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ICANN Announces Plans for Conclusion of sTLD Application Process

As ICANN looks toward completion of the process for consideration of the proposed sTLD strings submitted during the application period in 2003-4, this notice reports on the status of each application, as well as the anticipated steps to full closure of this round of applications. Briefly, of the ten original applications: four sTLDs are delegated in the root zone, two agreements are signed and will be delegated, two applications have been withdrawn and two applications remain open: .post and .xxx. Next steps for each of the open applications are identified below.

I. Process

Beginning on 15 December 2003, ICANN solicited proposals from potential sponsors to create new sTLD registries. Ten applications were submitted and posted for public comment (see

The applications were measured against criteria published within the RFP (see Three independent panels convened to judge whether the applications met the baseline criteria set out in the RFP: 1) the technical panel; 2) the business/financial panel; and 3) the panel charged with determining whether the sponsor represented a legitimate community as defined in the RFP criteria. The nine panelists (three people to a panel) were DNS experts recruited based upon published criteria (see The independent evaluation effort was coordinated by an outside project manager. During those deliberations, the evaluators communicated clarifying questions back to applicants, each of whom answered in detail. These questions and answers were conveyed through the project manager in order to maintain the anonymity of the evaluators.

After reviewing the independent evaluation reports, written responses by the applicants, and other documentation resulting from the application process, the ICANN Board determined whether ICANN should enter into negotiations with individual applicants for the purpose of designating a TLD.

II. Status

A. TLDs Delegated in the Root Zone (4)

These four applicants (.CAT, .JOBS, .MOBI, .TRAVEL) completed the evaluation and negotiation processes and entered into agreements with ICANN. Subsequently, these TLDs were delegated to the root zone. All four have been successfully launched and are currently operational.

B. Agreements signed, TLDs not yet Delegated (2)

The applicants for .ASIA and .TEL have completed the evaluation and negotiation processes and entered into agreements with ICANN. They have begun the process for delegation into the root zone.

C. Negotiations authorized, agreements not yet approved (2)

ICANN has authorized staff to enter into negotiations with the applicants for .POST and .XXX. These negotiations have progressed, there was an ICANN Board vote but the process is not yet concluded. (See remaining steps below.)

D. Applications Terminated or Withdrawn (2)

In the case of the .MAIL and .TEL applications, the applicants failed to provide information adequate or sufficient for the ICANN Board to authorize negotiations for an agreement. Based upon the results of the independent evaluation process, applicants have effectively withdrawn t hese applications and they are considered closed.

III. Remaining Steps

Two applications remain open;


Preliminary discussions were commenced in 2004 but discussions were never completed. During last communication between the parties remaining issues had not been resolved. ICANN and the Universal Postal Union will work to resolve issues and complete negotiations. A deadline of 30 June 2007 has been suggested for completing the negotiations or closing the application.


A proposed registry agreement for .XXX (sponsored by the ICM registry) was posted on 16 Apr 2006 (see The ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee provided advice regarding the application (see, The advice described public policy aspects of the ICM registry operations and policy development that should be enforceable through any agreement executed to form such a registry.

The ICANN Board considered the agreement at its meeting on 10 May 2006 and voted not to approve the agreement as proposed, but did not reject the application. The applicant has continued to work to modify the agreement in order to address public policy issues raised by the GAC. ICM and ICANN Staff have been renegotiating a revised agreement in preparation for community review and board consideration. ICANN will post that agreement upon completion of the present round of discussions for public comment.


Approved to Enter into Negotiations

Agreement Approved

Agreement Signed

Launch Date (Sunrise)

General Registration Opened


4 December 2005

18 October 2006

6 December 2006



18 February 2005

15 September 2005

23 September 2005

13 February 2006

23 April 2006


13 December 2004

8 April 2005

5 May 2005

19 June 2005

9 September 2005





13 December 2004

28 June 2005

10 July 2005

22 May 2006

26 September 2006


10 August 2004


.tel (Pulver)



.tel (Telnic)

28 June 2005

10 May 2006

30 May 2006



18 October 2004

8 April 2005

5 May 2005

3 October 2005

2 January 2006


1 June 2005


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