Internet oversight body Icann has confirmed that its relevant constituent groups are fully operational and ready to support the launch of the new gTLD programme on Thursday.
In a blog post on Friday, Icann chief executive and president Rod Beckstrom explained that after a recent executive team meeting with new gTLD programme director Michael Salazar the application window will open as planned on 12 January.
"While we noted the ongoing presence of risks that were identified and highlighted to the board and community in June, and the mitigation steps that have been taken, each executive indicated approval to proceed," Beckstrom wrote.
"As a result, chief operating officer Akram Atallah and Salazar gave me the green light to move forward."
New gTLDs represent one of the most fundamental changes to the domain name system since it was first created.
The new system will effectively give any organisation or collective the right to apply to become a registry for their own, unique domain name. Virtually any TLD will be admissible, with a limit of 64 characters, including regional suffixes, generic words, brand names and non-Roman characters.
The opening application period will run from 12 January to 12 April, but Beckstrom admitted that there are still some issues to be ironed out with the new scheme.
"These include support for needy applicants and a discussion of the timing of the next application round," he explained.
"The issues should be settled before the application window closes on 12 April, but their resolution is not essential before the window opens on 12 January."
The new programme has not been welcomed by all, however. Icann was forced to defend its work in an appearance before the US Senate last month after American advertising bodies criticised the plans because of the likely high cost incurred by their members.
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