(Live update from ICANN 46)
The first new gTLD contract will not be approved on 23 April as originally planned. Both the new Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) and Registry Agreement (RA) are simply not ready.
Keeping to the 23 April date would have required a special meeting of the ICANN Board. In fact, one had been planned for this on April 20. But due to ongoing contract negotiations, in Beijing ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé confirmed that he had asked his Board to cancel this meeting.
"I am anticipating that we will publish the new contracts for the whole community to view early next week," Chehadé explained on 11 April, the last day of the Beijing conference. "We will then have the mandatory 21-day comment period, and 21-day reply period. However, we will look for agile ways to make sure that we don't add another 40 days to the program. For example, we may be able to work on operational aspects at the same time as these comment periods".
A "new gTLD launch party" originally planned for 23 April in New York to celebrate the approval of the first new gTLD contract will still happen, but will now just be an ICANN Public Relations event rather than a celebration.
Written by Stéphane Van Gelder (Chairman and Managing Director of Stéphane Van Gelder Consulting Ltd.)
11 April 11:45 a.m. GMT