ICANN 41 Report: The Course is Set for New gTLD Implementation

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Now that the New gTLD Program has been approved, and the Applicant Guidebook is pretty much in its final condition, ICANN can begin working on the implementation of the New gTLD program and its collective parts. Some issues currently on the radar are:

Building and Implementing the TAS (TLD Application System)

The TLD Application System, or TAS is the system by which all applicants will be required to submit their applications to ICANN for evaluation. Kurt Pritz, Senior Vice President, Stakeholder Relations, briefly discussed the purpose of the TAS and described the functions that the system will include to enable applicants to easily submit their applications and monitor each stage of the evaluation process. Below is a screen shot of a rough version of the system. (Though, I have my doubts that the big green button is part of the system).

Applicants will use the TAS as a dashboard to submit and monitor their applications. Email notifications of tasks will be sent and received through the TAS, and online help will be readily available for applicants who are seeking assistance.

ICANN will provide a recorded TAS Demo, “how to” webinars for registering and submitting applications, as well as detailed user guides and quick start guides.

Preparing the ASC (Applicant Service Center)

The Applicant Service Center (ASC) will be a multi-lingual, multi-regional support center for applicants. The center will provide self-help tools to enable applicants to search for answers they need in relation to the process, FAQs, and online forums.

Currently, prospective applicants can search through the FAQ (we have submitted several questions that have been placed on this list) as well as email the ICANN New gTLD Staff. (Staff has been much faster recently at responding to inquiries).

Securing and Contracting Service Providers

The evaluation process requires a total of six evaluation panels. ICANN is now in the process of developing RFPs and selecting panel members. The six evaluation panels are as follows:

  • Geographic Names
  • String Similarity
  • Registry Services
  • DNS Stability
  • Financial
  • Technical/Operations)

In addition to the evaluation panels, ICANN has posted or will post RFPs for:

  • Customer Service Contact Center
  • Background Screening
  • Independent Objector
  • Trademark Clearinghouse
  • Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) Provider
  • Community Priority Evaluation Provider

Trademark Clearinghouse

We have separated the Trademark Clearinghouse from the pack above because an entire session at the Singapore meeting was dedicated to discussing the implementation details of the clearinghouse. An informational paper for the discussion describes the draft timeline as follows:

The timeline shows the timeframe for selecting a Trademarks Clearinghouse provider, development of process rules and procedures, and final implementation of the clearinghouse. It appears that pricing on the TM Clearinghouse will not be set until the contract with the selected provider is completed; likely sometime in November or December of this year.