An important step was taken yesterday towards the opening up of the next round of new gTLD applications, with the unanimous approval by ICANN’s gTLD policy body, the GNSO Council, of the final report and recommendations from the Subsequent Procedures working group (SubPro). After five long years and thousands of hours of volunteer time debating and addressing the learnings from 2012, SubPro submitted its 400 page report in January, containing affirmations of existing policy, recommendations for new policy and various guidance on how best to implement this, grouped across 41 discrete topics and covering all aspects of the roll-out of new gTLDs. This includes recommending that:
There is still plenty of work to be done to take these recommendations and implement them into workable systems and processes and draft a new version of an Applicant Guidebook but, provided that the ICANN Board adopts the recommendations, this work can now begin. The next step, therefore, is for the report to be considered by the Board, for which there will also be a further public comment period. We know that various groups, including the governments, will raise concerns about some of the recommendations, particularly around issues like the use of private auctions to resolve contention and the lack of enhanced safeguards against DNS Abuse, and these concerns will still need to be navigated. Nevertheless this is an important milestone and a testament to the hard work of many members of the community, including in particular our friend and former SVP of Com Laude USA, Jeff Neuman, co-chair of SubPro.
If you are interested in learning more about Dot Brands, validated TLDs or new gTLDs generally please contact us.