ICANN’s 38th International Public Meeting held in Brussels, Belgium during the week of June 20th thru 25th was full of a lot of the same; a lot of New gTLD talk related to trademarks and timelines, and the usual WHOIS accuracy meeting. But still, the looming question on everyone’s mind; “When are we going to see New gTLDs?” was not clearly answered.
Well, one new gTLD, or so it would seem, is ready to hit the main stream fairly soon. The ICANN Board of Directors approved .xxx at it’s board meeting on Friday, June 25th 2010. The Board accepted the the findings of the Independent Review Panel and reconsidered the application for .xxx. A review will be done to ensure that no significant changes have taken place and begin contract negotiations. Finally, ICANN will involve the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) to make sure the contract for the new adult TLD is inline with the comment received from the committee.
ICM Registry states the following on their website regarding the timing of the launch of the triple X top-level domain, “We can’t give a precise timetable on how long these steps will take, but we are prepared to promptly provide any due diligence materials ICANN reasonably requires and to enter into immediate contract negotiations. We see no reason that any remaining issues cannot be been ironed out and approved in time for ICANN’s meeting in Cartagena in December this year.”
Perhaps the most exciting news that came out of the board meeting on June 25th was the final approval of three Chinese language Internationalized Domain Names. The approval of .中国 (China), .香港 (Hong Kong), and .台灣 (Taiwan) will allow millions of Chinese language users to access the internet entirely in their own language.
New Internet extensions will bring about a wonderful change on the Internet and aid the way users navigate and find information. Though it may seem to be a never-ending process of policy writing, feedback and arguing, the New gTLD program is moving along. The new fast-track IDNs and the approval of .xxx are proof that progress has been made. The pace of that progress is a point of frustration for many would-be applicants but the board promises resolve as they voted to use their Board of Directors Retreat in late September to exclusively work toward resolution of some of the issues that continue to hold back the New gTLD program.