ICANN CEO sets a surprising date for the first new TLD approval.
ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé has disclosed a target date of April 23 to recommend for delegation the first new top level domain.
[Note: I originally misheard Chehadé in the video to say April 23 would be the date of delegation, not to recommend for delegation. That takes some pressure off.]
Although he admits the timeline might slip, he suggests it will be a slippage of days or weeks, not months.
That sounds quite aggressive to me.
Besides all the stuff that has to be done between now and then, it’s unclear to me if anyone would actually be able to sell whichever domains are delegated.
Granted, delegation doesn’t mean you’ll be able to register the domains right away.
But if registrars are required to adopt the 2013 RAA before selling them, there could be a big problem.
First, RAA negotiations haven’t concluded as far as the public record shows.
Second, if the RAA requires some sort of whois/registrant verification, registrars will have to get that implemented to.
If some new TLDs are delegated by late April, and if the registries are prepared to launch quickly thereafter, they might still delay their own launch until enough registrars are ready.
Of course, ICANN might also consider dropping the RAA requirement for new TLDs.