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Did GMO flunk evaluation on 27 gTLDs? CentralNic takes over the whole lot

Kevin Murphy, May 20, 2013, 10:52:33 (UTC), Domain Registries

Did would-be new gTLD registry services provider GMO Registry fail its ICANN technical evaluations?
The Japanese company has made a deal that will see CentralNic take over the back-end operations for all 27 of the applications it was signed up to service, it has emerged.
In a letter, provided by GMO to ICANN last week as part of its sweeping application change requests, CentralNic says:

CentralNic Ltd has entered into a contract with GMO Registry, Inc. (GMO) to provide backend gTLD registry services for their generic top-level domains.

The letter (pdf) goes on to enumerate the 10 critical technical functions — basically everything from EPP to DNSSEC to registrar management — that CentralNic will be taking over.
The letter seems to have been attached last week to change requests for each of the 27 applications for which the DI PRO database lists GMO as the back-end registry provider.
That list includes big dot-brands such as .toshiba, .sharp and .nissan, generics such as .shop and .mail, and city TLDs including .tokyo and .osaka. Even the original dot-brand, .canon, and GMO’s own .gmo are switching back-ends.
The requested changes certainly seem to explain why GMO has yet to pass any of its Initial Evaluations (as we noted on Twitter a couple weeks back) despite having prioritization numbers as low as 111.
GMO parent GMO Internet may not be widely known outside of Japan, but it’s a pretty big deal. The company had 2012 revenue of about JPY 75 billion ($730 million) and it owns a top-ten registrar, Onamae.
Per ICANN rules, the change request switching the applications to CentralNic back-ends are open for public comment for 30 days.

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Comments (5)

  1. Hiro Tsukahara says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Let me clarify this — GMO Registry hasn’t flunked any of its applications. Our IE results have simply been delayed because of the application change requests we submitted which will allow us to partner
    with CentralNic.
    Realigning ourselves with new partners was simply a
    business decision and we’re very excited to start working with them.

  2. Marek says:

    @Hiro Tsukahara:
    Please email me your direct email contact to marekgubala[at], as I would like to send you some important business proposal that I don’t want to discuss on the public. Thank you.

  3. Rubens Kuhl says:

    GMO Registry probably got their CQS for .Tokyo (priority number 199) circa January 31, which would make their deadline end of February. ICANN released results for this batch April 19.
    We can’t rule out a simple change of registry service provider from Cloud Registry to CentralNic, but DI’s assumption seem plausible to me.

  4. Zack says:

    Interesting point about .tokyo Ruben. So this makes me wonder if a re-evaluation is necessary as this appears to be a material change. If so, will previously announced results (i.e., .tokyo) have to be retracted until the re-evaluation is complete? Also wonder if the re-evaluation will be charged back to the applicant and, if so, at what cost per application?
    I suppose my next question is why not wait until the evaluation process was over to submit this change?
    GMO, would love to know!

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      .Tokyo results were never announced, so ICANN don’t have to retract them, but it is indeed a material change to application IMHO.

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