18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?
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The key benefits to all stakeholders of the .quebec TLD are derived from the intrinsic link of the TLD string to the Québec community, from the specifically dedicated policy to ensure full respect to the linguistic and cultural objectives of the TLD; from the ability to design and develop the name space from its inception; and from the clear accountability to the Québec community.
The specificity to the Québec community of the .quebec string and the .quebec TLD policies will enable registrants to communicate in a way that demonstrates their commitment to the Québec community. A potential registrant interested in a given domain under .quebec is more likely to be able to register it because the potential of contention from other parts of the world is reduced.
The ability to design and develop a planned portion of the name space creates a web of predictable and memorable names that will facilitate access to key resources for users. Predictability relates both the choice of the name and the content the user may expect from a name corresponding to a certain pattern.
The launch process and the community nexus compliance program are designed to achieve a high degree of relevance of .quebec domain names for the Québec community. Along with a policy providing strong intellectual property support, the benefits for both local and international trademark holders as well as local and international Internet users will be triggered immediately.
Registrants as well as Internet users, individuals or professionals, want to be part of the large Internet community. This global need has been underlined and deeply discussed since 2008 by IT market analysts, journalists, Internet users, ISPs, registrars, registrants, focus groups, bloggers and many others who welcome ICANNʹs initiative.
Registrants will be offered a new naming opportunity to answer cultural, tourism and business needs. They will take advantage of the .quebec TLD to reach the following goals:
◦ the ability to develop the name space with a personalized domain naming derived from the .quebec TLD;
◦ the simplification, the relevance and the scope of the proposed domain names to meet the objectives of domain name applicants searching for clear and easy communications from, to and within the community;
◦ a new and reliable platform to successfully register memorable new names, since the potential of contention from other parts of the world is reduced or non existent;
◦ the specificity of the .quebec TLD, enabling registrants to relate themselves to the Québec community, regardless of their address of residence;
◦ achieve a high degree of relevance with .quebec domain names by providing a compliance program and a strong intellectual property support.
While Internet users want to be part of the goblal Internet, they also want to stick to their origins and heritage. Internauts using .quebec will benefit from:
◦ relevant naming availability for regional, national and international communications;
◦ a clear identity on the Web, for email addresses and Web sites;
◦ new opportunities and an openness that allows everyone to reap many benefits on all fronts: economic, social, cultural and linguistic.
Other parties will benefit from the new gTLD:
◦ CIRA has decided to no longer offer addresses with provincial identification in Canada: : «qc.ca» for Québec or «on.ca» for Ontario, etc. The decision is based on a business analysis and might have been motivated by the relatively modest results. For the users, such addresses were not user friendly. PointQuébec offers an alternative of mutual interest for CIRA and the users.
◦ 30% of SME donʹt use the naming space in Québec for various reasons: the language, the relevance of the naming availability from registries, the specificity of their market limited to a region or a city, a seasonal business, etc. (Source: www.cefrio.qc.ca, the most accurate survey group on the Internet in Québec). PointQuébec will open these new markets to registrars that will be in a position to offer an appropiate naming to the newcomers on the Web.
◦ The international market should also bring grist to the mill. For instance, in domain names registered by some registrars or affiliated resellers outside Québec, more than 44,000 of them include the name Québec.
Answers to enumerated question points:
b) i. What is the goal of your proposed gTLD in terms of areas of specialty, service levels, or reputation?
The goal of .quebec in terms of specialty is the focus on the needs of the Québec community. Service levels will match or exceed the high end of currently existing TLDs. The .quebec Registry will vigorously build and defend the reputation of the .quebec TLD as an orderly. trusted, secure and progressive TLD for the Québec community.
The precedent experience of .cat’s reputation as how a success can be measured with criteria based on the highest service levels to its community and an untarnished reputation as a conflicts-free space to the day, helps understand the benefits cultural TLDs can bring to both its own community and the gTLD space as a whole.
◦ The specificity of PointQuébec is to serve the Québec community by handling to the registrants a new first level extension that is and will remain unique. .quebec will testify the presence and vitality of the community on the Internet;
◦ The goal is to enable all citizens and businesses, locally, nationally and internationally, to identify themselves on the Internet with respect for its language, its culture and its social specificity;
◦ The naming space will be developed and expanded to reflect the French culture of the community located mainly in Québec, but also present elsewhere on the globe;
◦ In terms of reputation, PointQuébec will act as the custodian of a name that belongs to a nation. It will have to defend the proposed gTLD designed and created to serve the community and its historic nature, recognized by the Canadian government and by International Organizations like the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) that stated that: “the specificity of Québec leads it to play a special role internationally.” This is the level of reputation that the .quebec TLD will have to fulfill.
b) ii. What do you anticipate your proposed gTLD will add to the current space, in terms of competition, differentiation, or innovation?
In terms of competition, PointQuébec will serve a global community with 10 million individuals, living in a dynamic cultural and economic environment, a majority of which obviously live in Québec, but also in Ontario (the province next to Québec) and in other provinces in Canada. Many live in New England, Louisiana, France, England, Florida, the Caribbean, and in many other parts of the world.
According to our market researches, internal analysis and consultations with focus groups, the .quebec TLD represents an appropriate answer to fill a large gap in terms of consumer choice. Furthermore, accented addresses and the scope of such addresses provides a competitive advantage that will seduce customers. Customization of addresses and domain names will shape the naming space, meet the criteria of the language, and will become a natural choice to users for these obvious reasons.
PointQuébec will implement a market driven approach. Accordingly, PointQuébec plans to allocate a significant budget to promote the .quebec TLD during the next coming years. This budget will be well balanced and financial provisions are planned to secure the long term Registry operations. Partners already mentioned in Q11 will support PointQuébec to outreach new markets, in rural areas, namely.
On a differentiation standpoint, the .quebec TLD is seen as a structuring project for the Québec society. This intrinsic meaning of .quebec represents more than an address on the web. It must be regarded as an identification by which people will communicate, an ID that businesses and organizations will advertise, a signature that users will proudly display. Upmost, it will simplify the naming space and impact the market. In site of the actual naming scheme available, .quebec will offer shorter, clearer and more obvious names.
PointQuébec offers an innovative approach with its partnerships inside and outside Québec to acquire and develop the expertise needed both to operate .quebec, and to develop an IDN capable TLD Registry. A responsive approach will consider the specificity of the market and its potential worldwide innovative contribution as well, for the benefit of the community, in a proactive business model.
Compared to most existing TLDs, the .quebec TLD user experience will greatly enhance predictability and memorability of domain names. The community-based focus, the orderly development process and strong intellectual property support ensure that users will generally find the services they are looking for under the names they intuitively tend to use for them.
User experience is improved by the singular specificities of a cultural TLD, that will provide to the Québec community and to those willing to address online communications specifically targeted to this community the means to identify such communications under a TLD explicitly designed to this purpose.
Users will have greater comfort on the context of naming variants: in key portions of the .quebec name space, alternative names and variants (redirected to the canonical forms) will be systematically reserved and available for activation. Please refer to Q44 for and the IDN table attached there for more details Users in the Québec community will get increasingly used to the predictability of .quebec domain names. As a result, they also avoid stumbling upon typo-squatting, robotized pay-per-click traps or domain-for-sale pages.
It will certainly bring some fresh air in providing a new set of Internet addresses that will improve the Internet experience for internauts in Québec who will easily recognize an address .quebec. It will also allow search engines and any device with a specific capability to retrieve an address, a Web site, a geolocalized service (ex.: for tourism purposes), to result in a more understandable and comprehensive surfing experience for all users.
On a more global scope, predictable and memorable domain names will enhance the user experience in a way that no other existing TLD could provide to this community. Users will intuitively find the names they tend to use. They will have greater comfort on the context of naming variants. In the name space, alternative names and variants will systematically be activated or preserved (i.e. accented or not). Please see response to Q44 for more details.
b) iv .Provide a complete description of the applicant’s intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above.
The registration policies are differentiated between Pre-launch phase, Launch phase and General Availability. PointQuébec will be offering a creative approach that should be more convenient to facilitate the registration during each phase.
Registrations under the .quebec TLD are restricted to bona-fide members of the Québec community, and subject to the further requirement that the registrant’s actions in the .quebec community, as well as the registrant’s use of the registered domain name, must be:
(i) generally accepted as legitimate; and
(ii) beneficial to the cause and the values of the Québec community; and
(iii) commensurate with the role and importance of the registered domain name; and
(iv) in good faith at the time of registration and thereafter.
The registration policies are differentiated between Pre-launch phase, Launch phase and General Availability.
During Pre-launch, projects and content provision commitments are actively sought and negotiated, especially for key public-interest portions of the name space. All potential registrants and mandate holders are subject to screening and thorough pre-validation. For more details on the pioneer and the name space program, please see response to Q18 c) below
During the Launch phase, all registrations are thoroughly pre-validated; Launch phase pre-validation depends on priority status but will always involve community nexus. For further details about the community nexus, please see response to Q20 e) below. The Launch phase includes 3 categories for registrants with prior rights, and a fourth one, which is in fact, a Landrush, running in parallel in time, but being the lowest in priority. The categories are the following according to hierarchy:
- Entities with a specific role in the promotion of Québec’s public interest, including Public Authorities
- Trademark and other distinctive signs rights holders.
- Entities with their legal seat in Québec. This category is restricted to legal entities, and does not allow “fantasy names”.
- No prior rights. Eligible registrants not able to claim any of the priorities listed above will be able to apply during the whole duration of the Launch phase, as a preparation for an orderly and transparent Landrush.
3. Post-launch: General Availability
At General Availability, community nexus is subject to post-validation by way of an extensive compliance program based on the same criteria that form the basis of the TLD: language, cultural, tourism and business. The ongoing compliance program will regularly be adapted to current needs based on experience and audit findings. Community nexus validation combined with strong protection of trademarks helps stamp out cybersquatting and abusive registrations.
b) v.Will your proposed gTLD impose any measures for protecting the privacy or confidential information of registrants or users? If so, please describe any such measures.
PointQuébec recognizes first-hand that this is a relevant issue and an evolving area of law in which there is no international standard. The protection of privacy and confidential information of registrants and users will comply with applicable Law. Within the bounds of applicable regulations, the Registry will implement anti-data mining measures by way of rate limitation, authenticated access or white-listing⁄black-listing, as well as tools to prevent unauthorized recourse to repetitive automated access.
PointQuébec also intends to incorporate contractual language in its Registry Registrar Agreement (RRA) modeled after language which has been included in the template Registry Agreement and which has been successfully utilized by existing ICANN gTLD registry operators. Specifically, Registry Operator shall notify Registrar of the purposes for which Personal Data submitted to Registry Operation by Registrar is collected, the intended recipients (or categories of recipients) of such Personal Data, and the mechanism for access to and correction of such Personal Data. Registry Operator shall take reasonable steps to protect Personal Data from loss, misuse, unauthorized disclosure, alteration or destruction. Registry Operator shall not use or authorize the use of Personal Data in a way that is incompatible with the notice provided to registrars. Registry Operator may from time to time use the demographic data collected for statistical analysis, provided that this analysis will not disclose individual Personal Data and provided that such use is compatible with the notice provided to registrars regarding the purpose and procedures for such use.
Finally, PointQuébec will propose to ICANN, through the Registry Agreement negotiations, a Whois service that allows individual registrants to opt-out from publishing their personal contact data, as other existing gTLD Registries have done. If this option is not available during the contractual negotiations, PointQuébec would submit such proposal after delegation, through the New Registry Services procedure. CIRA will be considered as a model in that matter.
b.vi) Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits.
Like any new product or service, the introductory phase is crucial. Users must realize that this new TLD will maximize their Internet experience as was the case for smartphone or tablet computer that stepped up their communications. These products have successfully been launched and have become indispensable mainly thanks to their marketing. Their first success was the guarantor of their long-term success.
Thus, for Quebecers, businesses and organizations to make it their own, .quebec will be explained and boosted. This need will require a support with some form of education and information. To achieve this, we must create a movement first using social media in order kinetics. This initial deployment will be completed by an aggressive type ʺDrive-to-webʺ to serve as channel for our content and to showcase our endorsers and supporters. The aim is to publicize PointQuébec and to generate the enthusiasm. In the second phase of deployment, to give more strength to the movement, the support, spread it and give it a showcase, we will complete an approach by advertising in the media and the Internet. The aim at this time to quickly reach a critical mass of purchasing names. Promotional material will also be produced to support the dissemination of PointQuébec with target audiences. This equipment will be used in promotion and in public presence at trade shows or fairs, business, conferences and other similar types of activities.
In preparing our budgets so we planned the marketing budget needed to support the marketing of new domain name and ensure its success.
This budget includes multiple components, including among others:
• operations of media relations,
• the preparation of media interviews,
• monitoring and media monitoring,
• the preparation and content of material for talks and lectures,
• teams continued to perform actions on the Internet and social networks,
• a dynamic website and maintenance teams,
• production (graphics, editing, printing) of promotional material,
• the purchase and printing of promotional materials,
• production booth and participation in trade fairs and exhibitions,
• teams of viral marketing and video shoot for Internet,
• teams to implement the event,
• buying space in traditional media, non-traditional media, on Internet sites and search engines (SEO).
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