As previously reported, ICANN received eleven applications from entities seeking to become the registry operator for the .org top-level domain on 1 January 2003, when VeriSign, Inc. gives up that role. This update reports on the status of and plans for the evaluation of those applications.
Review of the applications is ongoing from several perspectives:
- The Non-Commercial Domain-Name Holders Constituency of the ICANN Domain Name Supporting Organization has undertaken to evaluate the applications based on criteria 4, 5, and 6 stated in the "Criteria for Assessing Proposals".
- Two teams are independently reviewing the applications based on technical considerations, including criteria 1, 7, 8, and 9 (and 11 to the extent applicable). The details on these teams and their written reports will be posted as described below, but they are not being identified at this time to avoid the potential for the teams being distracted from their efforts by importuning contacts from supporters and detractors of particular applications.
- ICANN staff is conducting a general review of the applications, with particular emphasis on criteria 2, 3, 10, and 11, and will assemble an integrated evaluation report based on the invited evaluation efforts mentioned above as well as other inputs that are received. Public comments made at the ICANN Public Forum in Bucharest have been posted, and additional comments may be made reviewed at the web-based public forum established for that purpose.
Applicants and members of the public are reminded to follow the established procedures for the submission of opinions and other information to be considered in the evaluation and selection process. These procedures have been designed to promote transparency. Public comments should be submitted to the web-based forum, where they are available for all to see.
The ICANN Board members and staff intend to adhere to these procedures. Although they are committed to being accessible to the public regarding ICANN matters, the members of the ICANN Board have asked us to remind applicants, their supporters, their detractors, and all others to use the established comment mechanisms so that comments are open for review by everyone. ICANN Board members/staff will review the comments received by these mechanisms. Private comments sent directly to Board members and the staff are neither appropriate nor helpful in this process because they do not support ICANN's commitment to openness and transparency. Applicants are requested to demonstrate their sensitivity to the need for transparency by following these procedures.
To permit the completion of a high-quality evaluation process, the schedule has been adjusted as follows:
- 9 August 2002 - Last day for ICANN to pose questions or requests for additional information to applicants. Applicants should be prepared to respond quickly.
- 19 August 2002 - Posting of draft staff report, which will be accompanied by written reports received from the groups identified under "Current Status of Evaluation" above. Comments by the applicants and the public will be invited on these materials.
- 29 August 2002 - Deadline for applicant comments on and responses to draft staff report.
- 5 September 2002 - Posting of Final Staff Report and Recommendation.
- Late September 2002 - Board decision on selection.
As mentioned at the Public Forum session held in Bucharest on the evening of 26 June 2002, Director Rob Blokzijl has recused himself from participation in the consideration of .org applications.