ICANN chair Steve Crocker has said that the second round of new generic top-level domain applications will open years from now, but “not a large number of years”.
He made the comments during an interview with ICANN’s head of media relations Brad White after the ICANN public meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica closed on Friday.
“We can’t pin it down with any certainty but we can make a rough estimate,” Crocker said. “It’s time measured from here in years but not a large number of years, it’s probably a small number of years but I can’t pin it down greater than that because we’re running an experiment.”
He reiterated that the first round applications need to be processed and a number of reviews need to take place before the second round opens.
He said ICANN should have a better idea how long the first of these two prerequisites will take after the application window closes April 12.
The Governmental Advisory Committee reiterated its demands for a review of the first round in its Advice document on Friday.
The earliest I believe a second round could open based on what we currently know is 2015, but many other domain industry players think 2017 is more likely.
I think the date will depend to an extent on the changing balance of tensions in the the ICANN community over the next couple of years.
If there’s a strong demand for a second round from business and intellectual property stakeholders, the necessary rights protection reviews may not be as long and drawn-out as many expect.
Crocker also said during the interview that Rod Beckstrom’s replacement as president and CEO will likely be announced in May.