FINAL VERSION TO BE SUBMITTED IF RATIFIED
FINAL DRAFT VERSION TO BE VOTED UPON BY THE ALAC
The ALAC welcomes the opportunity to comment on the New gTLD Programme Implementation Review Draft Report. We recognise that the review has been a self-assessment by ICANN staff of their execution of the processes involved at each stage of the implementation of the New gTLD Programme. The review provides a pragmatic overview of lessons learned from the implementation process which will not only inform the formal Review Team’s assessment of the implementation process but also provide solutions for creating improvements in the effectiveness and efficiency of this process based on staff assessment of this first round of implementation.
Of concern to our community was the life-cycle of the application and evaluation process relating to this first batch of applications and that the remaining applications will still not be completed until the end of 2017 which is far beyond originally projected timeframes. Among the reasons for the delays include some effectiveness and efficiency issues relating to the time spent on some requirements of the application process that may not have been completely necessary for all applications as there was no contractual requirement attached. It was noted that some areas of the application may benefit from further community discussion based on staff lessons learned.
We encourage the Review Team to support the recommendations made by staff, and at the same time give full consideration for more practical support to ensure that the remaining and future batches of applications are expedited as quickly and efficiently as possible.
FIRST DRAFT SUBMITTED
The Programme Implementation Review is a self-assessment by ICANN staff of their execution of the new gTLD Programme at each stage of implementation and results in a set of lessons learned to help address issues that arose out of the first round. The review is intended to help to inform the formal Review Team’s assessment of the effectiveness of the application and evaluation process
ICANN’s focus was the effectiveness of the implementation of the Applicant Guidebook and New gTLD Programme processes but not a review of the actual guidebook nor the policies relating to the introduction of gTLDs.
While ICANN were able to consider input from applicants, service providers and other members of the community during the application process, they are aware that other sections of ICANN are also involved in their own evaluations of gTLDs. Inputs by other stakeholders are invited as part of this evaluation. Public comment will also be sought once the final draft of the report is complete.
The life-cycle of the application and evaluation process was a recurring topic of consideration throughout the assessment of the program. The guidebook contemplated a simple application timeline of 9 months, while a more complex one might take up to 20 months.
In reality, many of the original intake of applications took longer than expected. The main factors impacting on these results were a higher than expected application volume and the additional time needed to implement some processes and procedures. There were 1930 applications on 11 January 2012 and the first delegation was made 22 months later. Over 700 delegations had been completed by July 2015. Although there were some withdrawals, the remaining applications are expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
A summary of 48 lessons learned is provided in Annex 1. These are recommendations for improvement within each section and subsection of the application and evaluation process. This summary list is based on the assumption that policy recommendations for this first round of new gTLDS will remain the same for future rounds.
It is recommended that ALAC encourages the Review Team to support these recommendations in order to enable the staff to implement future gTLD application and evaluation processes more quickly, effectively and efficiently.