The following is an update on the status of the process currently underway for the selection of a successor operator for the .NET registry.
The Request for Proposals was posted on 10 December 2004. An open question period for applicants was conducted through 7 January 2005. On 20 January 2005, ICANN announced the receipt of five applications, from Aflilias, CORE++, DENIC, Sentan, and VeriSign.
On 7 February 2005, ICANN announced that Telcordia Technologies, Inc. had been retained to conduct the independent evaluation of the applications. Telcordia has been advised in its work by an international team of DNS experts assembled by ICANN. In association with the announcement of Telcordia, ICANN also posted an "Advisory Regarding Neutrality of Independent Evaluators", which has also been reviewed with each of the applicants.
Telcordia has been conducting scoring and evaluation activities since its appointment, and has now completed its preliminary written report noting substantive comments and questions on each applicant. Telcordia is also conducting site visits at each of the applicants’ facilities. As provided in the RFP process, the preliminary written report on each applicant will be provided to that applicant only (as soon as the site visits are concluded), and each applicant will be allowed to respond to the report in writing.
The evaluators' final report and rankings are scheduled to be posted on the ICANN website on 28 March 2005. The Internet community will be invited to review the report and submit comments. ICANN will promptly enter negotiations with the top-ranked applicant to reach a mutually acceptable registry agreement. ICANN's proposed form of the registry agreement has been posted on the ICANN website <http://www.icann.org/tlds/dotnet-reassignment/draft-net-agreement-9mar05.pdf>.
For additional information concerning the .NET selection process, please see <http://www.icann.org/tlds/dotnet-reassignment/dotnet-general.htm>.