ICANN TLD Delay Reads Like a Skit From Seinfeld

by Judith Oppenheimer

After silently missing its scheduled August 1 date for opening the new TLD application process--and just one day after ICANN Chief Financial Officer Andrew McLaughlin told Newsbytes' David McGuire that the application forms would be posted today--ICANN has posted an announcement on its website announcing a delay of at least one month.

McLaughlin also said he didn't think the decision of the ICANN Board gave the staff much wiggle room regarding the proposed $50,000 fee--but then he said the forms would be issued today, too.

Instead, today's announcement reads, "Following the ICANN meetings in Yokohama in mid-July 2000, ICANN has received a very large number of inquiries regarding the process for applying to sponsor or operate new TLDs."

"The nature and extent of the inquiries makes clear that there is a significant amount of confusion regarding the process for applying, the evaluation of applications, and the following steps toward implementation of new TLDs. The ICANN staff has concluded that to achieve a responsible introduction of new TLDs it is important to provide the community with a more detailed overview of the entire application process before detailed application instructions are issued."

"The ICANN staff is busily working on finalizing a comprehensive overview, which it expects to issue in the next few days. That overview will permit those considering applying to evaluate the resources that will be required to submit an application and will give guidance on preparatory steps that should be taken before beginning actual drafting of the extensive application that will be necessary."

"After the overview is issued, documents giving additional details on the process and requirements will be made available later in August. We anticipate that the period for submitting applications will open on 5 September and close on 2 October."

ICANN delayed a month and then cut the application period down to less than a month. This happened with no prior notice, and against a board resolution, and it goes beyond any expectation of a fair and open process.

But it is ICANN business as usual.

This article reresents the opinion of Judith Oppenheimer. You can find Judith at her site, ICB Toll Free News. Copyright 2000 ICB, Inc. All rights reserved.

August 7, 2000