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The New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Program established auctions as a last resort method to resolve contention between applications for identical or similar terms (strings) within a given application opportunity. Ninety percent of contention sets scheduled for auction have been resolved through other means before reaching an auction conducted by Power Auctions, ICANN's authorized auction service provider. However, it was recognized from the outset that significant funds could accrue as a result of  auctions. The proceeds derived from such auctions have been reserved and earmarked within ICANN until such time as the ICANN Board authorizes a plan for the appropriate use of the funds. These proceeds are considered as an exceptional, one-time source of revenue.

The new gTLD Auction Proceeds, derived from these last resort auctions, are distinct and ring-fenced funds. The Auction Proceeds are a single revenue source derived from all new gTLD Auction Proceeds from the 2012 application round. The proceeds, net of direct auction costs, are fully segregated in separate bank and investment accounts. The proceeds are invested conservatively with any interest accruing to the proceeds. Since June 2014, 17 contention sets have been resolved via ICANN auctions of last resort. The total net proceeds to date are $208 million. Details of the proceeds can be found here. The total amount of funding resulting from auctions will not be known until all relevant applications have resolved contention. 

Following a number of sessions on this topic during ICANN53 in Buenos Aires (see and, a discussion paper was published in September 2015 to solicit further community input, as well as the proposal to proceed with a CCWG tasked with proposing a mechanism to allocate the new gTLD Auction Proceeds. The feedback received confirmed that there was support for moving forward with a CCWG. The GNSO Chair at the time reached out to all the ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (SOs and ACs) to ask for volunteers to participate in a drafting team to develop a charter for a CCWG. All ICANN SOs and ACs, apart from the Country Code Supporting Organization (ccNSO), responded to this request and put forward volunteers to participate. 

The drafting team commenced its deliberations on Tuesday, 23 February 2016. A draft charter for community discussion was published in advance of ICANN56 and discussed during the cross-community session held at ICANN56. Following ICANN56, the drafting team reviewed all the input and updated the proposed charter accordingly. On 13 September 2016, this proposed charter was shared with all ICANN SOs and ACs for input. The final proposed charter was submitted to all ICANN SOs and ACs on 17 October 2016, and each ICANN SO and AC confirmed the adoption of the charter. A call for volunteers was launched and the CCWG was chartered by all ICANN SOs and ACs to propose the mechanism to allocate the new gTLD Auction Proceeds. The Chartering Organizations are the Address Supporting Organization (ASO), the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), the ccNSO, the GNSO, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC), and the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC). 

See the latest update of the CCWG efforts in the GNSO Policy Briefing here.