ICANN announced Friday they extended the public comment period for new generic top level domains applications for an additional 45 days. The new end date is 26 September 2012.
The extension follows complaints from key members of the US Congress who raised concerns about ICANN’s plan to new gTLDs in a letter to the organisation last week outlining concerns that any new strings introduced will not harm trademark holders and requesting assurance the public will have adequate opportunity to comment.
There were also complaints from perennial complainers about the new gTLD programme, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), two weeks ago who wanted more time to review the numerous policy and technical issues that have come to light since the 1,930 applications were first revealed.
The new gTLD application comment period provides the public with an opportunity to have their views considered by evaluation panels as part of the application evaluations. The comment period opened on 13 June 2012 and will remain open for the entire application processing life cycle. The old timeline provided that only those comments received within the first 60 days, through 12 August 2012, were sure to be delivered to evaluators. We’ve now extended that period an additional 45 days.
ICANN notes the Applicant Guidebook states that the public comment period could be extended based on the number of applications received. Leading up to the original 60-day deadline, ICANN received input from the community that this window should be extended to provide for the additional time needed to analyse and provide thoughtful comment on the significantly larger than 500 applications originally anticipated.
After ICANN’s review and discussion of the community’s input, and careful consideration of the implications and impacts the additional time may have on the processing of applications, ICANN extended the application comment period an additional 45 days.
This extended time will allow the public the most amount of time possible to submit comments without affecting current schedules.
Comments may be submitted on the application comment forum at: https://gtldcomment.icann.org/comments-feedback/applicationcomment/login