ICANN Publishes Proposed Final New gTLD Applicant Guidebook

On November 12, ICANN released the Proposed Final New gTLD Applicant Guidebook which describes the process of applying for new generic top-level domains. The Guidebook will be open for public comment through December 10. All comments will be considered by the ICANN Board at the December meeting in Cartagena where decisions regarding the timing of the Program will be made.

The ICANN Board can approve the Guidebook or direct that changes be made.

Notable changes from the previous version include:

  • Elimination of most restrictions on Registry / Registrar cross-ownership
  • Additional information on application batching, delegation rates, dependencies for root scaling
  • Refinement of background screening criteria
  • Updated string requirements which addresses the use of numbers in TLDs
  • Addition of UNESCO list as reference for continent/region names
  • Incorporation of Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) into Legal Rights Objection
  • Elimination of the complete defense to Community Objections in favor of elevated standard for successful objection
  • Several recommendations for dealing with the morality and public order objection
  • Explanation of ICANN Board’s role in the new gTLD process

It is also expected that the The Economic Analysis of program costs and benefits will be finalized and posted shortly.