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DIDP Request #27 - On ICANN’s support to new gTLD Applicants

Posted by Asvatha Babu at Jul 30, 2016 08:03 AM |
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In order to promote access to the New gTLD Program in developing regions, ICANN set up the New gTLD Applicant Support Program (Program) which seeks to facilitate cooperation between gTLD applicants from developing countries and those willing and able to support them financially (and in kind).

Click for Applicant Support Directory

We requested ICANN for information about this program. Specifically, we asked them for information on:

  • The number of applicants to the program and the amount received by them;
  • The basis on which these applicants were selected;
  • The amount that has been utilized thus far for this program;
  • Contributions by donors;
  • What “in kind” support means and includes.

The request filed by Padmini Baruah can be found here.

What ICANN said

ICANN answered all our questions in a satisfactory manner. There were three applicants to the program. Two of these: Nameshop, and Ummah Digital Ltd, did not meet the eligibility criteria listed in the handbook and therefore only one other applicant, DotKids, received the financial support. Of the USD 2,000,000 set aside, USD 135,000 was awarded to them.

The eligibility criteria is listed in the New gTLD Financial Assistance Handbook and candidates are evaluated by the Support Applicant Review Panel (SARP), “which was comprised of five volunteer members from the community with experience in the domain name industry, in managing small businesses, awarding grants, and assisting others on financial matters in developing countries.”

The USD 2,000,000 allotted to this program was set aside by ICANN’s board and as it is not exhausted, no external contributions were sought by ICANN (in cash or in kind). However, ICANN failed to explain what “in kind” contributions would be.

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Asvatha Babu

Asvatha Babu is a Master’s candidate in the International Communication program at American University's School of International Service in Washington D.C. Her research interests include using ICTs for inclusive development, internet governance and cyber security. Thus far, her work with CIS has dealt specifically with ICANN’s transparency and accountability policies. She tweets about tech and feminism at @fireflyclass.