In a blog entry posted today, ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom affirms that ICANN is ready to begin receiving applications for New gTLDs on 12 January. His entry also highlights a briefing that ICANN’s Board of Directors held this week regarding new gTLDs. Topics the Board discussed included not only operational readiness for the New gTLD Program, but also the status of plans for timely execution of the GAC requests regarding the Early Warning; application batching process; trademark clearinghouse procedures; planning for a second round; applicant support; and further topics.
Here is blog entry :
“On Tuesday 3 January 2012, our executive team met with Michael Salazar, New gTLD Program Director, to review ICANN’s readiness to open the application window for the new generic top-level domain program on Thursday, 12 January, as planned.
We carefully reviewed every critical aspect. Each executive was called on to indicate whether his or her group is fully prepared to fulfill their role in supporting the program. 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. As a result, Chief Operating Officer Akram Atallah and Salazar gave me the green light to move forward.
On Thursday, we held an information call with the Board of Directors. I informed the Board that we are prepared to move forward and to open the program as planned. In the package of materials, available at http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/, you can see the items that have been completed, as well as target dates for open items that require final resolution. These include support for needy applicants and a discussion of the timing of the next application round. 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.
We thank the community, the Board and everyone involved in developing and refining this program, which will open the Internet to greater innovation at the top level.”
The announcement was sourced from here.