Friday, 10 August 2012

Launch of new gTLD postponed until Autumn 2013

Yesterday at ICANN’s Webinar for new gTLD applicants, applicants were informed that

  • All applications are dealt with in one batch.
  • All results of evaluations we be published JUNE/JULY 2013.
  • Launches from AUTUMN 2013 (or later).
  • Objection deadline January 12, 2012
  • 90% of all Letter of Credits needs to be updated.
  • Digital Archery is buried.
ICANN is open to give applicants a chance to “clarify” their application by answering so called “Clarifying Questions” from the evaluators.

Letter of credit

About 90% of applications will get a CQ about their financial status (primarily related to the Letter of Credit)

ICANN said that one common issue was the “beneficiary”, where the Guidebook says;

“The LOC must name ICANN or its designee as the beneficiary”

Thus, dear applicant

  1. You may have to update your Letter of Credit.
  2. You will be able to ask for more than 14 days to do so (from when you are informed).
  3. Banks that have lost A rating will still be accepted.
  4. One can keep the three points in the evaluation – thus it should not affect your applications.
Security Policy Update (Q30b)

40% can expect to get questions about their technical plans. We have no idea which application(s) will be affected here. Again ICANN stressed the fact that applicants will get a fair chance to actually change their answers...so it seems as if they are really interested in helping the applications pass.

Contention sets

Contention sets will probably be published in November or December. There is no instrument available to object to a decision on visual similarity (one can ask for a new panelist, if bias can be proved).

Change request handling

ICANN will publish a process for change request handling. The idea is that only obvious typos or changes in personnel or other organizational changes will be allowed. (As far as I understood it).

Withdrawal

Only three applications have been withdrawn so far. (Not yet published).

New time line

  • August 12, 2012: Application Comment Period Closes (might be extended).
  • August 20, 2012: Comment period on metering/batching (if needed June/July next year) closes.
  • October 2012: GAC Early Warnings (shortly after Toronto ICANN Meeting).
  • November  2012 – publication of contention sets.
  • January 12, 2013 objection  period closes.
  • April 2013, GAC communicates GAC advice (Veto against applications).
  • June/July 2013 all initial evaluations complete – and published at the same time.
  • First Delegation from Autumn 2013.
IN CASE more than 1,000 TLDs are ready to be delegated by July 2013 (ICANN hopes that it will solve itself through contention set handling (auctions), objections, extended evaluation (Clarification Questions), ICANN has to find a way to “batch” or “sequence” or “meter”  the delegation of applications - comment period for this is open until August 20 for criteria suggestions.

ICANN will need 3-4 months to decide how to sequence the delegation of the TLDs, in case that will be needed. Suggestion can be posted here:  


So the gTLD program is postponed once again...it is however good news that digital archery is buried....
With the lack of clarity (on deadlines, timeline, criteria for delegation, contention sets etc.), ICANN must expect that they will still be confronted with frustration amongst applicants and other stakeholders. We realize that it is a complex process, but urge ICANN to stand up and at least make a suggestion on how to sequence applications. It may be that the various constituencies and stakeholders will have different opinions (they certainly will) but it would give us all an idea on the direction ICANN is taking.

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