The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) has admitted that the go-live date for pre-registrations for the new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) will not be set during its meeting in Brussels this week, as there are still many technical and other hurdles to overcome.
Icann chairman Peter Dengate Thrush warned at a press conference to kick off the meeting today that there is not likely to be the same progress made on gTLDs as there was at the last meeting in Nairobi, because Icann is still collecting feedback on the current draft applicant handbook.
Dengate Thrush explained that, once that process closes, he will hold a " board retreat" to clean up any remaining issues before publishing an official, finalised applicant handbook.
"There is no-one who would like to name a go-live date more than me and the rest of the board," he said.
"But there are still a number of overarching issues on which the community needs to reach a consensus, and it's difficult for us to put a timeframe on that. We're going as absolutely fast as the bottom up multi-stakeholder model will allow."
Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes agreed in a speech to the conference that the gTLD process should not be rushed.
"Such [domain name] additions are probably irreversible. So these steps need to be taken carefully, taking into consideration more than just immediate commercial interests," she said.
"Managing this expansion and avoiding chaos will be a big challenge."
The meeting is also likely to see more international domain names added to the growing list, as well as more work to improve the accountability of the organisation.
An official process for the appointment and removal of country code TLD managers will also be discussed, said Dengate Thrush.
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