A draft ‘Applicant Guidebook’ for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) is now available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish and Russian for review and comment at icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/comments-en.htm. The draft Guidebook provides information for those interested in applying for new generic top-level domains.Designed to accompany the draft Applicant Guidebook is a set of Explanatory Memoranda that are intended to assist understanding of the implementation work for new gTLDs.Since these are not the final documents, applicants should not rely on the details contained in the documents since they remain subject to further consultation and revision.Some areas of the new gTLD program remain under development. These include details on: the duration of each stage of the application; third party service providers that will be part of the evaluation panels and manage the dispute resolution; and fees in addition to the “evaluation fee” that will apply only to some applicants depending on the application path. These areas will be made available for public consultation in the near future.ICANN expects to engage in a productive and robust dialogue with the Internet community through this consultative process. Staff will review all comments and provide a summary/analysis of comments to help production of the final Applicant Guidebook, to be released early 2009.New gTLDs and the Internet – Openness Change InnovationAfter years of discussion and thought, new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are being expanded. They will allow for more innovation, choice and change to a global Internet presently served by only 21 generic top-level domain names.As a non-for-profit corporation dedicated to coordinating the Internet’s addressing system, ICANN is not doing this to add to its revenue. An implementation plan is being developed with opportunities for public comment. There will be processes for objections. There has also been detailed technical scrutiny to ensure the Internet’s stability and security. There will be an evaluation fee but it will recover costs only (expenses so far, application processing and anticipated legal costs). Many thousands of people representing organizations as diverse as domain name registries and registrars, businesses, engineers, scientists, governments, user, academics, and the legal community have contributed.Promoting competition and choice is one of the principles upon which ICANN was founded. In a world with 1.5 billion Internet users (and growing), diversity, choice and innovation are key. The Internet has supported huge increases in choice, innovation and the competition of ideas. Expanding new gTLDs provides further opportunities.Find out detail at: icann.org/en/topics/new-gtld-program.htmThis ICANN announcement was sourced from icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-18nov08-en.htm.