TAS reopens & ICANN provides more clarity for new TLD applicants

Published on May 23rd, 2012

By Tony Kirsch

Following more than a month of delays with the TAS interruption in the new Top-Level Domain program, this week has seen ICANN take some positive steps to restore confidence in the program and we can now see a glimmer of light at the end of a long tunnel.

It all started when ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom broke the news yesterday that the TAS had reopened early and the issues behind the notorious “glitch” had been resolved.

The early reopening of the TAS – which was scheduled to open later that day at 19:00 UTC 22 May 2012 – demonstrates that ICANN understands the need to progress forward with the program as quickly as possible.

In another show of confidence, ICANN held a Twitter chat session this morning (19:30 UTC 22 May 2012) during which CEO Rod Beckstrom and his staff answered questions about the new TLD program and the issues with the TAS.

The key topics of discussion focused on when ICANN plans to host its reveal day, when the Digital Archery application batching system will open, and when the batches will be confirmed.

Below is a summary of key insights gained from the discussion:

• Digital Archery is scheduled to open before reveal day, remain open for approximately three weeks, and close after reveal day. ICANN will publish batches after the reveal day and after the digital archery process is complete
• An update on the new timeline will be published within four business days and will include the targeted reveal date (due by 29 May 2012).
• ICANN confirmed it is targeting to hold reveal date before the ICANN Prague meeting scheduled for 24 to 29 June 2012.

A transcript of the ICANN Twitter chat session can be found here.

All in all, this week has been one of progress for applicants in the new TLD program and we have gained some insight that has been sorely missing in recent times. From the information gleaned in the Twitter chat, we can now guess that:

• Digital Archery will commence mid June – possibly in the week commencing 18 June
• ICANN’s  reveal day could occur by the end of the week commencing 18 June
• Digital Archery will possibly close in the first week of July

We’ll have a much better idea of these milestone dates in the next few days as ICANN has committed to providing an update on the new timeline by 29 May 2012.

After weeks of uncertainty, it is pleasing to see ICANN making progress in the right direction.

By Tony Kirsch
Senior Manager – International Business Development

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