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New TLD Program Launch - Next Steps


Published on 12/13/2012

We are excited to share with you an event happening next week that will give us the first indication of when a New TLD may be available for registration. On December 17th, ICANN will be holding a prioritization “Draw” to assign each application a number to determine the order in which it will be evaluated by ICANN and ultimately the order in which all New TLDs will be made available for registration.

Our commitment to you is to make sure you are up-to-date with the most recent information about the New TLD program. After the Draw has been completed, we will post the results. This is one of many of the many milestones in the application process before a New TLD goes live, including the following:

1. TLD Applications Filed - Applicants such as United TLD submitted New TLD applications to ICANN for approval - COMPLETED April 2012.

2. The Big Reveal - ICANN revealed all New TLD applications filed - COMPLETED June 2012.

3. The Priortization Draw - Applicants will randomly receive a number to decide the order in which ICANN will complete initial evaluation of each application and the ultimate order in which each New TLD will go live - December 17, 2012.

4. Objection Period - Objections against applications may be made by governments or rights holders for the following reasons: a. TLD string confusion with an existing TLD string; b. Legal Rights (e.g., trademark rights); c. the TLD string is contrary to generally accepted legal norms of morality and public order; or, d. opposition from the community to which the TLD may be targeted. Objections must be made by March 2013.

5. Initial Evaluations - ICANN is in the process of performing its initial evaluation of each New TLD application to ensure it complies with the Application Guidebook. Completion of initial evaluations is targeted for March to August, 2013.

6. Contention Set Resolution - Where there are multiple applicants for same New TLD (e.g., .WEB), the applicants must work out resolution privately through negotiations or private auctions or through ICANN auction. Contention set resolution is ongoing and will continue through September 2013.

7. ICANN Registry Contracts Signed - Upon approval of a New TLD application, the registry operator will sign a contract with ICANN. Contract signing is expected to begin in April 2013.

8. Pre-delegation Testing - ICANN will perform testing of the registry operator’s systems to ensure they meet technical requirements established by ICANN prior to delegating the New TLD to the registry operator. Pre-delegation testing is expected to begin in April 2013.

9 Go Live!!!! - Once a New TLD applicant has signed the ICANN contract and passed pre-delegation testing, the New TLD string will be added to the root zone and the registry operator will begin making registrations available through Sunrise, LandRush and eventually General Availability. Go live for New TLDs is expected to begin in May 2013.

Learn more about ICANNs New TLD Program:

Visit ICANN
Watch Video on New TLD Program
Watch Video about the Draw
View Applications Glossary