Overwhelmed by ICANN material at the moment? Here’s a quick guide

5 October 2009
By Kieren McCarthy

If you are a regular ICANN community member, it is likely you are currently feeling overwhelmed by the amount of material that has appeared in the past week. So here is a quick guide to help make sense of it all.

Sections are:

  • JPA/Affirmation
  • Applicant Guidebook/new gTLDs
  • Fast Track/IDNs
  • Public comment periods
  • Seoul meeting
  • And the remainder

Last Wednesday, 30 September 2009, the Joint Project Agreement with the US government ended and in its place a new Affirmation of Commitments was signed.

This is obviously of enormous significance to ICANN, so it currently sits front and center on the ICANN front page. We have an announcement, the Affirmation itself, a video of CEO Rod Beckstrom explaining its significance, and reaction from the community. The Affirmation has been signed but obviously there is much that the community now needs to discuss, and that conversation will start in Seoul.

Applicant Guidebook / new gTLDs
The third version of the Applicant Guidebook was released today. It’s all out for public comment, as we have done twice before. We are gradually moving forward with the overarching issues and, again, Seoul will be place to have more discussions.

It is worth pointing out that today, Monday 5 October, is the document deadline for Seoul (15 working days before the start of the meeting), which is why so much stuff has appeared in the past few days. The idea is that everyone will now have plenty of time to read the documents and so be in a position to talk about their contents at Seoul.

The full rundown of documents can be found at http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/comments-3-en.htm, including red-lined versions so you can see what has changed.

Fast Track
This is the process for introducing internationalized domain names (IDNs) into the root – but only those that related to territories i.e. ccTLDs. The Fast Track final implementation plan was published last week for public comment, and the plan is to have the Board authorize it at the Seoul meeting (end of this month).

So, this is the last chance to have a look and have your say before it actually happens. You can find all the information you should need for that process at http://www.icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-2-30sep09-en.htm.

Public comment periods
As usual in the build-up to a meeting, we have a raft of public comment periods. Ignoring the ones for the Applicant Guidebook and Fast Track, both of which are mentioned above, we have also opened comment periods on:

Seoul meeting
Why we have this glut of material is, of course, the upcoming Seoul meeting at the end of October.

With respect to the meeting itself, there are several other pieces of information:

And the remainder
And there’s still more:

Hopefully that helps breaks down the work into manageable chunks. If you still have queries, please add them as a comment below.


Kieren McCarthy