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Wrap-up: ICANN 49 Singapore

Given the “going live” of New gTLDs as well as the NTIA’s announcement of its intent to transition Internet domain name functions to a multi-stakeholder environment, the 49th ICANN meeting in Singapore was sure to be a busy one.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the key happenings during the week:

Specification 13
The most recent draft of Specification 13 was approved. The specification provides limited accommodations to registry operators of TLDs that qualify as “dot Brand” TLDs rather than standard commercial TLDs. As many as one-third of all new gTLD applications likely qualify as dot Brand TLDs. With this approval, dot Brands will now be able to move forward to the contracting phase of the new gTLD program. The approved draft of Specification 13 is available for reading by all interested parties.

Name Collisions
The ICANN Board accepted the recommendations made by the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) concerning Name Collisions in the DNS. They will work with the IETF and IAB to identify what strings should be reserved for use in private namespaces, and what type of use is relevant.

ICANN will also continue to work with the community to develop a collision mitigation strategy. The most recent follow-up study, including recommendations developed by JAS Global Advisors LLC, recently closed for public comment, and will be reviewed by May 2014.

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
The NTIA announcement just prior to ICANN 49 regarded the transition of its responsibilities to ICANN and was discussed extensively in Singapore. The NTIA was clear about what it is looking for in the transition plan that ICANN will oversee and what will make an acceptable plan, including:

  • Continuation of the existing global multi-stakeholder model of Internet policymaking and governance
  • Maintenance of the security, stability and resiliency of the DNS
  • Maintenance of the openness of the Internet
  • Replacement by a different government, set of governments or international organizations of governments.

The current agreement expires in August 2015; the transition plan is scheduled to be completed by that time. During the meeting, ICANN focused on the process and scope, and how to best meet the needs of global stakeholders in the plan.

While Afilias does not believe this will make an impact on the new TLD process, it is an historic event for the Internet and we recommend you watch developments closely.

The 50th ICANN meeting will be held in London on June 22-26, 2014 at the Hilton London Metropole Hotel. Rooms sell out quickly, so if you plan to attend, make your reservations early.