ICANN appears determined to put debates about its new top-level domains program to bed at its San Francisco meeting in March.
The resolutions from Tuesday’s ICANN board meeting, published this evening, give every indication that ICANN wants an end to the delays.
This seems to mean it will take a hard line with its Governmental Advisory Committee, with which it is due to meet in Brussels at the end of February.
The board resolved that it “intends to progress toward launching the New gTLD Program, as close as practically possible to the form as set out in the Proposed Final Applicant Guidebook.”
It remains open, however, to take action on the GAC’s concerns, which include trademark protection and the treatment of geographic strings.
It wants the final GAC consultation, which is mandated by its bylaws, to take place March 17, the day before the board meets in San Francisco.
This is encouraging news for anybody who wants to apply for a new TLD, as it means ICANN would be able to launch the program shortly thereafter.
If that happens, it could be able to start accepting applications possibly as early as mid-July (although a late-August/early September window may be more likely).
More on this tomorrow.