As we march closer to the launch of new generic top-level domains, focus has shifted to the process of how the approved gTLDs become active in the domain name system.
Activating a top-level domain involves making changes to the DNS root zone – a process known as “delegation”. The delegation process is managed by ICANN’s Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, IANA.
The entire process of root zone management is a shared by ICANN with the National Telecommunications and Information Authority, and with Verisign. Each of us has a unique role to play in the processing of such requests.
Over time we’ve evolved this process to better serve top-level domain managers and the broader community. The most notable step we’ve taken to improve and optimize our processing of requests was the deployment of new workflow automation systems in 2011. These systems improve processing accuracy and timeliness by automating many aspects of processing change requests that were previously performed manually.
Recognizing that the new gTLD program introduces a large number of new TLDs, ICANN together with Verisign and NTIA collaborated to make improvements to our systems to best optimize the new gTLD delegation process. Our goal was to make the delegation process as simple as possible, while still providing the checks and balances expected of the root zone management function. We’ve done this by building upon the system we already had in place to add functionality specific to the creation of a large number of new top-level domains.
After a period of development and testing, we are pleased to report these improvements came online as scheduled on May 1st 2013.
After successfully completing the New gTLD process, applicants will receive a token which enables them to start the delegation process using the root zone workflow automation system. During the processing of their request, applicants can log on to the system at any time to get realtime feedback on the status of their request.
The deployment of the streamlined process to delegate New gTLDs on May 1st is one of the steps taken by ICANN, along with our root management partners Verisign and NTIA, to ensure readiness to manage the introduction of new gTLDs into the DNS root zone.