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.XXX Resolution Approved, But Red Tape Could Slow Down Introduction

.XXX still has hurdles before it becomes a top level domain name.

As expected, ICANN’s board approved a resolution today that allows ICM Registry’s .xxx application to move forward. But there are hurdles, or at least red tape, between now and the introduction of the top level domain name.

Reading the resolution aloud during ICANN’s board meeting today, board chairman Peter Dengate Thrush noted several steps that remain:

-The staff must conduct expedited due diligence to ensure that the ICM application is still current and that there have been no changes in ICM’s qualifications.

-If the expedited due diligence results are successful, then the ICANN staff will proceed with draft contract negotiations with ICM, taking into account the GAC advice received to date.

-Upon the staff finalizing a draft contract with ICM, the board will determine whether the proposed
contract is consistent with GAC advice and, if not, will enter into GAC consultation in accordance with the bylaws.

-After the GAC consultation is completed, the board will decide whether to approve the contract and will
declare whether its action is in accordance with GAC advice or not.

The step that could slow the process down the most is if the board determines it needs to go back to the GAC (Governmental Advisory Committee). We’ll also have to have another formal vote at a board meeting to “approve” the contract before .xxx gets the official green light.

It will be interesting to see if ICANN tries to delay the introduction until closer to the launch of the proposed round of new TLD applications.

Interestingly, ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom didn’t approve the resolution. He abstained, noting:

While I accept the contribution to ICANN’s accountability and transparency provided by the existence and the use of the independent panel review process, I am nonetheless concerned about the determination by two of the three panelists that the ICANN board should not use business judgment in the conduct of its affairs.

In my view as CEO, the board must be able to use business judgment in order to protect the global public interest in the coordination of the root of the Internet and the domain name system.

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