Speaking at a special ICANN briefing given today in Brussels, CEO Fadi Chehadé reasserted his strong commitment to a predictable and reliable launch date for new gTLDs. "The timeline was the biggest issue for this program when I came in as ICANN CEO, a year ago," Chehadé said during the meeting attended by NetNames. "Applicants, registrants, businesses and the community as a whole, no-one had the slightest idea when to expect new gTLDs."
Chehadé initially aimed for a June or July release date. "But in Beijing the community in essence stood me down and told me they weren't quite ready," he explained, referring to the calls by registrars and registries for more negotiation between them and ICANN staff on the contracts they will be called upon to sign in order to distribute and manage new gTLDs. "So we relented and pushed our timeline back by a couple of months. But we will get this program birthed because if we don't, then the baby will start getting really sick. This program has been consuming energy and taking resources away from ICANN and preventing us from doing other things that we are also tasked with doing."
Chehadé praised the work done by contracted parties such as NetNames in moving the contract negotiations forward so that ICANN can move towards recommending the first new gTLDs for delegation. "We now have a strong, enforceable registrar contract that is better than any contract we've ever had before."
Written by Stéphane Van Gelder (Chairman and Managing Director of Stéphane Van Gelder Consulting Ltd.)