ICANN may have to fund some of its IDN ccTLD Fast Track program out of its own pocket, due to at least one country not paying its full fees, judging from information released this week.
ICANN had invoiced applicants for a total of $572,000, but only $106,000 had been received, according to briefing documents (pdf, page 114) presented at the ICANN board’s October 28 meeting.
The organization invoices registries $26,000 for each TLD string it evaluates, but the fees are not mandatory, for political reasons. As of October, it had presumably billed for 22 strings.
At least one country appears to have had its applications processed at a knock-down rate.
Sri Lanka, which was billed $52,000 for two strings, only paid $2,000, and the remaining $50,000 appears to have been written off as “uncollectable”.
Russia, Egypt, South Korea and Tunisia had paid their fees in full.
While the remaining 17 evaluated ccTLDs may not have paid up by October, that’s not to say they have not paid since or will not pay in future.
ICANN also plans to bill IDN ccTLDs 1-3% of annual revenue as a “contribution”, which also won’t be mandatory, but no registry has been live long enough to receive that bill yet.