ICANN's new gTLD program - latest news

Stphane Van Gelder, ICANN, new gtlds

As ICANN continues to evaluate the first 2,000-odd next generation gTLDs, it continues to provide regular updates on its landmark program.

The latest update is dated Wednesday 5 September 2012.

Seven applications withdrawn

The highlights are that there have been seven requests for the withdrawal of applications. Four are known and have already been approved by ICANN, with three being applications from Google that would have been blocked by the fact that they are also geographical designations (.AND, .ARE and .EST). The fourth was an application for .KSB submitted by the German pump and valve system heavyweight the KSB Group. The remaining three withdrawal applications are currently pending.

57 applications changed

Although ICANN had not originally included a process for changing applications in its program, subsequent requests by applicants have pushed them to implement one. The process is being kept simple and so far, 57 requests for changes have been sent in. No detail has been provided on what these requests cover, but changes probably range from simple typos to major deviations from the original application, and ICANN will post amended applications for public comment for 30 days before approving them.


Talking of comments, ICANN received a total of 6,687 on the applications posted on its Wednesday 13 June Reveal Day. The comment period remains open until Wednesday 26 September. All comments received by this date will be considered by the relevant evaluation panel.


The five evaluation panels (Financial, Technical, String Similarity, DNS Stability and Geographic Names) are being kept very busy. For the Financial and Technical panels, the target is 300 applications processed per month. These are the panels handling the most complex evaluation work so the others are expected to reach higher throughput levels. The Geographic Names panel, for example, expects to finish its work by Monday November 12.

Upcoming key dates

ICANN’s key deadlines remain as follows:

  • Wednesday 26 September 2012: Application comment period closes.

  • October 2012: GAC early warnings expected.

  • Saturday 12 January 2013: Objection period closes.

  • April 2013: GAC advice provided to ICANN Board.

  • June/July 2013: All initial evaluation work completed.


Written by Stéphane Van Gelder, Registry Relations and Strategy Director, NetNames
11 September 2012