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What to Expect Next

Find out what's happening through the rest of 2012

The new gTLD application window has closed and we plan to announce the full list of applied-for domain names on 13 June. In the meantime, let's look at what happens next in the new gTLD Program.

The time frames below are subject to change.

13 June: "Reveal Day"

ICANN will publicly post all TLD character strings that have been applied for, and who applied for them. This event triggers several more activities in the New gTLD program:

  • Application Comment Process. Anyone interested may submit comments to be considered by the evaluation panels. The period to send application comments to evaluation panels for consideration will be open for 60 days.
  • Program Feedback. Anyone who wants to offer comments about the new gTLD Program may register it through the Program Feedback forum. Comments will be reviewed and considered as part of the New gTLD Program continuous improvement processes. Program Feedback will be open continuously until the end of the first round.
  • Objection Period. Anyone with grounds to do so may submit a formal objection to any of the new gTLD applications. For more information, review the Objection and Dispute Resolution page on the microsite. Starting from "Reveal Day," you have approximately seven months to file a formal objection to any of the applications received.

July: Initial Evaluation Begins

Beginning in July, various evaluation panels will conduct the string reviews and applicant reviews that make up the Initial Evaluation. String reviews focus on whether an applied-for TLD string is too similar to another TLD, whether it meets technical requirements, and whether it is a geographic name. Applicant reviews focus on the applying organization to determine if they have demonstrated the appropriate technical, operational, and financial capabilities to run a registry. The applicant's proposed registry services also will be reviewed to determine whether they might cause DNS instability.

Concurrently with Initial Evaluation, applications for financial support through the Applicant Support Program will be reviewed by the Support Applicant Review Panel (SARP).

December/January: Results of Initial Evaluation

The initial evaluation period ends. ICANN will post the outcome of Initial Evaluation - whether applications have passed or failed evaluation. Applications that fail the initial evaluation may, in some cases, proceed to Extended Evaluation. All results will be posted to the Application Results page.

During this time period, applicants who applied for financial support through the Applicant Support Program will find out if they have been awarded the reduced evaluation fee.

December/January: Additional Program Phases

An application passing the initial valuation and faces no objections will be eligible to proceed to pre-delegation. Eventually the string will be live and reachable on the Internet as a TLD. However, some applications will be subject to special processes depending on the circumstances. For example, if more than one party has applied to operate the same TLD (a circumstance referred to as string contention), attempts to resolve the contention begin. (See Applicant Guidebook Module 4 for details.)

The New gTLD Program forecasts a busy 2012. Some new gTLDs will clear the process and be ready for delegation in early 2013. Other new gTLDs will have a longer path.

The dates listed here are based on the estimated timeframes as laid out in the Applicant Guidebook. ICANN will provide further updates on the timeframe as required.

 Now you know what else to expect from the New gTLD Program this calendar year.

Please note that this is a summary for information only. This posting is not intended to modify the Applicant Guidebook or any other aspect of the ICANN New gTLD program. If any information provided here appears to be inconsistent with any information published elsewhere by ICANN, please do not rely on this information without confirmation or clarification from ICANN.