During the ICANN meeting in Seoul it became very clear that new TLDs were not going to progress on schedule (which schedule doesn’t matter).
It also became clear that:
- ICANN still wants them to go ahead
- ICANN wants to make everyone happy
There’s an obvious flaw there.
You cannot appease all interest groups AND move forward with new TLDs.
The “overarching issues” need to be addressed before the “community” can move towards a workable solution.
For a lot of new TLD applicants the delays with new TLDs are a source of worry, concern and possibly financial strain. While a big corporate may have ample funds to “wait out” the process, this probably wouldn’t be the case with some of the smaller TLD projects.
During the week in Seoul some of the applicants tried to come up with a workable “halfway house” style solution.
The concept of garnering information on “interest levels” was put forward in various forms. While the idea has been welcomed in some quarters there are others who are not as comfortable with it.
The logic behind it is quite simple.
At present ICANN does not know how many applicants there will be for new TLDs, nor does it know how many contenders there will be for the same strings. A lot of the “problems” and “issues” are based on guesswork and wild assumptions.
While there may indeed be a basis for concerns it would be significantly easier to address an issue that is clearly presented and identified than by simply “imagining’ or “guessing” about its existence.
The Board made reference to this community driven concept during their meeting in Seoul and referenced their experience with planning for the introduction of IDN ccTLDs.
Of course waiting for ICANN to “make a move” can be a frustrating experience, so it’s hardly surprising that a group of new TLD applicants got together to form their own, informal, working group to push things forward.
It’s also hardly surprising that this move has been met with some criticism from within ICANN circles (drawing parallels with the IRT).
And now ICANN has launched its own initiative to cover the same ground. (Or will the two be working to the same goal? Sorry – I’m getting quite confused by all the back and forth)
Meanwhile the RAA is coming under review again and there’s a silly number of other working groups trying to deal with other aspects of ICANN policy…
Oh the fun and games!