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Comment Period for New gTLDs Surprisingly Short

On November 12th, ICANN released the Proposed Final Applicant Guidebook (PF-AG) which incorporated some significant revisions to the Program including the elimination of most restrictions on Registry / Registrar cross-ownership. Given the impact of this and other changes to the Program, and the fact that this is potentially the "Final" version of the Guidebook, one might have expected a fairly lengthy comment period.

However, the comment period is currently set to close on December 10th providing the Community only 28 days to review, analyze and submit remarks to ICANN.

In the past, the Community was granted significantly more time to review, analyze and comment on ICANN's various Draft Applicant Guidebooks (DAGs):

  • DAG 1: October 23 — December 15 (53 days)
  • DAG 2: May 31 — July 20 (50 days)
  • DAG 3: October 4 — November 22 (49 days)
  • DAG 4: May 31 — July 21 (51 days)

This current comment period, which is only 28 days, is further impacted by the fact that it coincides with both the holiday season and the ICANN meeting itself.

It should be noted that the ICANN Board is scheduled to meet on December 10th (the day on which the comments are also due) and potentially approve this version of Guidebook based on the comments received although whether the Board will actually be able to review all of the comments prior to their vote is questionable.

Given the significance of the changes within the PF-AG and the impact a final document would have on the Community and the Internet as a whole, MarkMonitor has requested to ICANN that the current comment period be extended.

MarkMonitor is also urging corporations to request that the comment period be extended an additional 30 days to provide adequate time for careful review, analysis and submission of comments. Requests for an extension should be sent directly to ICANN at 5gtld-guide@icann.org.

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