UPDATE: ICANN has just posted the presentation for today’s webinar. In those slides, ICANN states that the Prioritization Drawing will take place on December 17 at the Hilton LAX is Los Angeles, CA. The sale of the tickets required for the Drawing will take place from December 12 through 16 and on the morning of December 17, also at the Hilton LAX. ICANN is encouraging applicants to purchase their tickets before the drawing date.
There is also a slight change to the timing for Clarifying Questions (CQs). CQs about geographic-term gTLDs will be issued on November 26 as planned, but all other CQs will be issued in January. Applicants will have four weeks to respond, instead of two as ICANN had previously stated.
We’re fast approaching that time of year when holidays, traveling, and end-of-the-year business make it necessary to stay on top of our schedules and make sure to pencil in important dates.
To make that task easier for new gTLD applicants, here is a list of the important gTLD- and ICANN-related dates through the end of 2012:
Wednesday, November 14: ICANN’s next new gTLD applicant webinar is scheduled for 20:00 to 21:30 UTC, or 3:00 to 4:30 pm EST. The agenda for this webinar has yet to be posted. Access the webinar through the ICANN site, or check back here on the blog for updates.
Tuesday, November 20: The day ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee, or GAC, has targeted to release Early Warnings. Read more about Early Warnings in our Just a Warning? blog post.
Wednesday, November 21: ICANN will host a webinar on Objections and Dispute Resolution. Time and agenda to be announced.
Thursday, November 22: Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S. New gTLD applicants are expected to eat some turkey, watch some football, and relax with their friends and families.
Monday, November 26: ICANN plans to release Clarifying Questions (CQs) on this date. As of now, applicants who receive any Clarifying Questions will have two weeks to respond; both questions and responses will be issued and submitted through the TLD Application System, or TAS, meaning you’ll want to dig out any login credentials if you’ve forgotten them since TAS closed in May. For further detail on CQs, have a look at our Just to Clarify post.
Tuesday, December 4 – Saturday, December 15: At some point during this period, ICANN will hold the Prioritization Drawing in Los Angeles, California. The exact time and date still remain to be determined. Readers can get a full overview of the Prioritization Drawing and how it will shape the new gTLD timeline for next year in our ICANN’s New Batching Proposal: Back to Basics post.
The only milestone missing from this timeline is the completion of the String Similarity Review Panel’s evaluation of the applied-for new gTLDs, which will determine the makeup of Contention Sets. The Panel is expected to wrap up its review sometime this month, at which point it will likely be a matter of a few weeks before the official Contention Sets are announced. So new gTLD applicants may be looking at an early holiday gift – or perhaps a lump of gTLD coal.