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New gTLD buzz is back again as ICA hosts “second round” webinar

Kevin Murphy, July 20, 2021, Domain Policy

It’s beginning to feel a little like 2011 again.

The Internet Commerce Association today said it will host a Zoom webinar next month to pitch the looming second new gTLD round to prospective applicants.

Moderated by Christa Taylor, the panel features domain industry jacks-of-all-trades Jeff Neuman and Jothan Frakes, and consultant Phil Buckingham. All four know what they’re talking about.

The ICA said the session will cover “an examination of material changes, expected timing and operations within the broader ecosystem will help participants determining whether to pursue a new gTLD for their new entrepreneurial venture, global brand or growing business”.

Expect a lot more of these types of meetings over the next couple of years. The 2012 gold-rush may have disappointed many, but there’s still money to be made in selling shovels, especially to brands.

And the next round is still a ways off.

While policy changes have been approved by the Generic Names Supporting Organization, they need to be approved by the ICANN board of directors before the serious implementation work begins.

The policy won’t be put before the board until ICANN org has completed its Operational Design Phase work, which CEO Göran Marby recently said will take “longer than six months”.

Then there’ll be at least one revision of the Applicant Guidebook open for public comment, as well as the creation of new systems and a global outreach campaign lasting several months before the application window opens.

I’d say we’re looking at an absolute minimum of 18 months between the start of the ODP and the opening of the next application window, and I’m being incredibly generous to ICANN in that estimation.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about these things early. The ICA webinar will be at 1800 UTC August 4. You can read more and register for free here.