The ICANN board on June 20 2011 voted to approve the Applicant Guidebook for the New gTLD program and is now preparing for the launch of the new generic top level domain (gGLD) process.
Applications for new gTLDs are set to be accepted from January 12 to April 12 2012 and all are expected to register via the online application system by March 29 2012.
The Applicant Guidebook is a comprehensive guide for applicants that describes the New Generic Top-Level Domain program’s requirements and evaluation processes and has been developed and improved through extensive public review by specialized working groups and ICANN’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (ISOC).
Each draft has been accompanied by extensive public comment analyses, explanatory memoranda, and independent reports. The modifications made to this version of the guidebook (version 2011-07-29) are primarily limited to changes directed by the board resolution from the 20 June meeting in Singapore.
The Applicant Guidebook is intended to be an inclusive guide and will be regularly updated as aspects of the process are deemed necessary and are implemented. In addition to the Applicant Guidebook, a summary of changes since the last version and a discussion version of a process for amending the Applicant Guidebook are also posted. There are certain areas where work is still ongoing, such as: whether single character Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) can be delegated as TLDs, ensuring continued registry operation through a continued operations instrument, and providing support for needy applicants through the work of the Joint Applicant Support (JAS) working group.
The new Applicant Guidebook link here: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/rfp-clean-19sep11-en.pdf