Image by Charles Mok via FlickrICANN seems to be getting nearer to launching the highly anticipated new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) program that will enable interested parties acquire their very own gTLDs such as .YourBrands. ICANN convened a special meeting of its Board of Directors on October 28th last week and resulted in the adoption of an updated new gTLD timeline was adopted as a working plan.
In lieu of this action, ICANN has launched a new Adopted Workplan available here as the Launch Scenario indicating that the possible gTLD Applicant Guidebook will be declared as final go at the up comming December 2010 ICANN Meeting in Cartagena, Colombia.
If this gTLD Applicant Guidebook gets an approval from the ICANN Board during this meeting, the final changes are expected to be implemented as directed and the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook will be posted publicly in January 2011.
ICANN will then carry out a 4 month communication campaign initiating the New gTLD Application Period on May 31st, 2011.
ICANN stakeholders are still sceptical about the much anticipated launch as Elisa Cooper on CircleID suggests that the actual approval for New gTLD Applications will not occur until the March 2011 meeting in San Francisco and thus the Application Period would not begin until Fall 2011 but still parties are being encouraged regardless of when the Application Period begins in 2011, they should plan their application and objection strategies in earnest before the year's end.