The mission and purpose of a new restricted .weather gTLD is to benefit internet users by ensuring increased trust, convenience and utility. The .weather gTLD will create a next generation gTLD serving the interests of end users. The .weather gTLD will provide an authoritative Internet space for... Read more
The mission and purpose of a new restricted .weather gTLD is to benefit internet users by ensuring increased trust, convenience and utility.
The .weather gTLD will create a next generation gTLD serving the interests of end users. The .weather gTLD will provide an authoritative Internet space for weather content, where the trusted services and resources of The Weather Channel, LLC (TWC), its affiliates, and partners will be closely controlled and made available to consumers around the world. The majority of the anticipated domain name registrations in .weather will be used in the communication of TWC's content and services, including accurate, easily accessible, and potentially lifesaving weather-related information. A subset of domain names has the potential to be created and used for personalized and hyper-local information purposes.
TWC is a wholly owned subsidiary of TWCC Holding Corporation (TWCCHC). Together with other subsidiaries of TWCCHC, TWC is a part of The Weather Channel Companies (TWCC). TWCC, through its subsidiaries including TWC, owns The Weather Channel television network, The Weather Channel digital properties and other weather-related businesses including WSI Corporation (WSI). The Weather Channel television network reaches over 100 million US households, and TWCC's web properties (including weather.com) receive 60 million unique users each month. TWC reaches 40 million mobile consumers monthly through its tablet and mobile telephone applications and mobile websites, with TWCC mobile applications being one of the most used on smart phones and tablets. WSI provides weather data and services to top companies in the local television/media, energy, and aviation industries. TWC was initially launched in 1982 to program and deliver a cable television network and today, TWCC is a leading global brand and a recognized world leader in weather forecasting capabilities with global coverage including UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, India, Brazil and other Latin American countries. In this regard, continuous innovations and improvements in weather forecasting technologies and reliable online presence are the main consideration in TWC's activities. TWCC has approximately 1,100 employees and is headquartered in Atlanta, US with offices in global locations including New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Detroit, Dallas and London.
Since the inception of the current domain name system, business activities conducted on the internet have been constantly changing and evolving with increased complexity. Internet innovation has brought benefits of simplicity and lowered transaction costs. However, criminal activities over the internet including data breach, hacking and phishing activities have also become more sophisticated, resulting in loss of consumer confidence. In addition, consumer trust has been eroded by unauthorized and inaccurate sources of information. The .weather gTLD will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with weather-related content online, while increasing the convenience and efficiency of their interactions.
TWC's mission and purpose of the proposed new gTLD share ICANN's initiatives to promote public interest. TWC is committed to contributing toward achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
- consumer trust: the .weather registry will be operated in a centralized manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will be available only to TWC and its affiliates/partners, which will provide added consumer trust that .weather domain names are trustworthy. As .weather domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under TWC's control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .weather domain space;
- competition: .weather will spur innovation and competition in the weather media space by increasing the personalization and customization for consumers and providing weather-related information in a new and differentiated way. It will also spur innovation and competition among top level domain (TLD) operators by showcasing innovative, trustworthy, and compelling ways in which TLDs can be used to benefit consumers; and
- consumer choice: .weather will provide consumers with new, more personalized and intuitive options to navigate the internet to find weather related information. The .weather gTLD will provide consumers with more choices for interacting with TWC and weather-related content overall.
Given the restricted nature of the .weather gTLD, the projected number of registrations is likely to be limited. It is anticipated that a rather limited number of around 210 domain names will be registered in the first year to cover the US, the world's largest weather market. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations is likely to increase to about 100,000 domain names as TWC develops and implements new services to cover weather markets worldwide.
As the .weather gTLD expands and evolves, TWC may consider offering the use of second level domain names to its global partners including distribution partners (web portals, mobile OEMs), B2B customers, advertisers, and other digital content publishers at a later date. In this endeavor, TWC will continue to comply with all operational, technical and policy requirements to maintain consumer trust and the stability of the internet. TWC will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to .weather including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement.
TWC intends to create relevant domain names for use including services, geographic and other place names within .weather to provide accurate and relevant weather-related information to its customers. In accordance with registration policy and the proposed measures for protection of geographic names as outlined in response to Question 22, TWC will use geographic names to localize its websites in the countries and regions relevant to its operation. The use of geographic names is intended to:
- connect internet users with relevant information as applicable to the territory; and
- comply with required rules and regulations in the national territory.
TWC does not intend to utilize Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) at the second level at the time of launch. However, as the use of .weather evolves, TWC may utilize IDNs within .weather to allow internet users to engage in their native language, creating a more positive user experience and encouraging diversity.
TWCC is a well-recognized global brand with registered and pending trademarks (through TWC) consisting solely of "weather" or "weather.com" in 36 countries and territories for (but not limited to) the following classes: 9 (instruments, pre-recorded audio and video recording), 16 (print), 35 (advertising), 38 (telecommunications), 41 (education), 42 (online publications; meteorological services), 45 (personal and social services).
TWC has an extensive domain name portfolio including existing domain names with an exact match to the "weather" trademark and the applied-for string in various domain spaces including, com, mobi, travel, co.at, co.gg, co.uk, co.uz, com.ag, com, dm, com.ec, com.gy, com.kn, com.pr, com.vc, dm, gl, gy, kn, tv, uz
TWC believes that the .weather gTLD is unlikely to cause confusion with either a generic term or any existing TLDs. TWCC is a leading global brand and a recognized leader in weather forecasting capabilities. TWC is the owner of several trademarks worldwide containing or consisting solely of the term "weather" and has a strong worldwide reputation. TWC has used the term "weather" in conjunction with its core business since its establishment and reaches close to 100 million TV viewers, 60 million web users and 40 million mobile users monthly. ×