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ICANN Board Moves to Begin Preparations for the Next Round of New gTLDs

19-Mar-2023 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 687

LOS ANGELES - During its meeting at the ICANN76 Community Forum in Cancún, Mexico, the Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) adopted 98 recommendations contained in the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process Final Report as set forth in Section A of the Scorecard: Subsequent Procedures (SubPro PDP). This sets in motion the start of the implementation process for the next round of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), a press release by ICANN stated. 

Section B of the Scorecard contains 38 outputs that the Board has designated as "pending." These require further discussion with the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) as noted in the Scorecard that the Board adopted alongside the Final Report.

Section C of the Scorecard identifies dependencies that the Board is committed to resolving in a timely manner.

As part of the resolution, the Board directed ICANN organization (org) to deliver a comprehensive implementation plan, including a work plan, information for the infrastructure design, timelines, and anticipated resource requirements to achieve the necessary work to open the next round of gTLDs no later than 1 August 2023.

The timely delivery of the comprehensive implementation plan requires the satisfactory completion of the following four deliverables by 15 June 2023, the last day of the ICANN77 Policy Forum:

1. A plan and timeline as agreed upon by the ICANN Board and the GNSO Council for consideration and resolution of all outputs contained in Section B of the Scorecard.
2. A working methodology and Implementation Review Team work plan and timeline as agreed upon by ICANN org and the GNSO Council.
3. A GNSO Council project plan and timeline for policy work, or an alternate path, on how to handle closed generics for the next round of new gTLDs.
4. A project plan from the GNSO Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) Working Group (WG) identifying all charter questions that will impact the next Applicant Guidebook, along with considerations to ensure a consistent solution on IDN variant TLDs with the the fourth country code policy development process on IDN country code top-level domains and a timeline by when the IDNs EPDP WG will deliver relevant recommendations to the GNSO Council.

"We must work together to ensure the resiliency, security, and future of the Internet," said Tripti Sinha, ICANN Board Chair. "The remaining recommendations require collaboration between the ICANN community, Board, and org. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to collectively commit the resources and effort necessary to solve thorny issues and achieve our shared goal of launching the next round of new gTLDs."

As part of its action, the Board also authorized the ICANN Interim President and CEO to spend up to US$9 million to fund the implementation work through 31 October 2023. The source for this funding is the remaining funds of the 2012 new gTLD round.

The Board also directed the org to continue its outreach and communications strategy to promote the New gTLD Program to prospective applicants, with an emphasis on encouraging uptake from potential applicants in currently underserved or underrepresented regions to enable the introduction of new gTLDs (including both ASCII and IDN) into the domain name space, as noted in the SubPro PDP Final Report.

To ensure transparency, the Board also directed ICANN org to publish reports on the progress and status of implementation until the opening of the next application round at least two weeks prior to the start of each ICANN Public Meeting, starting with the ICANN77 Policy Forum.
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