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ICANN To Hold New gTLD “Prioritisation Draw” On 17 December

ICANN New TLDs logoDecember 17 is the day ICANN has set for a “prioritisation draw”, or lottery, at the LAX Hilton, Los Angeles, to determine the order in which applications for new generic Top Level Domain strings will be processed. It is anticipated that all applications will be processed within a one and a half year period. And applications for internationalised domain names will be given priority.

The priority for IDNs is because they are a way to promote DNS diversity, making the internet more accessible and increasing avenues of participation and serves the public interest.

ICANN is now anticipating that the completion date of the initial evaluation of the 1400 strings that have been applied for will have taken place by August 2013 and delegations to commence for approximately 20 strings per week in the second quarter of 2013 and be completed by April 2015.

The Prioritisation Draw is described by ICANN as a method to assign a priority number to each application – dubbed the Draw Number. The draw is now scheduled for 17 December and will be conducted through the sale of numbered paper tickets. The tickets will be drawn and Draw Numbers will be assigned. This Prioritisation Draw method provides each application with the same chance to move ahead in priority. Participants must purchase the drawing ticket – either in person or through a in-person representative. So as applicants not near to where the draw will take place are able to offset travel costs, applicants can appoint representatives (at no additional cost to applicants).

According to ICANN, Draw Numbers will be used to schedule initial evaluations and release evaluation results, the first evaluation results will be published starting in late March and finishing in late June. The Draw Numbers will also be used later in the process to schedule appointments for pre-delegation testing, and executing agreements. There will be approximately 20 pre-delegation testing appointments per week and 20 contracts executed per week. The procedure will include an incentive for applicants to accept the published standard form registry agreement rather than negotiate alternative terms.