Latest news of the domain name industry

Recent Posts

dotShabaka Diary — Day 13, Questions, Questions

Kevin Murphy, September 20, 2013, Domain Registries

The thirteenth installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Friday 20 September 2013

The new gTLD webinar on 19 September was very well attended with over 200 people on the call. Due to time constraints ICANN did not answer questions previously submitted by email so we thought it would be useful to share them with you here:

  • 1. What issues do ICANN need to resolve before the delegation processes will commence for those TLDs that have completed PDT?
    a) What are the processes and schedules for resolution of these issues?
    b) Will this information be made available to Applicants to assist with launch planning?
  • 2. The number of Trademark records in the Arabic script in the TMCH is very low – the last information that Deloitte/IBM/ICANN published in early July was that there were 13 trademarks records in the Arabic script in the TMCH. No update on IDN trademark records in the TMCH has been provided since.
    a. Why is this information not publically available to assist registry operators with launch planning?
    b. What is the plan to improve TMCH IDN numbers and what are the forecasts?
  • 3. Only 26 Registrars have signed the 2013 RAA. To expedite the on-boarding process and enable a global network of Registrars for the TLD launch, can ICANN remove the requirement that a registrar have executed the 2013 RAA in order to obtain a registration token for the TMDB? This will allow Registrar testing to proceed whilst the 2013 RAA is being executed/negotiated.
  • 4. Can you please provide a specific date for distribution of the PR kit for new gTLD registries who are planning launch activities as mentioned by Christine Willett in her recent video interview?
  • 5. When will ICANN update its website with the list of registrars that have completed TMCH Integration Testing as promised in section 1.5 of the 6 August RPM Requirements Document?
  • 6. When will the Registry Reporting Interface required as per Specification 3 be in production rather than OT&E?
  • 7. ICANN staff mentioned that there may be a call to discuss finalising the URS Technical Requirements Document
    a. When will this call occur?
    b. When will the URS Technical Requirements Document be finalised?
    c. Must the URS Technical Requirements Document be finalised prior to the delegation or sunrise of the first new gTLDs?
  • 8. Is the CZDA operational and ready for the first new gTLDs which will be delegated in the next month?
  • 9. Can IBM create a permanent OT&E for the TMCH that allows complete end to end testing and includes all the functionality found in the production environment?

We look forward to ICANN will publishing responses to these questions in the Q&A typically distributed a few days after completion.

Read previous and future diary entries here.

dotShabaka Diary — Day 12, Welcome to ICANN

Kevin Murphy, September 18, 2013, Domain Registries

The twelfth installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Wednesday 18 September 2013

The شبكة. team met with marketing and PR agencies in the Middle East today to make plans for launch.
 
They were shocked that there was so much uncertainty around a global program that in the words of ICANN’s Christine Willett “… will have the first new gTLD launched and in production by the end of this calendar year.”
 
The agencies were astounded that after such a significant investment we still have no idea when شبكة. can be launched.
 
We welcomed them to the world of new gTLDs.

Read previous and future diary entries here.

dotShabaka Diary — Day 11, 2013 RAA issues

Kevin Murphy, September 17, 2013, Domain Registries

The eleventh installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

As شبكة. gets closer to launch, signing up Registrars becomes ever more critical and we have started discussions with potential partners across three continents. To participate in Sunrise, Registrars must have already completed two steps: 1) Signed the 2013 RAA; and 2) Completed TMDB Accreditation.

To date, around 20 Registrars have signed the 2013 RAA according to the InterNIC website.

However, because Registrars cannot access the TMDB environment until they have signed the 2013 RAA, even fewer have started TMDB accreditation. Many of those that have signed the RAA have been frustrated by TMDB OTE access problems.

Is there any official ICANN database where Registries can confirm Registrar TMDB Accreditation?

Registries are locked out of the TMDB environment until the 2013 RAA is signed. Why not let Registries access the TMDB as needed (now) to accelerate readiness for the launch of IDN gTLDs?

And why aren’t ICANN or Deloitte publishing TMCH numbers for non-English trademarks? How can we decide whether the Sunrise Phase should be 30 days or more if we don’t know the numbers? Why not publish the forecasts and let the Registries decide how to optimise launch phases for their businesses model?

Read previous and future diary entries here.

dotShabaka Diary — Day 10, TMCH Troubles

Kevin Murphy, September 12, 2013, Domain Registries

The tenth installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Wednesday 11 September 2013

It is great to see the Trademark Claims functionality available in the TMDB from 9 September. As we previously posted, we had to put TMCH Integration Testing on hold as we couldn’t download the DNL File or upload the LORDN File. We are now able to download the DNL File but cannot upload the LORDN File. We have reported this to IBM and look forward to wrapping up TMCH Integration Testing soon. Stay tuned for the next update.

Read previous and future diary entries here.

dotShabaka Diary — Day 9, Unwelcome and Uninformed?

Kevin Murphy, September 10, 2013, Domain Registries

The ninth installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Tuesday 10 September 2013

After responding to ICANN’s COI Clarification Notification of 10 July 2013, including submitting the Letter of Credit and other required documentation, dotShabaka Registry proceeded to the Contracting Phase. The Registry Agreement was executed in Durban a couple of days later.

Now a full two months after our Letter of Credit was submitted to ICANN we received a portal comment that “ICANN requires an original of the Letter of Credit” and we need to respond “as soon as possible to avoid delaying your progress in the post-evaluation process.”

How is this a requirement that we are only now being made aware of? Why the two month wait? Why is the Letter of Credit suddenly on the critical path to delegation for the شبكة. TLD? We are on the other side of the world from Los Angeles and this cannot be completed in a couple of hours.

We are yet to receive ICANN’s ‘Welcome Pack’ for new gTLD Registry Operators. Are other new gTLD Registry Operators at the front-end of the new gTLD program feeling unwelcome and uninformed?

إذا كان الصبر مُرًّا فعاقبته حلوة – If patience is bitter then its result is sweet…

Read previous and future diary entries here.

dotShabaka Diary — Day 8, Launch Uncertainty

Kevin Murphy, September 5, 2013, Domain Services

Today, the eighth installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Thursday 5 September 2013

Having passed PDT on the 27th of August, we were notified of our eligibility to transition to IANA for delegation and told that we will receive instructions regarding the next steps via the Customer Portal.

We’re still waiting to hear from ICANN. We have no visibility regarding when we will be delegated.

There are so many moving parts in the new gTLD program right now that the delegation timing impacts everything from hiring staff to deciding on launch strategies. Discussions with registrars and marketing agencies beg one simple question – when will you be launching? My response: no idea.

We’re trying to launch a business in what can only be described as a vacuum. We understand that delays may be inevitable right now, however, it would be great if the nature and impact of those delays on our TLD was officially communicated to us (perhaps by a designated account manager?).

Communications during the PDT Pilot and Beta periods were great but seem to have slowed down since we passed PDT. We look forward to receiving some clarity about delegation from ICANN soon.

Read previous and future diary entries here.

dotShabaka Diary — Day 7, PDT Success

Kevin Murphy, August 27, 2013, Domain Registries

ICANN today revealed that three of the first four new gTLD applicants to have already signed registry contracts have also now passed through pre-delegation testing.

He’s the take of dotShabaka, one of the three, written by general manager Yasmin Omer as the seventh installment of our ongoing dotShabaka Diary.

Tuesday 27 August 2013

A milestone today with the receipt of official confirmation from ICANN that شبكة. has successfully passed pre-delegation testing.

While effectively it’s just a piece of paper (or more accurately a PDF file) it is, like the execution of the Registry Agreement, another step closer to making the new gTLD program a reality. We would like to extend our thanks to the support of the technical team at ARI Registry Services, the team at IIS and ICANN for playing your part in getting us to this stage.

Like many pioneers the path has not been easy; however with the support of all involved we have achieved the desired outcome. We hope that through our experience we are helping to refine the process, making the journey easier for those to follow.

شبكة. is now eligible for transition to IANA delegation. We expect notice soon from ICANN on how to proceed with this step. The next tasks to be completed include TMCH Integration Testing. This is slated to commence on 9 September 2013 when the claims service functionality becomes available.

At this point we are on schedule for Sunrise and despite the trials that we and every applicant has faced in the past, we remember the words of Egyptian singer, songwriter, and film actress Om Kalthoum:

“أحب رؤية القمر في بدايته عندما يكون هلال لأنني أحب كل شيء له مستقبل”

“I love looking at the moon when it’s still a crescent because I love everything that has a future”

dotShabaka Diary — Day 6, TMCH Integration Testing

Kevin Murphy, August 26, 2013, Domain Services

Today, the sixth installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Monday 26 August 2013

We attended the second IBM webinar on the TMCH which ran smoothly. The guys at IBM were pretty responsive and helpful.

Having received our registration token from ICANN, we logged on to the TMDB System to create credentials for the OT&E platform, provide contact details and accept the TMCH Terms and Conditions. TMCH integration testing is now on hold since we were not able to download the DNL file or upload the LORDN file. IBM confirmed that this functionality will not be available until the Trademark Claims functionality update scheduled for the 9th of September.

The testing environment was communicated as the TMCH accreditation environment that would include all the functionality required for Sunrise processing. It’s currently a limited test environment but we’re looking forward to conducting further tests as IBM continue to add functionality.

We recommend those planning on conducting TMCH Integration Testing in the near future wait until the Claims functionality update scheduled for the 9th of September before proceeding.

Read previous and future diary entries here.

dotShabaka Diary — Day 5

Kevin Murphy, August 20, 2013, Domain Registries

Today, the fifth installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Tuesday 20 August 2013

We thought it would be timely to offer a recap of our Pre-Delegation Testing (PDT) experience to date.

Prior to PDT

We entered the PDT process with confidence due to our positive experience during beta testing. While we had lots of questions and concerns before entering the PDT beta program, particularly with documentation and test cases, we remained positive because there was constant communication between ourselves and the PDT Service Provider (IIS).

Prior to entering the first production PDT, we found all issues were resolved efficiently. We were also able to speak with ICANN to clarify some of the more vexing issues we’d faced during the PDT Beta program. We were also thankful that Patrik Hildingsson, the Production Manager for PDT (at IIS), even reached out personally to warn us of some documentation issues they’d not yet had time to resolve.

Our experience with the PDT Helpdesk had improved significantly through the process, which is a credit to all those involved.

During PDT

When we finally entered the PDT testing window two weeks ago, there was a noticeable drop in dialogue between ourselves and the PDT Service Provider. This was not necessarily a concern as everything appeared to be going fine, although our technical logs were not showing a great deal of activity. We assume that no news is good news. However, one suggested area for improvement would be an increase in communication during the testing phase, even if it’s an email to say everything is fine and we have no concerns. The lack of communication had our technical team biting their nails everyday while they nervously watched the logs.

By the Wednesday of the second week, we sent an email to ask if there were any problems and if the third week of PDT (described by ICANN as the remedy period) would be required. The response was a little vague, but we think we’re in the clear and the testing is complete. While the system status has not changed, there has been no activity in our logs since last week, suggesting the third week is not required. Fingers crossed.

Overall, we are happy with the process and wish other applicants the best of luck with their PDT. One small tip we can offer is that the data submission window closes at 11:59 UTC on the Friday before your PDT appointment. Don’t mistake this as 23:59 UTC, or you’ll miss out. We uploaded our documents well in advance, but some of our staff almost got caught out when discussing when to hit the “submit” button. Luckily there were keen observers on our internal mailing list and no mistake was made.

Good luck!

Read previous and future diary entries here.

dotShabaka Diary — Day 4

Kevin Murphy, August 16, 2013, Domain Registries

Here’s the fourth installment of dotShabaka Registry’s journal, charting its progress towards becoming one of the first new gTLDs to go live, written by general manager Yasmin Omer.

Friday 16 August 2013

The IBM TMDB webinar was disappointing. We had hoped to gain some much needed insight into the TMDB system, but instead we left with more questions and concerns. Let’s hope IBM can lift their game for next week’s webinar and the integration and testing process is clarified.

In other news, it has been a week since the teleconference to discuss the URS Technical Requirements Document and we are still unclear on when the requirements will be finalised, posted and whether they stand on the critical path to our Sunrise. If the discussions during the teleconference are anything to go by, significant work is required by both parties to finalise the document. Implementing the requirements in the URS Technical Requirements Document isn’t as simple as flicking a switch – development efforts will be required. This work needs to start now.

Finally, there are now only a couple of days left in our Pre-Delegation Testing window and so far we have not heard anything; we hope that no news is good news. Following this we expect the PDT service provider will take a couple of weeks to review our results. Fingers crossed!

Still no welcome package.

Read previous and future diary entries here.