The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) held its Community Forum in Cancun, March 11-16, to discuss the pending launch of a new round of top-level domain names, governance issues related to the selection of a new ICANN President and CEO as well as combatting Domain Name System (DNS) abuse. USCIB Vice President for ICT Policy Barbara Wanner was on the ground, joining over 1100 attendees across 164 countries and territories.
According to Wanner, the key outcome of the meeting was the progress made toward launching a new round of top-level domain names through a process referred to as the New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Subsequent Procedures (SubPro).
ICANN community members described pent-up demand for a new round of gTLDs; the last round was in 2012. Proponents maintain that the availability of new gTLDs will offer more choice and will make the DNS accessible to more people around the world, especially those who use languages and scripts not based on English or ASCII.
Briefing the GNSO Council, Board Member Becky Burr outlined four areas of information that ICANN needs to prepare a timeline and launch plan before a specific date for the new round can be announced. These are outlined in the Board resolution approved on March 16.
Wanner, in her capacity as an industry representative, will continue to monitor and update USCIB members on the status of the launch of these gTLDs as well as the development of other issue areas discussed at ICANN. These include future governance of the organization as well as implementation of a system to enable legitimate requests to nonpublic gTLD registration data, now called the Registration Data Request Service.