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A Proposed New gTLD Timeline Without Batching

Adrian Kinderis

Following the release of our new gTLD multiple batch timeline yesterday, today we would like to take the opportunity to demonstrate to ICANN and the community exactly how a single batch timeline could be implemented and how this would benefit all applicants.

In recent weeks, ARI Registry Services has publicly expressed concern about the current batching model and digital archery system. Several other key stakeholders within the community have also raised concerns and expressed support for our position. Furthermore, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) entered the debate when they provided Advice on the issue this week.

It is clear that there is community interest in an alternative approach that introduces a greater level of fairness in the program. In support of this demand, ARI Registry Services has produced the following timeline.

What are the differences?

The timeline we shared yesterday based on ICANN's target dates was problematic because there were inconsistencies in the following three areas: 1) String contention; 2) The objection period; and 3) GAC Advice period.

Our proposed timeline without batching accounts for these issues while also achieving several other objectives. These include:

1. Giving the GAC the opportunity to provide a minimum of two face-to-face meetings
The proposed timeline has the advantage of enabling the GAC to consider the issuance of Early Warnings and GAC Advice over a minimum of two face-to-face meetings (Prague in June 2012 and Toronto in October 2012. Possibility of a further meeting in Asia/Pacific in April 2013).

2. Ensuring that contention set creation occurs during Initial Evaluation
The proposed timeline ensures that adequate time is allocated to the critical contention set creation process and mitigates the possibility of delays arising as a result of incomplete or inappropriate composition of contention sets.

3. Scheduling Initial Evaluation of all applications over 10 months provides equal opportunity for delegation starting from July 2013
Initial Evaluation of all applications in a single batch does not unfairly create winners or losers in the race to market. A single batch gives certainty to all applicants in terms of where they are in the process relative to other applications. Time to market is based on the merit of the application, its contention set and the choices made in relation to contract negotiation with ICANN.

4. If prioritisation is required to manage the flow after Initial Evaluation, secondary time stamp can be used
Following Initial Evaluation, natural gateways in the process will serve to separate applications along divergent paths. These gateways are:

  • Contract Negotiation;
  • Extended Evaluation;
  • Dispute Resolution;
  • String Contention Resolution; and
  • Pre-Delegation Testing.

If at any of these stages resources become unexpectedly overextended, a first-come, first served approach could be used. In the alternative, prioritisation can be determined using the secondary timestamp created in the Digital Archery system.

The overall result is that the first new gTLDs in a single batch enter the root only months after delegations would have begun for Batch 1, assuming the 'best case scenario' and a batch of only 500 applications. Further, the first new gTLDs in a single batch enter the root nearly a year sooner than delegations could be expected for Batch 4 applications.

We welcome feedback from the community regarding our proposed timeline.

Single Batch Timeline (Click to Enlarge / Download PDF)

By Adrian Kinderis, Vice President Corporate Development at Neustar
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Related topics: ICANN, Policy & Regulation, New TLDs
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