b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?
i. What is the goal of your proposed gTLD in terms of areas of specialty, service levels, or reputation?
• The goal of the proposed .hughes gTLD in terms of specialty, service levels and reputation are:
o Specialty – Applicant and its affiliated entities are a leading provider of DBS subscription television service and satellite and internet access services primarily in North America. In the course of its business with customers and other business partners, highly-sensitive, personal and confidential information is collected and shared between authorized parties. To further demonstrate Applicant’s commitment and market leadership in the area of data security and privacy within its industry, Applicant intends to utilize the .hughes gTLD to create a restricted, exclusively-controlled online environment for customers and other business partners with the goal of further securing the collection and transmission of personal and other confidential data required for contracted services and other product-related activities.
o Service levels –One of the key goals of the proposed .hughes gTLD is to create a restricted, exclusively-controlled online environment for customers and other business partners which will increase customer confidence and trust in conducting business online. Through greater use of online tools by customers, Applicant and its affiliated entities expect to further streamline business processes, reduce turn-around times, provide more personalized service and improve overall client service delivery and satisfaction.
o Reputation – Applicant and its affiliated entities have a reputation of stellar client service, innovation and market leadership. With the online channel growing in importance, one of the goals of the proposed .hughes gTLD is to position Applicant to meet future client expectations and competitive market demands to ensure it can continue to grow its reputation in the telecommunications and satellite services industry, as well as in the global marketplace.
ii. What do you anticipate your proposed gTLD will add to the current space, in terms of competition, differentiation, or innovation?
• Applicant plans to operate the proposed .hughes gTLD as a restricted, exclusively-controlled TLD and as such, will not be commercially offered for registration by the general public. Thus, Applicant and its affiliated entities will have exclusive ownership and control over all second-level registrations within the TLD. As a result, we believe the proposed .hughes gTLD will add to the current names space in three (3) areas:
o Competition – As technology advances, so too do client expectations of companies online. They expect that companies will utilize the latest and greatest technology and online practices to improve the user experience, protect their information and deliver quality service. Applicant and its affiliated entities anticipate that the proposed .hughes gTLD will enable it to communicate, interact and protect data in ways and under conditions not possible under the existing namespace, thus enabling Applicant to meet future client expectations and competitive market demands.
o Differentiation – While today companies like Applicant can register brand strings at the second-level (e.g., .hughes.com), the proliferation of cybersquatting and typosquatting has placed a great burden on consumers to carefully tread online because there is no guarantee that what looks like a branded website is indeed an authorized website of the brand owner. The proposed .hughes gTLD will enable customers and other business partners and Internet users to distinguish on the face of the domain name alone whether the site is an authorized company site because the gTLD will be a restricted, exclusively- controlled online environment where only authorized Applicant and affiliated entity web properties and e-mail will exist and operate online.
o Innovation - The proposed .hughes gTLD as a restricted, exclusively-controlled TLD will provide Applicant and its affiliated entities with a new platform on which to build future innovation of its online brand presence.
• The Internet has been plagued by cybersquatting, typosquatting, phishing, pharming and identity theft scams. This malicious online conduct has shaken the trust and confidence of consumers to share information and transact business online. Thus, the proposed .hughes gTLD has the following user experience goals:
o Unify the full breadth of products and services offered by Applicant and its affiliated entities under one brand umbrella;
o Improve and streamline the manner in which customers and other business partners can interact with Applicant and its affiliated entities in the online digital space;
o Foster trust and confidence in online interactions by customers and other business partners with Applicant and its affiliated entities;
o Reduce the risk of Internet users being misled, believing and⁄or acting on erroneous, information about Applicant and its affiliated entities, its business partners and⁄or its products and services presented online by unauthorized third parties; and
o Simplify online navigation to products, services and business partner information for Applicant and its affiliated entities.
iv. Provide a complete description of the applicant’s intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above.
The proposed gTLD will be a restricted, exclusively-controlled gTLD where only Applicant, affiliated entities and authorized business partners will be permitted to register second-level domains for Applicant business purposes only for a term of one to ten years. Affiliated entities who are part of the same corporate organization as the Applicant who seek registrations for second-level names under the TLD will be required to present evidence in writing to accredited registrar(s) for the TLD demonstrating explicit authorization from an officer of the Applicant company to register second-level names within the TLD to protect against unauthorized registration within the TLD by unaffiliated third parties. Applicants and affiliated entities owned and⁄or controlled by the same corporate parent company will supply corporate contact and ownership information, not personal information, for each registration obtained under the TLD for display in the TLD WHOIS.
To the extent second-level domain names are ever registered to Applicant’s business partners and⁄or affiliates that are not owned by Applicant or its corporate parent company, registrants will be required to execute a registration agreement that incorporates all required ICANN consensus policies and other legal⁄policy requirements imposed on new gTLD applicants into the terms and conditions of the domain name registration agreement. Such registration may also be subject to additional terms and conditions under separate business partner and⁄or affiliate agreements with Applicant entity. Registrations by business partners or affiliates not owned by Applicant or its corporate parent company will require written, pre-approval by designated individual(s) at Applicant company, must provide corporate contact information, not personal information, for WHOIS purposes and must be made with Applicant’s registrar of choice. Registrants must not use the domain name in any way that may damage or diminish Applicants brand reputation, business relationships or other business interests. Failure to do any of the above, will result in the immediate suspension of registrant’s registration agreement and⁄or all deletion of all domain names currently registered in the TLD.
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.
vi. Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits.
Prior to using the proposed .hughes gTLD for product and service marketing⁄advertising, marketing campaign activation, interaction and communication with individuals and entities with whom Applicant has a business relationship, and⁄or implementing new online navigation strategies, Applicant and its affiliated entities anticipate incorporating messaging regarding .hughes as part of appropriate company and product communication campaigns that will likely involve all communication channels, including but not limited to, TV, radio, mobile, print, social media, direct mail, online advertising and marketing via our active, client and affiliate-facing websites and other public relations activities to:
• Further communicate Applicant and its affiliated entities’ commitment to online consumer safety and data privacy;
• Inform the market of Applicant’s ownership and planned use of the proposed .hughes gTLD;
• Clearly define the expected benefits to customers, prospective customers, other business partners and Internet users at large.
Future outreach and communications campaigns will be carried out as when needed to reaffirm and clarify the above. Applicant believes outreach and communication will be critical to building trust and confidence in the legitimacy of the TLD.
(c) What operating rules will you adopt to eliminate or minimize social costs (e.g., time or financial resource costs, as well as various types of consumer vulnerabilities)? What other steps will you take to minimize negative consequences⁄costs imposed upon consumers?
i. How will multiple applications for a particular domain name be resolved, for example, by auction or on a first-come⁄first serve basis?
• There will not be multiple applications for a particular domain in the proposed .hughes TLD because this will be a restricted, exclusively-controlled where only Applicant and its affiliated, authorized entities will be able to seek and obtain registrations.
ii. Explain any cost benefits for registrants you intend to implement (e.g., advantageous pricing, introductory discounts, bulk registration discounts).
• This question is not applicable to a restricted, exclusively-controlled, self-funded TLD, like the proposed .hughes TLD.
iii. Note that the Registry Agreement requires that registrars be offered the option to obtain initial domain name registrations for periods of one to ten years at the discretion of the registrar, but no greater than ten years. Additionally, the Registry Agreement requires advance written notice of price increases. Do you intend to make contractual commitments to registrants regarding the magnitude of price escalation? If so, please describe your plans.
• The proposed .hughes TLD will be a restricted, exclusively-controlled, self-funded TLD available only to Applicant and its affiliated entities. Thus, there will be no per domain name registration cost incurred by any party for this TLD and thus, no price changes and⁄or escalations for which registrants will need to be notified.