ICANN has decided to call off its big New York City new gTLD launch “party”, DI has learned.
The high-profile media event, scheduled for April 23, was set to feature an appearance from mayor Michael Bloomberg and was expected to be a coming-out party for new gTLDs.
The original plan was for ICANN to sign the first registry agreements with new gTLD applicants during the event, but that notion was later scrapped due to ongoing contract talks.
However, during the public forum at the ICANN Beijing meeting last week, CEO Fadi Chehade said that the event was still going ahead.
That, according to an ICANN email sent to registries and registrars today, appears to be no longer the case. The email cited “current timelines” as the reason for delaying the event.
The Registry Agreement and Registrar Accreditation Agreement still under discussion between ICANN and contracted parties, and there are other factors in play such as the Governmental Advisory Committee’s wide-ranging advice from Beijing and continued uncertainties about the Trademark Clearinghouse.
With so much up in the air, a public awareness-raising event for the program may have been seen as premature.
A second, private set of meetings between ICANN and domain name companies, also scheduled for April 23 in New York, is still going ahead, according to the ICANN email.
Following on from discussions held over the last few months, the New York talks will focus on improving the image and professionalism of the domain name industry, one of Chehade’s pet projects.
Talks will cover items such as: forming a DNS industry trade association, a possible trust-mark scheme, conferences and media/analyst outreach.