New gTLDs WILL be delayed by Whois work
The next round of new gTLD applications will be delayed by ICANN’s work on Whois reform, ICANN chair Maarten Botterman confirmed today.
In a letter to his GNSO Council counterpart Philippe Fouquart, Botterman states that the new gTLDs Operational Design Phase, which was due to wrap up in October, will have to proceed with an “extended timeline”.
This is because the GNSO has pushed the concept of a Whois Disclosure System, previously known as SSAD Light and meant to provide the foundations of a system for access private Whois data, and ICANN needs time to design it.
Botterman wrote (pdf):
there is an overlap in org resources with the relevant expertise needed to complete these efforts. As a result, work on the [Whois] design paper will impact existing projects. While SubPro [new gTLDs] ODP work will not stop during this period, we anticipate that an extended timeline will be required to account for the temporary unavailability of resources allocated to the design paper work.
Botterman did not put a length of time to these delays, but previous ICANN estimates have talked about six weeks. GNSO members had worried that this estimate might be a low-ball that could be extended.
ICANN had given the GNSO the option to choose to delay Whois work to complete the SubPro ODP, but it could not come to an agreement on which project was more important, and seemed to resent even being asked.
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