18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameE-mail suffixDetail
.alsaceREGION D ALSACEsdv.frView

Alsace Regional Council is seeking to make the .alsace gTLD a part of a comprehensive quality and visibility-oriented approach.
The extension is open to all types of entities, natural or legal persons with a head office or an establishment, or an address in Alsace.
Each domain name registered will be approved by the registry services in order to ensure the sustainability, the image and the service level of the extension.
The information concerning the owner and the administrative contact will be checked. In this way the registry services will be accessible.

There is no particular specialisation: the extension is open to any sort of activity and any word, as long as the words used in the domain name do not undermine public order, morality or the rights guaranteed by the Constitution or French law.

The applicant will not be able to register any domain name using an expression that infringes either intellectual property rights or personality rights. Any terms that could be detrimental to national, regional or local authorities, institutions or public services will be forbidden. A list will be drawn up of words for which domains may not be purchased.

In order to expand the reputation and to encourage the success of the Alsace trademark, the .alsace extension will follow the guidelines below:

Focus on developing a sustainable level of excellence
Build a successful shared trademark
Create an outstanding degree of mobilisation

Creating the .alsace gTLD will help to promote the image of Alsace on global information networks and thereby bring clear added value to the internet naming system compared to .fr, the French national ccTLD.

Many Alsatian cities, towns, companies or institutions are not able to register their own names with extensions like .fr, .com or .eu because they are already taken. This means there is a misunderstanding on a lot of these names. The following example clearly demonstrates this problem: although Strasbourg is the Capital of the Region and of Europe, the domain name strasbourg.com is owned by a private company.
Domain names using the .alsace extension will give registrants based in Alsace better visibility.

Compared to the rest of France, Alsace is a region that has purchased a very large number of domain names.
Statistics show that the .alsace gTLD will foster competition and open up the internet to more operators.

Our study has shown that today there are over 5,000 domain names including the word ʺalsaceʺ with all the different extensions. Add to this 224 domains containing the word ʺalsacienʺ (Alsatian). It is also worth noting that Alsace is one of the regions with the highest number of domains registered per 1,000 inhabitants.

The Alsace Region also wishes to differentiate itself in the field of youth and education. It is the only region in France to introduce a digital workspace in its secondary schools.

Alsace is an innovative region, with a concern to provide training for young people. It is also the first Region to implement such a far-reaching and ambitious digital policy in France. The .alsace extension will enable the Region to accelerate its educational development programmes and offer new solutions to Alsatian children. The wide-ranging coverage of the extension (domain names, websites, e-mail, social and school networks....) will allow the Strasbourg education authority to implement new local and global projects.

Over the last 10 years Alsace Regional Council has invested an average of 2 million Euros a year to provide the 75 senior high schools it runs with about 2, 000 new computers every year. The Region manages 1,600 workstations in its senior high schools.

It has also provided broadband internet access, with 70% of schools now benefitting from fibre optics at an annual running cost of 500,000 Euros (about US$660,000). This policy will enable a further 220 secondary schools in the Region to be equipped with broadband by 2014.

The digital workspace has been rolled out to all schools. Alsace Regional Council and Strasbourg education authority worked hard to complete the installation of the digital workspace in all its schools by September 2010, for a total cost of €800,000 ($1.057m).
The digital workspace currently covers 65,000 pupils and teachers, with 1 million connections per month.

In France, the first generation of digital workplaces mostly concerns school planning and management. The second generation will focus on the teaching aspect, with the provision of online lessons designed by the teachers themselves and the use of digital libraries and online resources. This new generation system will begin to be rolled out from 2014 onwards, with the support of the Regional Council, the two Departemental Councils and the Education authority.
The .alsace extension will be a big step forward, enabling the general public and parents to see the progress made and providing greater transparency: each secondary school will be able to have its own domain name to allow it to communicate and dialogue.

Thanks to the .alsace gTLD the Alsatian internal market should become much more visible on the internet-based virtual market. It will also provide a strong, clear link with the Alsatian community and the local market.

Companies, institutions and natural persons will be able to register with a specific domain which will highlight this link. The .alsace gTLD as such will not only be a critical element in Alsatian e-commerce, but it will also contribute largely to the achievement of the objectives set for the Alsace trademark.

By using an .alsace domain name, each registrant will be conveying a strong message and identity, as well as certain values and a desire to promote Alsace in the world.

The study revealed that Alsace is closely linked to a certain specific local values. The values Alsace intends to use to develop the trademark are:
Excellence and the pioneering spirit
Humanism and the notion of world citizenship
Intensity and pleasure
Balance and the creation of links

The extension will therefore give registrants access to a positive and forms part of a strategy of co-branding.

The .alsace gTLD will give Alsace better access to the benefits of the information society and help combat the risk of a digital divide with rural areas being left behind. This point is a priority for Alsace Regional Council.

As its remit includes regional development and planning, Alsace Regional Council has decided to install a very high speed broadband network under a Public Service Delegation contract.
This led to the Regional Council deciding to create Alsace Connexia in a joint venture with these companies:
SFR Collectivités, a telecommunications operator, subsidiary of the SFR group (Franceʹs second largest landline⁄mobile telephone and internet provider).
Numéricable, a leading cable provider.
Alsace Connexiaʹs mission is to design, create, operate and sell the regional high-speed broadband network and supply the related services, through a 15-year concession.

Alsace Connexia is an operator of internet operators and works with many regional, national and international operators.
The Alsace Region has thus decided to set and operate a broadband network interconnecting 30 Alsatian towns, with a view to encouraging the appearance and⁄or development of electronic communications services in these towns and the surrounding areas.

The Alsace Regionʹs initiative is intended to:
- promote diversity in the broadband offer available in the region
- progressively reduce the areas without broadband coverage
- achieve a levelling of rates at regional level by offering a single basic charge for all Alsatian users, whether companies or residential.
- guarantee the long-term management of underground space and coherent infrastructure development.

The adoption of a general policy concerning the speculative and abusive registration of domain names should guarantee the owners of earlier rights recognised or established by national and⁄or Community and public bodies that they will benefit from a ʺsunrise periodʺ during which the registration of their domain names will be exclusively reserved for them.

The Alsace Region will implement several sunrise periods for various audiences with the following order of priority:

Sunrise 1 will last several months and will apply to public players such as cities, towns, villages, consular chambers, local institutions, universities, high schools... This phase will allow them to register their name or business name. All the eligibility criteria must be met.

Sunrise 2 will last several months and will apply to the Alsatian non-profit associations so that they can register their name or abbreviation. All the eligibility criteria must be met

Sunrise 3 will apply to Alsatian companies, so that they can register their name and⁄or trademark, provided that they are able to prove they own the said trade name or trademark. All the eligibility criteria must be met. Sunrise periods 2 and 3 will run concurrently.

A landrush phase open to all will follow, once the sunrise periods have finished. During this period, the fee will be higher than that applied during the period of general availability.
This period will last several months and will allow the registration of generic domains without any restrictions except those imposed by law.
If several compliant aplications are made for the same domain name, the domain name will be put up for auction.
The registrar will do everything possible to prevent abuse; therefore all applications, including during the sunrise and landrush periods, will be checked in order to avoid the registration of abusive domain names, cybersquatting, spamdexing, phishing and other such abuses. In the cruising period, the registry will carry out checks to ensure the eligibility criteria are met.
The protection of local companiesʹ trademarks and the names of local institutions will be one of the registrarʹs top priorities.

Confidentiality measures
All documents and information held by or provided to Alsace Regional Council (except those accessible on the ʺWhoisʺ database) are automatically considered as confidential and will not be disclosed to any third parties.

However, this provision does not concern the communication of documents ordered by a French court or as part of a request formulated by an approved national authority (the DGCCRF (the body responsible for competition, consumer affairs and the prevention of fraud), the CNIL (the national commission for data protection and civil liberties), the tax and customs authorities, etc.).
The ʺWhoisʺ database
Alsace Regional Council is in charge of the ʺWhoisʺ database, which contains all the data collected necessary to the identification of legal and natural persons who own domain names and the to the registration of domain names.
The Alsace Region manages all the technical aspects of this reference database including access to its services.
Access to personal data.
The duly identified owner of a domain name has a right of access to the concerning him via the registrar or the registration office depending on the case. He also has a right of rectification through his registration office, which is entitled to ask for an administrative amendment at any time.

All information concerning domain name holders, the technical and administrative contacts, whether natural or legal persons, will be available online to anybody.

Nevertheless, as requested by the CNIL (national commission for data protection and civil liberties), when the registration is made by a natural person, the holder may opt for ʺrestricted publicationʺ.

When this option is chosen, no personal information (name, address, phone and fax number, e-mail address) is posted online in the ʺWhoisʺ database. Only technical information such as the technical contact, registration office and DNS servers will be available.

Alsace Regional Council will implement a communication plan to inform the public of the creation and commercialisation of the .alsace extension.
A website will be created to promote the extension and inform applicants about terms and conditions, registration procedures, the sunrise and landrush periods, etc..
Public bodies (cities, villages, consular chambers, secondary schools, universities, the Departemental Councils, etc.) will receive a letter specifically inviting them to contact the Regional Council or their registration office in order to benefit from the sunrise period.

Information will be available on partnersʹ websites (Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chambers of Trades, all other bodies connected with the Regional Council); e-mails will be sent to Alsatian companies which may wish to register names and trademarks during the sunrise period.

Registration offices, especially the local ones, will be invited to use the extension logo and goodies on their websites.

Press releases will be sent to media editors, and the local media will be invited to a press conference to prepare the launch.

The communication campaign will take place on and off line. Depending on the targets and the periods, different communication channels will be used. The communication plan also includes the general public. Inserts in the press, a poster campaign in public places, radio adverts… all the most relevant media will be used.

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