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What is a Community Top Level Domain?

The EBU application to manage the .radio TLD has now been validated by ICANN.
.radio will become one of the very few community TLDs.

To understand why this is important, it is vital to explain the various kinds of TLDs:

o Standard generic TLDs (e.g. .com, .club , .cloud): No particular TLD-specific policy
o Country code TLDs (e.g. .ch, .de , it, .tv): Subject to the respective country’s laws
o Brand TLDs (e.g. .ibm, .eurovision): For exclusive use by the respective registry operator
o Geographic and cultural/language TLDs (e.g. .paris, .swiss): For the respective local community, culture or language
o Community-based TLDs (e.g. .bank, .radio , .pharmacy): For the respective community

Community TLDs are intended for community groups operating their own TLD for an economic sector, a cultural community or a linguistic community. Rules and controls are defined to ensure that the TLD represents a specific community, being reserved for its use.

Only the community TLD can fully prevent cybersquatting by limiting who can obtain a .radio domain (policy, pre- and post-controls), and avoid schemes similar to ‘.tv’ in which many speculators buy domains simply for commercial purposes, namely for reselling them to brand owners for defensive reasons.

Few Community TLDs propositions have passed the very difficult ICANN Community Priority Evaluation Process (CPE). Many projects have been rejected due to the stringent CPE procedure. Being recognized as Community TLD is significant, since it means that genuine projects are recognized and given priority, whereas other non-community projects are eliminated. In the alternative scenario, auctions are organized and can be assigned on a purely commercial basis.

Passing the CPE gate marked the start of challenges by the three other applicants for .radio. Their goal was to use .radio for purely commercial reasons as compared with our willingness to make .radio a high-quality internet space reserved to the world radio community. Other Community TLD Projects are still experiencing similar issues due to the resistance those involved in the domain industry to accept the community TLDs concept.

The EBU has set up a World .Radio Advisory Board. Why, and who participate?

The World .Radio Advisory Board has been established in January 2017, and comprise individuals from supporting organizations, including public service radio, commercial radio and amateur radio, representing the worldwide radio community. The board will define policies and will stay across the development of the .radio TLD.

Here are the organizations that endorsed the project in spring 2012:

Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU)
Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU)
African Union of Broadcasting (AUB)
Caribbean Broadcasting Union
International Association of Broadcasting (IAB)
Asociación Internacional de Radiodifusión
North American Broadcasters Association (NABA)
Organización de Telecomunicaciones de Iberoamérica (OTI)
Association Européenne des Radios (AER)
The Association for International Broadcasting (AIB)
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)
Association of Television and Radio Sales Houses (EGTA)
The Metropolitan Opera
Union Radiophonique et Télévisuelle Internationale (URTI)
International Amateur Radio Union (IARU)

If a radio station or other organization wishes to obtain a ".radio" URL when and how can they apply?

The global launch is composed of three phases — the pioneer program, for which the EBU is presently accepting applications; the primary launch; and the general availability (see Launch page for details).

The Launch is simple. During the summer break, think of your preferred .radio domain and from 23rd August, request your .radio domain. Don’t miss the slot, the Launch will end on 31st October and the first come, first served will apply afterwards.

During both the Launch period and General Availability, registrants should contact one of the registrars offering .radio registrations. The registrars transmit the registration requests electronically to EBU's .radio registry system. At that point, requests are validated by EBU's .radio team.

During the Launch period, the first-come-first-served principle will not apply and more than one party can apply for the same domain. Validation of applications and contention resolution (where required) will take place after the end of the Launch period.

The validation of applications submitted during the Launch period will involve rules for name selection. For instance, you can request a domain reflecting the usual name of your own radio station but not that of another radio station.

In case of contention by several parties for the same domain name, rules of priority apply. In principle, on-air radio stations will have priority over web radio or radio professionals. The policy principles have already been described publicly in the EBU .radio application of 2012. EBU will work with applicants to optimize the allocation of domains in the best interest of all affected stakeholders.

After a short break following the Launch period, the open-ended General Availability (GA) phase begins. In GA, the .radio TLD is available to anyone with a bona fide nexus to the radio world. Special rules may apply to terms of significance for the Radio community. During GA, registration requests will be handled on a first-come-first-served basis unless special rules apply for particular kinds of requests. Pre-validation and/or post-validation will take place as required by the registration policy.

What should stations know about the launch period?

Submitting an application during the Launch period offers the best chance to obtain a given .radio domain. The exact time of application/registration request Is not determinant so long as it occurs during the Launch period (23 August 2017 - 31 October 2017).

The chances of obtaining a given domain are NOT increased by submitting multiple applications for the same domain. As a matter of fact, doing so will lengthen the time it takes to obtain the domain and cause additional work for the registry and the registrars involved.

Applicants will be able to check their applications independently of the registrar by looking it up on the .radio Whois service. The Whois service will be available on http://whois.nic.radio .

An application may be withdrawn at any time until the domain is allocated. In case of withdrawal or rejection - unless there was a pattern of abusive requests - the registry will automatically refund the application fee to the registrar. The registrar’s own billing and refund policy may be different.

The EBU registry team will work with all applicants to resolve instances of contention arising during this period. Contention resolution will be conducted in a fair and transparent fashion. The rules for contention resolution will be published by the EBU and by ICANN.

The launch period ends before the start of the General Availability (GA) phase (from 15 November 2017). This means that a given domain may no longer be available during GA, either because it has already been allocated, or because it is pending allocation based on contention resolution or other administrative processes.