant diplomatic authorities or members of
ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee for the
government or public authority concerned on the
competent authority and appropriate point of contact
within their administration for communications.

The letter must clearly express the government’s or
public authority’s support or non-objection for the
applicant’s application and demonstrate the
government’s or public authority’s understanding of the
string being requested and intended use.

The letter should also demonstrate the government’s or
public authority’s understanding that the string is
being sought through the gTLD application process and
the applicant is willing to accept the conditions under
which the string will be available, i.e., entry into a
registry agreement with ICANN requiring compliance with
consensus policies and payment of fees.

2.1.1.4.3 Review Procedure for Geographical Names

A Geographic Names Panel (GNP) will be established to
confirm whether each appliedfor gTLD string represents
a geographical name, and to verify the relevance and
authenticity of the supporting documentation where
necessary. It is the intention that ICANN will retain a
third party to perform the function of the GNP. The
Panel will examine applied-for gTLD strings against a
composite database of geographic names drawn from
authoritative sources, and review supporting
documentation. The GNP will comprise individuals with
linguistic, geographic, and governmental expertise. The
Geographic Names Panel may consult with additional
experts as necessary.

The steps ICANN and the Geographical Names Panel intend
to follow to ensure compliance with these requirements
are described here.

* During the Initial Evaluation period, ICANN forwards
each application to the GNP for a determination of
whether the applied-for gTLD string is a geographical
name (i.e., falls into any of the categories listed in
subsection 2.1.1.4.1). For any applications where the
applied-for gTLD string is not determined to be a
geographical name, the application will pass the
Geographical Names review with no additional steps
required. For any application where the applied-for
gTLD string is determined to be a geographical name (as
described in this module), the GNP will confirm that
the applicant has provided documentation from all
relevant governments or public authorities, and that
the communication from the government or public
authority is legitimate and contains the required
content.

An applicant who has not provided the required
documentation will be notified of the requirement and
given a limited time frame to provide it. If the time
frame is not met, the application will be considered
incomplete and will not pass the Initial Evaluation.
The applicant may reapply in subsequent application
rounds, if desired.

* Note that the GNP will review all applications
received, not only those where the applicant has
designated its applied-for gTLD string as a
geographical name.

If there is more than one application for a string
representing a certain geographical name as described
in this section, and the applications are considered
complete (i.e. have requisite government approvals),
the applications will be suspended pending resolution
by the applicants.

If an application for a string representing a
geographical name is in a contention set with
applications for similar strings that have not been
identified as geographical names, between identical (or
similar) applicants where one is identified as a
geographical name, the string contention will be
settled using the string contention procedures
described in Module 4.

[then it goes into the operational review – snipped
and then, in section 3, on the subject of objections.]

3.1.2.4 Community Objection

Established institutions associated with defined
communities are eligible to file a community objection.
The “defined community” must be a community related to
the applied-for gTLD string in the application that is
the subject of the objection. To qualify for standing
for a community objection, the objector must prove both
of the following:

It is an established institution – Factors that may be
considered in making this determination include:

* Level of global recognition of the institution;

* Length of time the institution has been in existence;
and

* Public historical evidence of its existence, such as
the presence of formal charter or national or
international registration, or validation by a
government, inter-governmental organization, or treaty.
The institution must not have been established solely
in conjunction with the gTLD application process.

It has an ongoing relationship with a defined community
that consists of a restricted population – Factors that
may be considered in making this determination include:

* The presence of mechanisms for participation in
activities, membership, and leadership;

* Institutional purpose related to benefit of the
associated community;

* Performance of regular activities that benefit the
associated community; and

* The level of formal boundaries around the community.

3.1.3 Dispute Resolution Service Providers

To trigger a dispute resolution proceeding, an
objection must be filed by the posted deadline date,
directly with the appropriate DRSP for each objection
ground.

* The International Center of Expertise of the
International Chamber of Commerce has agreed in
principle to administer disputes brought pursuant to
Morality and Public Order and Community Objections.

3.1.3 Options in the Event of Objection

Applicants whose applications are the subject of an
objectionan objection have the following options:

The applicant can work to reach a settlement with the
objector, resulting in withdrawal of the objection or
the application;

The applicant can file a response to the objection and
enter the dispute resolution process (refer to
subsection 3.2); or

The applicant can withdraw, in which case the objector
will prevail by default and the application will not
proceed further.

If for any reason the applicant does not file a
response to an objection, the objector will prevail by
default.

3.1.5 Independent Objector

A formal objection to a gTLD application may also be
filed by the Independent Objector. The Independent
Objector does not act on behalf of any particular
persons or entities, but acts solely in the best
interests of the public who use the global Internet. In
light of this goal of this public interest goal, the
Independent Objector is limited to filing objections on
the grounds of Morality and Public Order and Community.
Neither ICANN staff nor the ICANN Board of Directors
will have authority to direct or require the
Independent Objector to file or not file any particular
objection. If the Independent Objector determines that
an objection should be filed, he or she will initiate
and prosecute the objection in the public interest.

The Independent Objector will have considerable
experience and respect in the Internet community,
unaffiliated with any gTLD applicant.

[This section is included to provide an initial opportunity for public comment.
For further discussion, see the Explanatory Memorandum at
http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/independent-objector-18feb09-en.pdf ]

[some info on filing procedure]

3.2.2 Objection Filing Fees

At the time an objection is filed, the objector is
required to pay a nonrefundable filing fee in the
amount set and published by the relevant DRSP. If the
filing fee is not paid, the DRSP will dismiss the
objection without prejudice. See Section 1.5 of Module
1 regarding fees.

3.2.3 Response Filing Procedures

These procedures are intended to cover dispute
resolution procedures generally. Each DRSP will have
its own rules that also must be followed.Upon
notification that ICANN has published the list of
objections filed (refer to subsection 3.2.1), the DRSPs
will notify the parties that responses must be filed
within 30 calendar days of receipt of that notice.
DRSPs will not accept late responses. Any applicant
that fails to respond to an objection within the 30-day
response period will be in default, which will result
in the objector prevailing.

* Each response must be filed separately. That is, if
an applicant wishes to responding to several
objections, the applicant must must file a separate
response and pay the accompanyinga filing fee to
respond to each objection.

3.2 Response Filing Fees

At the time an applicant files its response, it is
required to pay a nonrefundable filing fee in the
amount set and published by the relevant DRSP, which
will be the same as the filing fee paid by the
objector. If the filing fee is not paid, the response
will be disregarded.

3.34.7 Dispute Resolution Costs

Before acceptance of objections, each DRSP will publish
or has published a schedule of costs or statement of
how costs will be calculated for the proceedings that
it administers under this procedure. These costs cover
the fees and expenses of the members of the panel and
the DRSP’s administrative costs.

ICANN expects that string confusion and legal rights
objection proceedings will involve a fixed amount
charged by the panelists while morality and public
order and community objection proceedings will involve
hourly rates charged by the panelists.

Within ten (10) business days of constituting the
panel, the DRSP will estimate the total costs and
request advance payment in full of its costs from both
the objector and the applicant. Each party must make
its advance payment within ten (10) calendar days of
receiving the DRSP’s request for payment. The
respective filing fees paid by the parties will be
credited against the amounts due for this advance
payment of costs.

The DRSP may revise its estimate of the total costs and
request additional advance payments from the parties
during the resolution proceedings.

Additional fees may be required in specific
circumstances; for example, if the DRSP receives
supplemental submissions or elects to hold a hearing.

If an objector fails to pay these costs in advance, the
DRSP will dismiss its objection and no fees paid by the
objector will be refunded.

If an applicant fails to pay these costs in advance,
the DSRP will sustain the objection and no fees paid by
the applicant will be refunded.

After the hearing has taken place and the panel renders
its decision expert determination, the DRSP will refund
any costs paid in advance to the prevailing party.

3.4 Community Objection

The four tests described here will enable a DRSP panel
to determine whether there is substantial opposition
from a significant portion of the community to which
the string may be targeted. For an objection to be
successful, the objector must prove that:

* The community invoked by the objector is a defined
community;

* Community opposition to the application is
substantial; and

* There is a strong association between the community
invoked and the applied-for gTLD string; and

* There is a likelihood of detriment to the community
named by the objector if the gTLD application is
approved.

Each of these tests is described in further detail
below.

Community – The objector must prove that the community
expressing opposition can be regarded as a well-defined
community. A panel could balance a number of factors to
determine this, including:

* Level of public recognition of the group as a
community at a local and/or global level;

* Level of formal boundaries around the community and
what elements are considered to form the community;

* How long the community has been in existence;

* How globally distributed is the community (breadth,
level of importance)(this may not apply if the
community is territorial); and

* How many people make up the community. If opposition
by a number of people is found, but the group claiming
opposition is not determined to be a distinct
community, the objection will fail.

Substantial Opposition – The objector must prove
substantial opposition within the community it has
identified. A panel could balance a number of factors
to determine whether there is substantial opposition,
including:

* Number of expressions of opposition relative to the
composition of the community;

* Distribution or diversity among sources of
expressions of opposition, including:

* Regional

* Subsectors of community

* Leadership of community

* Membership of community

* Nature/intensity of opposition; and

* Costs incurred by objector in expressing opposition,
including what other channels they have used to convey
their opposition.

If some opposition within the community is determined,
but it does not meet the standard of substantial
opposition, the objection will fail.

Targeting – The objector must prove an association
between the applied-for gTLD string and the community
expressing opposition. Factors that could be balanced
by a panel to determine this include:

* Statements contained in application;

* Other public statements by the applicant;

* Associations by the public.

If opposition by a community is determined, but there
is no clear connection between the community and the
applied-for gTLD string, the objection will fail.

Detriment – The objector must prove that there is a
likelihood of detriment to the rights or legitimate
interests of its associated community. Factors that
could be used by a panel in making this determination
include:

* Damage to the reputation of the community that would
result from the applicant’s operation of the applied-
for gTLD string;

* Evidence that the applicant is not acting or does not
intend to act in accordance with the interests of the
community;

* Interference with the core activities of the
community that would result from the applicant’s
operation of the applied-for gTLD string; and

* Dependence of the community on the DNS for its core
activities.

Defenses – Satisfaction of the standing requirements
for filing a Community Objection (refer to paragraph
3.1.2.4) by the applicant is a complete defense to an
objection filed on community grounds.

[Section 4 covers circumstances where more than one
applicant applies for the same string ]


4.1.2 Impact of Dispute Resolution Proceedings on
Contention Sets

If an applicant files a string confusion objection
against another applicant (refer to Module 3), and the
panel does find that string confusion exists (; that
is, findsrules in favor of the objector), the two
applicants will be placed in direct contention with
each other. Thus, the outcome of a dispute resolution
proceeding based on a string confusion objection would
result in a new contention set structure for the
relevant applications.

4.1.3 Self-Resolution of String Contention

Applicants that are identified as being in contention
may elect to reach a settlement or agreement among
themselves that resolves the contentionwhereby one or
more applicants withdraws its application. This may
occur at any stage of the process, once ICANN publicly
posts the applications received on its website.
Applicants may resolve string contention in a manner
whereby one or more applicants withdraw their
applications. An applicant may not resolve string
contention by selecting a new string or by replacing
itself with a joint venture. It is understood that
joint ventures may result from self-resolution of
string contention by applicants. However, material
changes in applications (for example, combinations of
applicants to resolve contention) will require re-
evaluation. This might require additional fees or
evaluation in a subsequent application round.
Applicants are encouraged to resolve contention by
combining in a way that does not materially affect the
surviving application.

[this alters an earlier rule barring resolving disputes into joint ventures]

4.2 Comparative Evaluation

Comparative evaluation will only occur if a community-based
applicant has selected this option in its application.

Comparative evaluation can begin once all applicants in
the contention set have completed all previous stages of
the process.

The comparative evaluation is an independent analysis.

Scores received in the applicant reviews are not carried
forward to the comparative evaluation. Each applicant
participating in the comparative evaluation begins with a
score of zero.

4.2.1 Eligibility for Comparative Evaluation

Only community-based applicants may elect a comparative
evaluation. If there is contention for strings, a claim
to support a community by one party will be a reason to
award priority to that application. If one community-
based applicant within a contention set makes this
election, all other community-based applicants in the
same contention set will be part of the comparative
evaluation.

Applicants designating their applications as community-
based will also be asked to respond to a set of
questions in the application form that would provide
relevant information if a comparative evaluation
occurs. Before the comparative evaluation begins, all
community-based applicants in the contention set may be
asked to provide additional information relevant to the
comparative evaluation. Additionally, the community-
based applicants will be required to submit a deposit
to cover the cost of the comparative evaluation. The
deposit will be refunded to applicants that score 14 or
higher.

4.2.2 Comparative Evaluation Procedure

Comparative evaluations for each contention set will be
performed by a comparative evaluation provider
appointed by ICANN to review applications for
contending gTLD strings. The provider’s charter is to
determine whether one of the community-based
applications clearly and demonstrably have the support
of the specified community. Open applicants within the
contention set, if any, will not participate in the
comparative evaluation.

If a single community-based applicant is found to meet
the criteria (see subsection 4.2.3 below) for
succeeding in the comparative evaluation, that
applicant will be declared to prevail in the
comparative evaluation and may proceed with its
application. If more than one community-based applicant
is found to meet the criteria, this will be resolved as
follows:

* In the case where the applicants are in indirect
contention with one another (see subsection 4.1.1),
they will both be allowed to proceed to the next stage.

* In the case where the applicants are in direct
contention with one another and have named the same
community in their applications, one applicant will be
granted priority if it has clearly demonstrated that it
represents a majority and significantly larger share of
the community. If no applicant has made such a
demonstration, the applicants will proceed to an
auction.

* In the case where the applicants are in direct
contention with one another and have named different
communities in their applications, the contention will
be resolved through an auction among these applicants.

If none of the community-based applicants are found to
meet the criteria, then all of the parties in the
contention set (both open and community-based
applicants) will proceed to an auction.

4.2.3 Comparative Evaluation Criteria

A panel appointed by the comparative evaluation
provider will review and score the one or more
community-based applicants who elected comparative
evaluation against four criteria as follows

Criteria #1: Nexus between Proposed String and
Community

* a score from 3, for strong association with the
community, to 0, for insufficient association with the
community. * a score of 1 for absence of other
associations to the string, i.e., the string is unique
to this community, and a score of 0 if the string is
known to also be a label for other communities.

Criteria #2: Dedicated Registration Policies

In detail, the registration policies will be given:

* A score from 2 for eligibility restricted to
community members, to 0 for a largely unrestricted
approach to eligibility.

* A score of 1 for clear rules concerning name
selection and other requirements for registered names
of relevance to the community addressed, and a score of
0 for absence of rules concerning name selection and
other requirements for registered names, or rules that
are insufficient or lack relevance.

* A score of 1 for satisfactory enforcement measures
and a score of 0 for absence of enforcement measures or
measures that are insufficient.

Criteria #3: Community Establishment

* a score from 2, for a clearly identified, organized,
and pre-established community, to 0 for a community
lacking clear identification, organization, and
establishment history. * a score from 2 for a community
of considerable size and longevity, to 0 for a
community of very limited size and longevity.

Criteria #4: Community Endorsement

* a score from 2 for clear and documented support, to 0
for no or limited endorsement of uncertain relevance.

* a score of 2 for no opposition of relevance, to 0 for
strong and relevant opposition.

Scoring – An applicant must score at least 14 points to
be declared a winner in a comparative evaluation. If no
applicant scores 14 or more, there is no clear winner.
If only one applicant scores 14 or more, that applicant
will be declared the winner.

If more than one applicant scores 14 or more, all will
be declared winners and the contention will be resolved
according to the procedure described in subsection
4.2.2.

Following the comparative evaluation, ICANN will review
the results and reconfigure the contention set as
needed. The same procedure will occur for remaining
contention sets involving any community-based
application that has elected comparative evaluation. If
no community-based applicant that has elected
comparative evaluation is left in the contention set,
any applications remaining in contention will proceed
to an auction. Applications with no remaining
contention will proceed toward delegation.

5.2.2 Additional Requirements

At the pre-delegation stage, an applicant must also
provide documentary evidence of its ability to fund
ongoing basic registry operations for its future
registrants for a period of three to five years in the
event of registry failure, default or until a successor
operator can be designated. This obligation can be met
by securing a financial instrument such as a bond or
letter of credit (i.e., evidence of ability to provide
financial security guaranteed by a creditworthy
financial institution); contracting with and funding a
services provider to extend services; segregating
funding; or other means. Once an applicant has met the
requirements in 5.2.1 and 5.2.2 above, it is eligible
to request delegation of its applied-for gTLD string by
IANA. If an applicant does not complete the pre-
delegation steps within the time period specified in
the registry agreement, ICANN reserves the right to
terminate the registry agreement.

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