ICANN this week published a roadmap for processing new gTLD applications with their proposed replacement for digital archery method of selecting when applications will be processed, but there are differing views about this, along with several other issues. And FairWinds Partners has now given their solution.FairWinds Partners worked with over 50 companies preparing gTLD applications and applying for their own gTLD and has considered how to deal with a replacement for digital archery. On their gTLD Strategy blog they say they “considered a variety of options: ICANN could simply let the natural delays inherent in the application evaluation process (Contention Sets, Extended Evaluation, etc.) basically “batch” the applications organically. Or, ICANN could release the results of Initial Evaluation on a rolling basis, thus letting applications move toward delegation on a rolling basis. Or, ICANN could prioritize applications for community-based gTLDs and IDNs (new gTLDs in non-Latin characters) above standard applications, of which there are just 116.”But they note that “each of these options raised almost as many issues as they resolved. So after a great deal more thought, and close consideration with 28 clients who participated on a special conference call to discuss the matter, we ultimately arrived at what we believe is an effective but equitable solution for most applicants. We dubbed our process FIFO after the accounting principle: First In, First Out.”Their “FIFO plan consists of a few key elements that ensure greater transparency and fairness:
- First, all results of Initial Evaluation should be posted at once.
- Any applications that must proceed to Extended Evaluation or Contention Sets, or must deal with Objections, should do so.
- All other applications should proceed to the Registry Agreement negotiation phase. As applicants return their signed Agreements, ICANN should process the Agreements and pass applicants on to pre-delegation testing on a FIFO basis.
- Once applicants have passed all pre-delegation tests, their applications will be inserted into a queue for delegation, again on a FIFO basis.
- Finally, ICANN should establish a portal that tracks the progress of all applications through the pre-delegation process so that the community may see where each new gTLD stands.”