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ICANN Announces Single Batch Evaluation
ICANN announced this week that the New Generic Top Level Domain (New gTLD) applications are to be evaluated in a single batch. This comes after their original evaluation system for batching the applications, Digital Archery, was terminated at the Prague ICANN meeting. There was a lot of controversy surrounding Digital Archery as there had been inaccuracies identified in the timestamps created by the process. ICANN eventually decided to act on the applicants concerns and scrapped the system altogether.
The results of the processing should also be released in one batch. However, the actual delegation and release of the New TLDs is likely to be in batches. ICANNís news release said:
"The current plan indicates that initial evaluation of all applications, processed in a "single batch", can be completed in 11-12 months, possibly less Ė resulting in publication of results in June-July 2013."
This means that the final delegation of the New gTLDs wonít occur until, at the earliest, Q3 2012, 6 months later than originally planned. ICANN have now given the community the chance to comment and give their input on the revised process.
The delegation of these New gTLDs is going to be a very complex process. The introduction of all these New gTLDs in one batch could be extremely damaging to the DNS, as ICANN explained in their news statement, saying:
"...the primary challenge with maintaining root zone stability is controlling the rate of change to the root zone system and not the size of the root zone itself, meaning delegation should not occur at a rate of 1,000 delegations on a single day."
ICANN expect the single batch to take around 12 months to evaluate. The evaluation process will hopefully resolve any undisputed applications swiftly, which should give a longer period of time to discuss, evaluate and assign the contested domain name extensions. ICANN are also considering metering the applications in some way to give each application a set amount of time to be evaluated.