ICANN has already started formally evaluating some of the 1,930 new generic top-level domain applications it has received, according to sources.
Technical and financial evaluations are believed to have been going on for several days at the three outside firms ICANN has contracted with – Ernst & Young, KPMG and JAS Global Advisors.
ICANN staff said a few times during the Prague meeting last month that July 12 was the kick-off date for evaluations, but I’m led to believe they may have started a little later than that.
Nevertheless, they’re underway.
What’s not yet known is how – or if – the 1,930 applications will be batched into more manageable chunks.
The last official word from ICANN came on June 28, when Cherine Chalaby, chair of the board’s new gTLD program committee, said an update would be provided in about three weeks.
With that admittedly vague deadline now in the past, we can only assume that the publication of a new timetable is imminent.