ICANN has given itself an April 2026 target for accepting the next round of new gTLD applications.
Board chair Tripti Sinha wrote yesterday that ICANN expects the next Applicant Guidebook — the Book of Mormon for the program — to be completed in May 2025 “which enables the application round to open in Q2 2026 (with the goal of April 2026)”.
She noted, as if it needed note, that there could be delays.
Back in May, ICANN had indicated May 2026 as the likely date. That was in a fairly obscure Inside Baseball document. The newly revealed date is an official ICANN announcement.
Other key dates come in the fourth quarter 2025, when ICANN will start accepting applications for its Applicant Support Program and registry service provider pre-evaluation program.
ICANN expects the program to cost it $70 million between Q2 2023 and Q2 2026. It’s assuming it gets roughly 2,000 applications, in with its experience in 2012. It will hire 29 new staff.
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