ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade has said he hopes that new gTLD application fees will be lower in the second round.
Speaking to Marketplace in a brief audio interview yesterday, he said:
As we go to round two, which everyone is clamoring for us to open, we will reassess the costs. We are a non-profit and therefore if the learnings from this first round lead us to a different fee — and I hope personally a lower fee so more people can participate — we will adjust that as we go.
The fees in the current round were $185,000, though the refund schedule means only successful applicants pay the full fee.
I’ve heard a couple of murmurings recently — nothing concrete as yet — that the cost of the program is actually running quite close to the original expectations that set the fee at $185,000.
Many applications have been withdrawn very close to the deadline for receiving their full pre-Initial Evaluation result refund, when one assumes that most of the IE costs have already been incurred.