New gTLDs get delegated on average 70 days after they sign their ICANN Registry Agreement, but the duration of the wait varies quite a lot by registry, according to DI research.
For the 145 delegated new gTLDs I looked at, the delegation has come 39 to 151 days after contract signing.
After signing an RA, registries have to enter into Pre-Delegation Testing before their strings are handed off to IANA, Verisign and the US Department of Commerce for delegation.
The Applicant Guidebook states that this transition to delegation phase is expected to take approximately two months. On average, ICANN seems to be only slightly missing that target.
The differing wait times could be attributed to any number of reasons. Difficulties during PDT, registry choice, geography and holidays could all see some take longer than others.
Donuts, which is responsible for almost two thirds of the gTLDs I looked at, seems to have refined the process to an art, getting its gTLDs delegated on average 62 days after contract signing.
There are currently 125 gTLDs that have contracts but have not yet been delegated, according to our records.
Here’s the table of delegation wait times, for those interested.
|xn--3bst00m||Eagle Horizon Limited||2013-09-13||2014-01-03||112|
|xn--ngbc5azd||International Domain Registry||2013-07-13||2013-10-23||102|
Who said shorter domains are more popular?
Donuts’ new .photography and .camera gTLDs, which both come out of their Early Access Period premium pricing phases this week, have seen .photography get more than twice as many registrations so far.
During their EAP and sunrise periods, where retail prices can range from $150 to $13,000, .camera has racked up 146 names to .photography’s 383.
There’s a difference of meaning here of course, which is reflected in the types of domains being registered; .camera names tend to be hardware-related, while .photography is heavy with personal names.
Donuts’ strategy of picking strings that already feature heavily at the end of the second level of .com seems to be reflecting the reality of registration patterns in new gTLDs too.
The photography-related gTLD space is going to an interesting one to watch.
We’re also waiting for the launch of .photo and .photos (.photos in two weeks, .photo in April), which will crowd the space further. These two are also likely to be the first plural/singular competitors.
ICANN seems to be considering an appeals process for new gTLD applicants that feel they’ve been wronged by dubious String Confusion Objection decisions.
But the process might be limited to applicants for .car, .cars and .cam.
In a resolution this Wednesday, ICANN’s New gTLD Program Committee said:
the NGPC is considering potential paths forward to address the perceived inconsistent Expert Determinations from the New gTLD Program String Confusion Objections process, including implementing a review mechanism. The review will be limited to the String Confusion Objection Expert Determinations for .CAR/.CARS and .CAM/.COM.
Why only those strings? I’m guessing it’s because the conflicting decisions would make for extremely confusing contention sets.
There were three SCOs against .cars applications, filed by Google, which has applied for .car. Google won one case but lost the other two.
That would mean that Google’s .car application would be in contention with one of the applicants but not the other two, hardly a fair outcome.
Similarly, Verisign objected to five .cam applications due to their similarity to .com. It won one and lost the other four.
The NGPC resolution calls for the publication, for comment, of a reviews process designed to untangle this mess. It does not appear to have been published yet.
But it seems that whatever ICANN has come up with will not apply to other applicants who feel they’ve been wronged by odd SCO, or other objection, decisions.
Or should that be Barzakh?
Rather than making the tricky decision on whether to approve .islam and .halal new gTLD applications, ICANN seems to have place both bids into permanent limbo.
It’s also put off calls on applications for .spa, .amazon, .wine and .vin, due to objections from the Governmental Advisory Committee.
On .islam and .halal, ICANN chair Steve Crocker wrote to Turkish applicant Asia Green IT System to say that the New gTLD Program Committee will not address the bids until AGIT has worked out its differences with the Organization for Islamic Cooperation.
He noted that AGIT has expressed a willingness in the past to work with the OIC, but that the OIC has formally decided to object to the two applications. Crocker wrote:
There seems to be a conflict between the commitments made in your letters and the concerns raised in letters to ICANN urging ICANN not to delegate the strings. Given these circumstances, the NGPC will not address the applications further until such time as the noted conflicts have been resolved.
This is not a formal rejection of the applications, but ICANN seems to have placed them in a limbo that will only be resolved when AGIT withdraws from the program or secures OIC support.
There’s also delaying treatment for .wine and .vin, which have become the subject of a raging row between Europe on the one hand and the US, Canada and Australia on the other.
Europe wants these two wine-related gTLDs to be subject to strict rules on who can register domains containing geographic indicators, such as “Champagne”. The others don’t.
ICANN in response has commissioned a third-party study on GIs, which it expects to be able to consider at its Singapore public meeting next month. Again, a decision has been avoided.
The two applicants for .spa don’t have any closure either.
Spa is the name of a town in Belgium, whereas the two applicants — Donuts and Asia Spa and Wellness Promotion Council — intend to use the string in its English dictionary sense.
There was a bit of a scandal during the Buenos Aires meeting last November when it was suggested that Belgium was using its position on the GAC to shake down the applicants for money.
Belgium denied this, saying the city of Spa didn’t stand to gain financially from the deals that it was trying to make with applicants. Some money would go to “the community served by .spa”, Belgium said, without elaboration.
ICANN has now decided to put .spa on hold, but wants to know more about these talks:
ICANN will not enter into registry agreements with applicants for the identified string at this time. The NGPC notes concern about concluding the discussions with the applicants and will request the GAC to (1) provide a timeline for final consideration of the string, and (2) identify the “interested parties” noted in the GAC advice.
Finally, ICANN has yet again delayed making a call on Amazon’s application for .amazon — until at least Singapore — out of an abundance of legal caution.
The GAC recommended that ICANN should reject .amazon because a few Latin American states claim ownership of the string due to it being the same as the Amazon region they share.
Amazon and others claim that it would be in violation of international law that prevents governments interfering with the use of trademarks for the GAC to block .amazon.
ICANN’s NGPC said:
ICANN has commissioned an independent, third-party expert to provide additional analysis on the specific issues of application of law at issue, which may focus on legal norms or treaty conventions relied on by Amazon or governments. The analysis is expected to be completed in time for the ICANN Singapore meeting so that the NGPC can consider it in Singapore.
In my view, the .amazon issue is the one most likely to bring a lawsuit to ICANN’s doorstep, so the organization clearly wants to get its legal position straight before making a call one way or the other.
No sooner had we reported on the US government’s complaint about ICANN’s reinterpretation of GAC advice on new gTLDs than it emerged that ICANN has already approved the plan.
The ICANN board’s New gTLD Program Committee on Wednesday approved a resolution on how to implement the so-called Category 1 advice the Governmental Advisory Committee came up with in Beijing last April. The resolution was published today.
The Category 1 advice calls for stronger regulation — stuff like forcing registrants to provide industry credentials at point of sale — in scores of new gTLDs the GAC considers particularly sensitive.
Despite US Department of Commerce assistant secretary Larry Strickling calling for more talks after ICANN substantially diluted some of the GAC’s Beijing communique, the NGPC has now formally approved its watered-down action plan.
Under the plan, registrants in gTLDs such as .lawyer and .doctor will have to “represent” that they are credentialed professionals in those verticals when they register a domain.
That’s as opposed to actually providing those credentials at point of registration, which, as Strickling reiterated in his letter, is what the GAC asked for in its Beijing communique.
The full list of eight approved “safeguards” (as interpreted from GAC advice by ICANN) along with the list of the gTLDs that they will apply to, can be found in this PDF.