Donuts, an ARI Registry Services subsdiary and CORE this morning became the first new gTLD applicants to sign registry contracts with ICANN.
The ceremonial signing took place live on stage at the opening ceremony of ICANN 47, the week-long public meeting in Durban, South Africa.
ARI CEO Adrian Kinderis signed on behalf of شبكة. applicant International Domain Registry. The string is Arabic for “.web” and transliterates as “.shabaka”. It is 3 in the program’s evaluation queue.
In an ARI press release, Go Daddy CEO Blake Irving confirmed that Go Daddy will carry .shabaka.
Donuts CEO Paul Stahura signed for .游戏, the Chinese-language “.games”, which had prioritization number 40.
It was not immediately clear which contracts Iliya Bazlyankov, chair of CORE’s executive committee, signed. CORE has applied for three internationalized domain name gTLDs with high priority numbers.
(UPDATE: Bazlyankov has been in touch to say: “We signed the .сайт (site) and .онлайн (online) contracts which had numbers 6 and 9 in the priority”.)
Representatives of Go Daddy, MarkMonitor, Momentous, Mailclub and African registrar Kheweul.com also joined ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade on stage to sign the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement.
The event marks the beginning of the contract signing phase of the new gTLD program, an important milestone.
For applicants without outstanding objections, contention or Governmental Advisory Committee advice, signing a contract means only pre-delegation testing and the final transition to delegation remains.