Announcement on tap about which new TLDs will get priority treatment in ICANN’s Powerball

Which new TLDs will get to skip to the front of the queue? We’ll find out soon.

Fortunately for new top level domain applicants, the chances of getting a top spot in December’s top level domain “prioritization draw” are much better than winning tonight’s $550 million Powerball lottery.

Unfortunately, tickets to the draw cost quite a bit more (and I’m not talking about the $100 ticket fee.)

But many applicants still have questions about whether certain types of applications will get a spot at the top of the queue.

Michele Jourdan, Manager of New gTLD Communications at ICANN, told Domain Name Wire today that “we will be communicating which applications will receive priority in the next week.”

If you asked me a couple months ago, I would have predicted that no particular type of application would get a leg up. But that was before new ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé announced plans for the lottery system and said that IDNs will be given a priority.

That announcement opened the door for other applicants to request similar prioritization.

One possibility thrown around is that geographic domains should be prioritized. You could also make an argument for community applications, but with many community applicants on contested strings, that would be a mess. Beyond ChehadĂ©’s word on IDNs, there’s been no official announcement about other possible prioritization yet.

Update: ICANN’s board considered a resolution on proritization, including a geographic round robin:

Prioritization of New gTLD Applications

No resolution taken. The New gTLD Program engaged in a discussion on the prioritization of New gTLD applications, including the prioritization of IDNs, and the progress towards the prioritization draw scheduled to be held on 17 December 2012. The New gTLD Program Committee directed the President and CEO to draft a paper exploring the possibility of, as well as the risks and potential mitigation efforts, including a geographical region round robin process within the prioritization draw. The President and CEO noted that it will be important to assure the impeccable operation of the prioritization draw, and considerations of the risks inherent in incorporating a round robin process within the draw must be of primary consideration.


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