Latest news of the domain name industry

Recent Posts

ICANN to be told to stop pussyfooting on new gTLDs

Kevin Murphy, January 18, 2023, 15:29:00 (UTC), Domain Policy

The GNSO Council is expected to tell ICANN’s board of directors that it needs to stop lollygagging and set the wheels in motion for the next round of new gTLDs.

The Council plans to send a letter to the board ahead of its retreat this weekend, urging it to approve the GNSO’s new gTLD policy recommendations — the so-called SubPro Final Report — which turn two years old today.

There may also be some harsh critique of ICANN’s Operational Design Assessment for the program, which put an unexpectedly enormous price tag and years-long runway on the next round.

An early draft of the letter urges the board to approve the SubPro report “as soon as practicable” and “quickly” form an Implementation Review Team, which is the next stage of turning policy recommendations into systems and processes.

The ODA had provided two options for the next round. One would take five years and cost $125 million before a single application fee is collected. The second would cost about half as much and take 18 months.

The key differences were that Option 1 would see a lot of automation, with ICANN scratch-building systems for handling applications, objections, contention resolution and such, whereas Option 2 would cut some corners and rely more on manual processing.

But the GNSO, at least judging by the early draft of its letter, seems to regard this as a false dichotomy, instead proposing a third way, leaning on configurable third-party software and existing ICANN systems.

Option 1 is “overly aggressive… overly complex, time and resource intensive, and much more expensive than is necessary”, the draft letter says.

There wasn’t enough information in the ODA for the Council to figure out exactly how the two options differ, it says.

The letter is expected to tell the board that it doesn’t need to pick between the two options. Rather, it should just approve the SubPro’s recommendations and leave it to the ICANN staff and community members on the IRT to work out the details.

While the letter doesn’t come out and say it outright, the subtext I infer is that the ODA, which took a year and cost $9 million, was a waste of time and money. If the Council can’t figure out what it means, how is the board (its intended audience) supposed to?

The Council also expresses bafflement that the proposed Registry Services Providers Pre-Evaluation program, which was meant to streamline the program by accrediting RSPs in advance of the application window opening, is predicted by the ODA to be incredibly expensive and time-consuming, the exact opposite of its intended purpose.

The letter was composed by a “small team” subset of the Council and is likely to be edited over the next few days as other members weigh in. The Council is expected to discuss it at its monthly meeting tomorrow and send it to the board before it discusses the ODA on Sunday.

Tagged: , , ,

Comments (3)

  1. Page Howe says:

    So the ones ICANN launched in the testbed and 2014 rounds arent working for the public, just the registries, so the answer is to get more new tlds out the door

    ICANN look like they are saying lets not do any assessment of our lack of public awareness advertising for domains, the power of the browser bar, or the global discovery process a distributed internet can provide, – hey $350,000,000 wasnt enough for that

    vint cerf told us not to make google lets make sure we protect the silos and existing players

    more new G’s

    i dont hear the public saying man im glad i have the great .biz working for me.. or i love my premium TLD because i like paying $300 a year renewals for life…or when i search a registrar i only get offered 250 alternative for my keywords, what i really need is 1000 alternatives..

    or isnt it great that .com drops 80,000,000 domains each year, boy those are valuable names, but not worth $9 to the holder…

    and a new 80,000,000 names get registrar, so lack of supply, i think not.

    .net and .org have never offered as much choice as gTLDs as they do now

    i think ICANN should cap the name system where it is, let the innovation happen in Web3 and protect its role as the guardian of the public root, look out for bad actors, fix whats broken, encourage best practices,

    but rushing a new G program under a lets not let the perfect be the enemy of the good threatens the safety and security of the internet more than any technical piece of the pie.

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      ICANN can’t cap the name system where it is, or face cartel charges. There is a legal need for ICANN to allow a process to increase the name system, which is unrelated to whether there is demand or utility in more gTLDs.

      Web3 is not proving to be a good name steward, considering their lack of coordination and poor usability.

      ICANN is similar to democracy: the worst system there is, except for all the others.

      That said, I am more for a program that fixes the problems found in the 2012 round than one that creates more problems.

  2. Matthias Pfeifer says:

    >i dont hear the public saying man im glad i >have the great .biz working for me.. or i love >my premium TLD because i like paying $300 >a year renewals for lifeā€¦or when i search a >registrar i only get offered 250 alternative for >my keywords, what i really need is 1000 >alternatives..

    Same goes for teethbrushes, shampoo, handys or whatsoever. And it not ICANNs part to decide whether a business case makes sense (in what case forever).

    And while ICANN is defacto a lobbyclub we should remember that the net is driven by tech and business, not by lawyers and regulators..

Add Your Comment