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GNSO Survey: Now Open and Available in all UN Languages! 

GNSO Review Frequently Asked Questions have now been updated!

Background Information

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") is seeking a provider to conduct an independent review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), as mandated by ICANN's Bylaws.

As part of ICANN's ongoing commitment to its evolution and improvement, Article IV – Section 4 of ICANN's Bylaws contains provisions for "periodic review of the performance and operation of each Supporting Organization, each Supporting Organization Council, each Advisory Committee (other than the Governmental Advisory Committee), and the Nominating Committee."

These periodic reviews present ICANN structures with opportunities for continuous improvement through consistent application of compliance review principles to objectively measure performance relative to specific and quantifiable criteria developed by ICANN based on the unique nature of its structures. The resulting implementation of improvements and the systematic means of measuring performance and validating effectiveness of implementation are of utmost importance to the ongoing legitimacy of ICANN.

The GNSO is the policy-making body responsible for generic Top-Level Domains, such as .COM, .NET, and .ORG. Its members include representatives from generic Top Level Domains (gTLD) registries, gTLDregistrars, intellectual property interest, Internet service providers, businesses and non-commercial interests. The GNSO strives to keep gTLDs operating in a fair, orderly fashion across one global Internet, while promoting innovation and competition.

Key Milestones

Given the significant increases in the number and nature of the generic Top Level Domains resulting from the recent launch of the New gTLD Program, the upcoming review of the GNSO is of critical importance to theICANN community. ICANN is planning to start the review on 1 July 2014, with an anticipated duration of 6 months. The primary schedule is as follows:


Originally Planned Dates

Actual Dates

RFP published

22 April 2014

23 April 2014

Briefing with GNSO (webinar)

7 May 2014

7 May 2014

GNSO to identify GNSO Review Working Party

19 May 2014

19 May 2014

Refine examination criteria



Public announcement  of independent reviewer

23 June 2014

23 June 2014

Start of review work

23 June 2014

23 June 2014

Launch 360 assessment



Summary results from 360 Assessment



Draft Report 1

30 September


Clarification and rebuttal from GNSO



Draft Report 2

31 October


Public comment period

November – January 2015


Final Report

January 2015


Preparation of Implementation Plan

February – March 2015


Implement Recommendations

April 2015 – February 2016


Dates represent best estimates at the time the FAQs were updated and may change.


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