ICANN Announces New gTLD Timing and Requests Community Input on Application Metering

According to ICANN, the evaluation is in progress based on a tentative project plan that foresees the processing of applications in a single batch and simultaneous release of results”. It is expected that the evaluation of the single batch “can be completed in 11 -12 months possibly less –  resulting in publication of results in June-July 2013.”

As there are 1409 unique applied-for strings a method for the delegation of these extensions must still be devised as no more than 1000 strings are to be added to the root in a single year. Consequently ICANN is seeking Community input as to how this should be accomplished. All comments should  be sent to newgtld-input@icann.org and must be received by August 19.

ICANN is suggesting that there are three possible methods for limiting the number of extensions to no more than 1000 in a single year which include:

  • timing of the release of evaluation results to applicants
  • timing of the release of applications into the pre-delegation steps of contract execution and pre-delegation testing
  • metering of delegations of new gTLDs into the root zone.

That said I question whether we really need to implement the metering of applications.

If all applications pass Initial Evaluation ICANN could allow all 1179 uncontested applications to move through contract negotiations. It should be noted that the number of uncontested applications will likely decrease as examiners identify additional contested strings. ICANN could continue processing these uncontested applications on a first-come first-served basis so that if no changes to the contract are negotiated uncontested applicants may continue through the process.

If contracts for all 1179 applications are quickly signed it is possible that more than 1000 extensions could be added to the root in a year although based on recent guidance from the SSAC this does not seem to pose a threat to Stability or Security but rather a risk to current service levels which could likely be addressed by increasing the necessary resources.

The remaining 751 contested applications would still need to move through the contention process which may take up to another 6 months post Initial Evaluation results according to the Applicant Guidebook.

Granted there will be bottlenecks along the way but I am not sure what purpose the artificial metering of applications will serve except to add further complexity and raise expectations.