ICANN Update: April 2014

This month, we look at some of the continuing discussions to come out of the ICANN 49 meeting that took place in Singapore in March. The Internet’s governing body has begun to implement a process to deal with contentious new gTLDs – an issue that has gained prominence recently – and is already hinting at another round of new domain endings.

ICANN to Move Ahead With Contention Set Auctions

Following some debate around certain new gTLDs, such as .vin – ‘wine’ in French but also Vehicle Identification Number in the US – ICANN has published details of the process it will follow to resolve the domains that are still in contention.  Whilst a number of gTLD applicants who applied for the same domain ending have now resolved the questions of who will run the Top Level Domain, many are still in deadlock and will now proceed to an auction to determine the “winner” starting in June 2014.

The delays in getting to this position have been frustrating both for companies who are in the process of trying to resolve the future of their gTLD applications, as well as Brand Holders who want to take advantage of the gTLD program.

ICANN Hints at Second Round of gTLDs

Whilst the question was asked in a number of forums at ICANN 49 in Singapore, nobody was prepared to give a formal “yes” to a second round of gTLD applications.  However, reading between the lines we can draw the conclusion that plans are being made in the background for a second round as early as in 2015.