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ICANN expects up to 2,305 new gTLD applications

Kevin Murphy, May 5, 2012, 06:12:18 (UTC), Domain Registries

After months of speculation, ICANN has finally revealed how many new generic top-level domain applications it expects to receive.
The lowest amount appears to be 2,091.
That’s the number of applications in the TLD Application System when it was taken offline due to the data leakage bug on April 12, ICANN said.
Another 214 applications had been registered but not yet paid for.
That’s a potential total of 2,305 applications.
ICANN has $350 million in application fees in the bank as a result.
How many of the unpaid bids convert to full applications will be key in deciding how many evaluation batches the first gTLD round will have.
Closer to 2,091, and it’s likely to be four batches. Closer to 2,305, and we may see a fifth batch.
With Initial Evaluation expected to take five months per batch, with a possible 11 months after that for the final Extended Evaluations and string contention resolution, it could be June 2015 before the first new gTLD round is completely processed.
It remains to be seen how many unique strings have been applied for, and how many applications will be successful, but with ICANN only planning to delegate 200 to 300 new gTLDs per year, the first round is likely going to last a loooong time.

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Comments (9)

  1. Duane Higgins says:

    I suspect your going to see significantly more than the 2,000 in this round. The application period is supposed to be open for another week or so when it reopens. It appears that (probably) many corporations decided after much consideration that they didn’t want to miss this round. As the next round is probobably going to be several years. I wouldnt be surprised to see 3000. Many firm are probably scrambling as we speak to get in. Thats just my guess.

  2. Rubens Kuhl says:

    @Duane, it’s not possible to get in any more, unless for some rare application slots requested on behalf of shell companies that can be sold (the entire companies, as the slot itself cannot be transferred). Even so, the 2305 number is the upper limit. There could be less then 2091, as paid applications can withdraw from the process for a refund, which is said to be 100% before “Reveal Day”.

  3. Ewout de Graaf says:

    I find the estimates of Anthony from Minds and Machines more realistic. There will be only a few registry operators so most of the work to be done by ICANN has to be done only once.

  4. Richard Tindal says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Why do you say “with ICANN only planning to delegate 200 to 300 new gTLDs per year”?

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      It’s in the Guidebook, page 33.
      “It is estimated that 200-300 TLDs will be delegated annually,
      and determined that in no case will more than 1000 new
      gTLDs be added to the root zone in a year.”
      The 1,000 limit gets a lot of attention, but the 200-300 number… not so much.

  5. Richard Tindal says:

    Thanks. I see that as simply an estimate based on workload/ resources. I think we’ll find they can process a lot more than that.
    I think we’ll also see the 1000 per year come under scrutiny (i.e. we get to 1000 in a 12 month period and nothing goes wrong). I don’t think there was any magic in the 1000 number. I’ve heard credible technical opinions that it could be 10 times that.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      You’re very optimistic. Every other time a situation has faced an ICANN staff bottleneck the end result has been delay.

  6. JS says:

    The way things are looking, apps batched last will have their Initial Evaluation done a few years after the first batch is added to the root, all the while retaining the ability to drop out of the program for a substantial refund, am I right ?

  7. OudezijdsVoorburgwal.Amsterdam says:

    Since IDN’s are the only part in the new gTLD process that is a matter of necessity and not a matter of choice alone, ICANN should consider guaranteeing all IDN applications or at minimum all IDN applications that are transliterations of existing gTLD’s to be on the first batch (And they were supposed to go in parallel with the ccTLD process which got the first 4 IDN ccTLD’s live in the root publicly on 11/11/2010).
    Not sure ICANN should expect speakers of languages like Chinese, Arabic and many others to continue waiting (It’s been 12 years), Especially that the reason of the delay may now be due to the digital archery format.
    IDN gTLD’s were later added to this new gTLD process as they began at the same process as IDN ccTLD’s and now again they are in some ‘hostage’ situation and in mercy of .horse
    Interesting to see what the outcome may be if a non English speaker will sue ICANN for discrimination.

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