Difference between revisions of "New gTLD Program"
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ICANN has been working on adding new extensions for years, and the current "new" gTLD program is actually the 4th round of gTLD expansion. The prior rounds were limited and specific: in 2000 there was a "proof of concept round", a round of [[sTLD]]s in 2003, and an ongoing process to introduce [[IDN]] [[ccTLD]]s.<ref>[http://domainincite.com/watch-icann-approve-some-new-gtlds/ Watch ICANN Approve Some New gTLDs, DomainIncite.com]</ref> After the results of the 2000 and 2003 expansions of new gTLDs, a [[PDP|Policy Development Process]] in connection with the introduction of new gTLDs was developed by the [[Generic Names Supporting Organization]] (GNSO), which lasted from 2005 until 2007. During this Policy Development Process, the GNSO conducted extensive and detailed consultations with all constituencies within the ICANN global internet community. In 2008, 19 Specific Policy Recommendations were adopted by the ICANN Board for the implementation of new gTLDs, which describe the specifics of allocation and the contractual conditions. ICANN involved the global internet community in an open, inclusive and transparent implementation process to comment, review and provide their input toward creating the Applicant Guidebook for New gTLDs. The protection of intellectual property, community interests, consumer protection, and DNS stability were addressed during the process. Different versions and multiple drafts of the Applicant Guidebook were released in 2008. By June 2011, the ICANN Board launched the New gTLD Program, at the same time approving the [[
ICANN has been working on adding new extensions for years, and the current "new" gTLD program is actually the 4th round of gTLD expansion. The prior rounds were limited and specific: in 2000 there was a "proof of concept round", a round of [[sTLD]]s in 2003, and an ongoing process to introduce [[IDN]] [[ccTLD]]s.<ref>[http://domainincite.com/watch-icann-approve-some-new-gtlds/ Watch ICANN Approve Some New gTLDs, DomainIncite.com]</ref> After the results of the 2000 and 2003 expansions of new gTLDs, a [[PDP|Policy Development Process]] in connection with the introduction of new gTLDs was developed by the [[Generic Names Supporting Organization]] (GNSO), which lasted from 2005 until 2007. During this Policy Development Process, the GNSO conducted extensive and detailed consultations with all constituencies within the ICANN global internet community. In 2008, 19 Specific Policy Recommendations were adopted by the ICANN Board for the implementation of new gTLDs, which describe the specifics of allocation and the contractual conditions. ICANN involved the global internet community in an open, inclusive and transparent implementation process to comment, review and provide their input toward creating the Applicant Guidebook for New gTLDs. The protection of intellectual property, community interests, consumer protection, and DNS stability were addressed during the process. Different versions and multiple drafts of the Applicant Guidebook were released in 2008. By June 2011, the ICANN Board launched the New gTLD Program, at the same time approving the [[Applicant Guidebook]].<ref>[http://newgtlds.icann.org/about/program About the New gTLD Program]</ref> The Board announced the possibility of a 9th version of the Guidebook in January 2012, but the industry speculated that there was little chance that the changes would be more than clarification, as opposed to new rules and policies.<ref>[http://domainincite.com/icann-confirms-possible-new-applicant-guidebook/ ICANN Confirms Possible New Applicant Guidebook, DomainIncite.com]</ref> The 9th version was released at the same time the application window opened, and as expected most of the changes were minor. One major change in the 9th version was greater power given to the [[Governmental Advisory Committee]] in forcing the [[ICANN Board]] to manually review any application that the GAC finds problematic. Exactly how many oppositions within the GAC would be necessary to cause Board consultation is vague, but it could be as few as one nation's objection. This change was made following a letter from U.S. Government Secretary [[Larry Strickling]], which noted that the GAC would have the power to create new procedure after reviewing the entire pool of applications; that letter is further detailed below.<ref>[http://domainincite.com/gac-gets-more-power-to-block-controversial-gtlds/ GAC Gets more Power to Block Controversial gTLDs, DomainIncite.com]</ref>
===New gTLD Program Committee===
===New gTLD Program Committee===
Revision as of 19:59, 19 February 2021
The aim of the New gTLD Program is to add an unlimited number of new gTLDs to the root zone in order to enhance competition, innovation, and consumer choice. The first application round started on January 12, 2012, and ended on April 20, 2012, during which applicants applied via the TLD Application System (TAS) to run the registry for the TLD of their choice. The application window was supposed to close on April 12. Due to a glitch, the TAS system was shut down for a period of time before it reopened for a one-week window to allow users to finish their applications.
In April 2012, after the closure of registration for the ICANN New gTLD Program, it was revealed that there were 1,268 applicants in the program. On June, 13th ("Reveal Day"), it was announced that there were 1,930 applications: 84 of these were community applications, 116 are for IDNs, and 230 of the applications have one or more applicant and will thus go through string contention processes. This means the first round of the new gTLD program could create a maximum of 1,409 new TLDs.
All New gTLD Applications - Generic Applications - Geographic Applications - Brand Applications IDN Applications
The different types of new gTLD applications:
- Standard or Generic TLD - under this type of application, the proposed new gTLD is open to the public for registration. The string does not have any restrictions. These are mostly generic terms, though some applications for generic terms, most notably by Amazon and Google propose restricting the use of the TLD to solely corporate purposes
- Community TLD - the proposed new gTLDs under this application are restricted to a specific community with a high degree of social awareness. The application should be strongly supported by the community. Examples of community TLDs include: .catholic, .thai, .aarp
- Geographical TLD - This type of application represents a particular city or region; support of the local government is required for these TLDs, examples include: .nyc, .berlin, .tokyo
- Brand TLD - companies and organizations will be able to apply for their own TLDs using their brand names and trademarks. For example: .unicef, .motorola, .hitachi, .deloitte
ICANN has been working on adding new extensions for years, and the current "new" gTLD program is actually the 4th round of gTLD expansion. The prior rounds were limited and specific: in 2000 there was a "proof of concept round", a round of sTLDs in 2003, and an ongoing process to introduce IDN ccTLDs. After the results of the 2000 and 2003 expansions of new gTLDs, a Policy Development Process in connection with the introduction of new gTLDs was developed by the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), which lasted from 2005 until 2007. During this Policy Development Process, the GNSO conducted extensive and detailed consultations with all constituencies within the ICANN global internet community. In 2008, 19 Specific Policy Recommendations were adopted by the ICANN Board for the implementation of new gTLDs, which describe the specifics of allocation and the contractual conditions. ICANN involved the global internet community in an open, inclusive and transparent implementation process to comment, review and provide their input toward creating the Applicant Guidebook for New gTLDs. The protection of intellectual property, community interests, consumer protection, and DNS stability were addressed during the process. Different versions and multiple drafts of the Applicant Guidebook were released in 2008. By June 2011, the ICANN Board launched the New gTLD Program, at the same time approving the Applicant Guidebook. The Board announced the possibility of a 9th version of the Guidebook in January 2012, but the industry speculated that there was little chance that the changes would be more than clarification, as opposed to new rules and policies. The 9th version was released at the same time the application window opened, and as expected most of the changes were minor. One major change in the 9th version was greater power given to the Governmental Advisory Committee in forcing the ICANN Board to manually review any application that the GAC finds problematic. Exactly how many oppositions within the GAC would be necessary to cause Board consultation is vague, but it could be as few as one nation's objection. This change was made following a letter from U.S. Government Secretary Larry Strickling, which noted that the GAC would have the power to create new procedure after reviewing the entire pool of applications; that letter is further detailed below.
New gTLD Program Committee
On April 10, 2012, the ICANN Board established the New gTLD Program Committee, which shall be responsible for "all legal and decision making authority of the Board related to the new gTLD program" under its charter. However, other responsibilities related to the program that are prohibited from being delegated under Article XII, Section 2 of the ICANN Bylaws are excluded. The current members are:
- Cherine Chalaby (Chair)
- Fadi Chehade (Member)
- Chris Disspain (Member)
- Bill Graham (Member)
- Alexander_Svensson (Member)
- Gonzalo Navarro (Member)
- Ray Plzak (Member)
- George Sadowsky (Member)
- Michael Silber (Member)
- Kuo-Wei Wu (Member)
- Heather Dryden (Non Voting Liaison)
- Jonne Soininen (Non Voting Liaison)
New gTLD Roadshow
In order to draw awareness to the new gTLD program, ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom embarked on a world tour beginning in September, 2011 and concluding in December. The tour saw him personally visit 16 countries, while other staff and board members visited an additional 22 countries. The publicity was also picked up by major news outlets such as CNN, Al-Jazeera, the BBC, The New York Times, and others; some of the coverage of the roadshow was negative of the New gTLD Program. The roadshow was seen as a success by few outside of the actual organization, as many countries and corporations continued to misunderstand the program or know little to nothing about it at all. A letter sent by Larry Strickling, of the U.S. Department of Commerce, to ICANN Chair Steve Crocker a week prior to the gTLD program's launch in January, 2012, chastised ICANN's failure to educate major brands and concerned parties.
- Main article: TAS
Applicant Support Program
- Main article: ASP
The Applicant Support Program (ASP) is a program that was conceptualized by the Joint Applicant Support Working Group (JASWG) in order to provide a discount for needy gTLD applicants to ensure worldwide accessibility and competition within the New gTLD Program. Acceptance to the program reduces the application fee from $185,000 to $47,000.
Entities interested in the ASP had three options:
- Access to pro bono services for startup gTLD registries through the Applicant Support Directory- New gTLD applicants, particularly from developing countries, may avail financial and technical information or assistance from members of the ICANN community who provide financial or non-financial pro-bono services.
- Apply for financial assistance- Reduced evaluation fees will be provided to qualified applicants
- The Applicant Support Fund- A $2,000,000 seed fund has been set aside by ICANN to help needy applicants.
On February 3, 2012, ICANN announced that it was looking for volunteers to serve as members of the Support Applicant Review Panel (SARP), which was responsible for evaluating if a new gTLD applicant was qualified to avail financial assistance through the ASP. 
The list of new gTLD Applicants who asked for assistance can be seen here.
Opening of Application Window
The Application System opened on schedule around midnight UTC on Thursday, January 12th, 2012. On January 19, 2012, just a week after ICANN opened the application window for new gTLDs, it reported that 25 companies had created accounts and registered for new gTLDs on the TAS system. This, however, does not indicate how many applications were filed, given that each TAS account can handle up to 50 separate applications. One company, Minds + Machines, disclosed that they had already registered for 20 extensions on behalf of their clients.
TAS Delays and Closing of the Application Window
On April 12, 2012, ICANN's Chief Operating Officer, Akram Atallah issued a statement, just hours before TAS was scheduled to close as per the set application window, acknowledging that a a possible glitch in the TLD application system software caused a limited number of users to see the file names and user names of other users. He said that ICANN decided to shut down the system until April 17 to protect applicants' information. Mr. Atallah also said that ICANN is investigating how the problem happened and that necessary measures would be undertaken to resolve the situation. 
Following Atallah's statement, Kevin Murphy of DomainIncite reported that an applicant claimed that he noticed that a file from another applicant was attached to his application on April 6 and immediately reported the problem to ICANN. The applicant said, "I could infer the applicant/string… based on the name of the file." However the actual contents of the file were not visible. The TAS problem ignited different speculations and questions within the internet community, particularly the how long will TAS suffer from vulnerability, who among the applicants saw others applications and if some applicants took advantage of the situation and filed competing bids.
On April 14, 2012, ICANN issued another statement related to the TAS problem. The internet governing body identified that a report on March 19 was the only incident related to the technical glitch.
Apart from the extension of the application window, ICANN also informed journalists that the problem was not caused by a cyber attack, no application data was lost and the TAS system is expected to open soon.
On April 23, 2012, ICANN announced that it was able to identify all applicants affected by the TAS failure and the testing to fix the system is running smoothly. In addition, it also announced the postponement of the scheduled publication of all the applied new gTLD strings until April 30.  Two days after, ICANN released an update informing applicants that the TAS will re-open on April 27.  ICANN continuously provided update to the internet community regarding the progress of the testing to resolve the system. On April 27, the internet governing body reported that based on its analysis there are still limited number of affected applicants and tests to improve the system are being conducted continuously. ICANN again delayed the opening of the TAS system but promised to continue to provide updates.
On April 30, 2012, ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom stated that he is hoping that the technical failure will be fixed before his term expired and he passes the job to his successor during the ICANN 44 meeting, which was to be held in Prague on June 29, 2012. He said, "I’d like to see us obviously get the technical issues resolved, notify applicants, reopen the window and publish the strings before I pass the baton in Prague. That’s not a commitment at this point in time, it’s an indication as CEO that it’s absolutely my intention to push for a timely resolution of this issue… If we can get things done sooner, then the sooner the better." 
On May 2, 2012, ICANN reported that there were 1268 registered users and around 95,000 file attachments were available when the system went offline. It estimated 455 incidents wherein a file name and user name was possibly seen by another applicant. It also identified that the file names and user names of 105 applicants were viewed by another applicant and 50 applicants possibly viewed the file names and user names of one or more applicants. ICANN assured the internet community that it was continuously working on improving the system to fix the technical problem. On May 4, ICANN informed that it received approximately $350 million dollars in application fees and the payments from 214 potential applicants registered before the March 29 cut had yet to be received. In addition, the internet governing body also reported that notifications were being sent to applicants informing them if they were affected by the software. The notification process was expected to be completed by May 8 and the schedule to re-open the TAS to be announced thereafter.
ICANN re-opened the TLD Application System on May 21. TAS was down for a total of 40 days; the length of this downtime has been criticized by ICANN's detractors and supporters alike. All applicants were able to log in, review and submit their applications until May 30, 2012.
Reveal Day and Aftermath
It was discovered post-Reveal Day that several applicants had made mistakes in their applications. As a response to requests for a way to make changes to submitted applications, ICANN developed New gTLD Application Change Request Process and Criteria. Requests were submitted through the New gTLD Customer Service Center (CSC), and ICANN will compare the request against the following 7 criteria:
- Explanation – Is a reasonable explanation provided?
- Evidence that original submission was in error – Is there anything to indicate that the change merely corrects an error, as claimed?
- Other third parties affected – Does the change affect other third parties materially?
- Precedents – Is the change similar to others that have already been approved? Could the change lead others to request similar changes that could affect third parties or result in undesirable effects on the program?
- Fairness to applicants – Would allowing the change be construed as fair to the general community? Would disallowing the change be construed as unfair?
- Materiality – Would the change affect the evaluation score or require re-evaluation of some or all of the application? Would the change affect string contention or community priority consideration?
- Timing – Does the timing interfere with the evaluation process in some way?
Depending on the results of this comparison, the request will either be approved or denied, and the applicant will be notified. All applications that have been approved for change will have their changes listed on the new gTLD microsite and the application will be held for at least 30 days before passing on to the next stage of the application process, so that the public may comment on whether a re-evaluation of the approval of the changes should be made. Any changes made to confidential portions of the application will be summarized and not posted, in order to protect the confidentiality of the applicant.
Public Comment and Objection Period
- Main article: Batching
After the failed Digital Archery program, as a means to batch or meter the applications to proceed towards implementation at a rate of 1,000 new gTLDs per year, ICANN still needed a system. On October 10, 2012, ICANN announced that it had designed a metering program to determine the order in which applicants would proceed towards implementation, and it would be a manual draw. A chance-based process such as this had initially been avoided due to California's lottery laws, which apply to ICANN as it is headquartered in California. The organization applied for a non-profit, "fundraising" exemption permit in order to be allowed to run the lottery system. Lottery tickets cost $100. The number pulled in the draw determined the order in which applications proceeded, first with the release of their Initial Evaluation, and then with their potential contention or formal objections, GAC or otherwise. Applicants that pass the Initial Evaluation and have no other outstanding issues can elect to go directly on to signing the general Registry Agreement, or to negotiate a different agreement with ICANN. The lottery was held in mid-December, 2012.
ICANN estimated that the new drawing/lottery system should speed up the implementation of new gTLDs, with delegation estimated to begin in the second quarter of 2013, rather than the earlier estimate of the fourth quarter of 2013/first quarter of 2014. Initial evaluation results will be released at a rate of about 150 per week starting in March, 2013. Contracts and pre-delegation testing will be done at a rate of about 20 per week, which allows for about 1,000 new gTLDs to be introduced in any given year. IDN new gTLD applications will be given priority in the process, which ICANN has explained to be in the interest of better diversifying the Internet internationally.
Initial Evaluation Results
On March 22nd 2013, ICANN announced the first 27 strings to be evaluated as "passing" Initial Evaluation. ICANN published a press release on August 30th, 2013 stating that a major milestone had been reached and announced that the new gTLD initial evaluations had concluded. The press release stated: "Out of the 1,930 new gTLD applications submitted, a total of 1,745 applications passed Initial Evaluation, 32 have gone into Extended Evaluation, and 121 were withdrawn from the program." 
- GAC Early Warnings should be expected shortly after the close of the meeting.
- No contracts or delegations will be made before the next ICANN meeting, in Beijing.
- Seven applicants have withdrawn their applications, zero objections have been filed in the objection process, and there have been 127 change requests. Of those change requests, 29 have been approved, 84 are in review, and 14 require follow-up with applicants.
- String similarity will be analyzed in November.
- The geographic names review was currently being analyzed, and announcements were expected on November 26th.
- The Clarifying Questions test pilot had been run, with questions and survey having been sent on August 31 to various applicants, and responses due on September 17. The following stats were received: 72 percent of the respondents said the 6000 character limit was enough to answer the questions; more than half of respondents, 61 percent, said the financial and technical CQs were clear; some of the feedback included using bullet points instead of paragraphs, and for ICANN to disclose current scores and provide sample LOC and answers that meet requirements; and more than half said that two weeks was not enough time to respond to the CQs.
- Applicants to the Applicant Support Program were currently being analyzed by a five-member panel.
- EBERO, the emergency back-end registry operator, was currently being developed by ICANN. They are planning for there to be three or four EBEROs to represent North America, Europe and Asia.
The most notable failure to hold to these points was delaying the release of the String Similarity Panel until March 1st. This caused anxiety given that ICANN was unable to produce a clear rubric for how strings are being categorized as similar, and also given the fact that the ruling of the String Similarity Panel is final with no appeals process built-in.
Closed Generic Strings
After ICANN published information on its 1,930 applications it was immediately noted that some companies had applied for a number of generic terms relevant to their business, writing in their applications that they intended to be the sole registrant for the TLD. There was no Brand TLD distinction in this round, though there were guesses that ICANN would create rules for such TLDs in any future round. Thus, the closed generic terms violated no rules as developed through the GNSO process and as included in the Applicant Guidebook. Some noted that this was in fact an intentional byproduct of the program that had been considered while others disagreed.
The largest applicant for closed gTLDs is Amazon, and many worried that their applications to control a large number of generic terms would result in them circumnavigating traditional navigation for shopping online and give them an unfair competitive advantage. Another notable portfolio client with multiple applications for closed generic terms is L'Oréal. In late 2012, Amazon and other companies that applied for closed-generic strings received a GAC Early Warning from GAC Chair, Heather Dryden. The early warning system is the work of an individual GAC member but signals that the larger GAC organization may later issue official advice recommending the rejection of the TLD application as-is by the ICANN Board. Those applicants that receive warnings are encouraged to work with the objecting representative. The German representative also raised issues with regards to closed generics.
Following further questions ICANN's New gTLD Program Committee looked at the issue. Information on their January meeting that was released in February 2013 shows that they were unclear how to even define a closed generic, what are the common attributes, what an appropriate remediation strategy would be, and further note that there is no violation taking place between the applications and the Applicant Guidebook, and they therefore have no room to comment or change policy without further direction from a policy development process started in the GNSO. Still, they opened up a public comment period on February 5th, 2013, to ascertain opinions on what a closed generic is, and what are the criteria for which a proposed registry can operate a "closed" or "open" string.
Technical Concerns Impede Delegation
ICANN hired firm Interisle Consulting to carry out an independent investigation on the issues that may arise from new gTLDs that are identical to TLDs being used on internal networks. The firm reported at ICANN 47 that .home and .corp gTLDs were cause for serious concern since those strings are widely in use by internal naming systems. In response to the report, ICANN labeled the .home and .corp strings as "high risk" and proposed that neither of the strings be delegated until it could be proven that risk is low. The report may also delay the delegation and implementation of many of the gTLD applications until risks have been managed.
A number of high profile opponents came out against ICANN and its new gTLD program, including: Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA), the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO), the National Retail Federation, and others. Major corporations involved with these organizations include: Adidas, Dell, Toyota, Wal-Mart, Kraft Foods, and other prominent American and internationally known brands. ICANN's new gTLD program also recieved negative Op-Eds by the editorial boards of the New York Times and Washington Post. ICANN was also the subject of the hearings within the U.S. Congress, detailed below, and consequently received letters from Senators and Congressmen asking them to delay or reevaluate the program. Other government criticism included a petition for delay by the FTC. Many of these critics were not explicitly anti-ICANN, but anti-new gTLDs. The most common complaint came from trademark owners and their lobbying groups, who believed that the new program would create significant costs for them via defensive registrations without adding any value to their marketing and commercial outreach programs. However, some saw this as a result of miseducation given that many trademark protections are built into the new gTLD program. Other concerns, such as those from former ICANN Chair Esther Dyson, were focused on potential confusion for the end-user.
The complaints by ANA, The National Retail Federation, the U.S. Congress, the FTC, and other prominent groups resulted in many Internet commentators and journalists to come out against both ICANN and its new gTLD program. Examples of such material can be found here and here.
New gTLD Senate and House of Representatives Hearings
On December 8, 2011, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing, lobbied for by ANA, regarding to ICANN's new gTLD program. Speakers included Senior Vice President of ICANN, Kurt Pritz; Fiona Alexander, Associate Administrator of the Office of International Affairs at NTIA; Dan Jaffe, Executive Vice President of Government Relations for ANA; Esther Dyson, ICANN's Founding Chairwoman (1998-2000), speaking as an independent investor; and Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the YMCA Angela Williams, speaking on behalf of NPOC. Senate officials present included: Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash).
Sen. Rockefeller stated his support of the new gTLD program, claiming that he believed it was pro-competition and pro-innovation, but that the roll-out should be slower and more cautious. He cited the potential for fraud, consumer confusion, and cybersquatting as massive, requiring a phased implementation.
One of biggest concerns expressed was that companies, including not-for-profits, would have to spend a lot of money to prevent cybersquatting and typosquatting. Dyson argued that the new TLD program "create[s] opportunities for entrepreneurs but [doesn't] really create any value for the economy." Pritz explained that defensive registration will likely not be as necessary as companies believe, as many of the new TLDs will not be big or open enough for cybersquatters to take advantage. Additionally, several new trademark protections had been built into the expansion strategy, making the new TLDs better protected against cybersquatters than those currently available.
Sen. Ayotte expressed concerns that adding significantly more TLDs would create a challenge for law enforcement officials to police websites.
Another major concern, voiced by ANA, was that there was no consensus on the program, and that the date for the application period to open was arbitrary.
In a letter dated December 8th, the same day as the Senate hearing, twenty-eight domain name industry participants wrote to Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to support the new gTLD program. They supported ICANN's argument that the program would be innovative and economically beneficial, and that the program had taken lots of people a long time to develop, hence it had not been rushed.
On December 14, a second hearing was held, hosted by the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. Those speaking at this hearing were Fiona Alexander from NTIA, Dan Jaffe from ANA, Kurt Pritz from ICANN, Employ Media CEO Thomas Embrescia, and Joshua Bourne representing CADNA.
The result of the House hearing was the suggestion that the program be delayed until there is a consensus between all relevant stakeholders, made by Rep. Eshoo. Pritz and Alexander came to the defense of ICANN's Multistakeholder Model, arguing that the process had not been rushed. It had taken ICANN seven years to get to the point where all the issues had been discussed and no new issues were being raised, during which time they had consulted all the relevant stakeholders. Alexander made the point that "consensus" does not always mean "unanimity."
CADNA, a long-time opponent of the new gTLD program, reversed its opposition to the new gTLD program once the ICANN Board approved it. CADNA's focus shifted to addressing brand-owner concerns about the way that the program was rolled out. For example, Bourne praised .xxx's novel trademark protection mechanisms, saying they should be mandatory for all new gTLDs, and claimed that Congress could help in fighting cybersquatters by revising the old US Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. He did, however, request that ICANN announce dates for subsequent application rounds, in order to relieve the "condition of scarcity" that this uncertainty created.
The following week, the US Congress sent a letter addressed to ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom and Board Chairman Steve Crocker, asking ICANN to delay the new gTLD program. The letter was signed by seventeen Congressmen, lead by Rep. Fred Upton. The letter cited their concern about the significant uncertainty about the process for businesses, non-profit organizations, and consumers. The suggested delay would serve to allow time for these groups to have their concerns alleviated. 
There was also a letter sent by two Congressman, Bob Goodlatte and Howard Berman, to the Department of Commerce, in which they asked for a delay to the new gTLD program, and asked a number of questions on the Department's own preparedness and handling of the affair. They asked if ICANN is actually following its Affirmation of Commitments with the Department, and what the Department is doing to ensure that ICANN is following these commitments and protecting American businesses.
In response to all of this, Lawrence Strickling, of the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, sent a letter to ICANN chastising it for its poor outreach program and the confusion regarding its new gTLD program. In his letter, addressed to Chairman Steve Crocker, Mr. Strickling urged ICANN to more successfully showcase their new gTLD expansion program, and especially emphasize the number of built-in protections for trademark owners.
Mr. Strickling notes that NTIA has no plan or desire to actually interfere in the process after the 6 years of work and the imminent launch, but he does lament the number of problems that have been created largely by ICANN's poor outreach and education. NTIA identified 3 specific things to address: to educate trademark owners about measures in place allowing them to forego defensive registrations; to immediately implement consumer protections it has already devised; and to generally better educate all stakeholders. However, NTIA did suggest and open up the possibility of adding further protections once the application pool is closed and NTIA, alongside ICANN's GAC, had a chance to review the pool of applicants and reflect on what further steps could be taken in the second level. The full letter can be seen here.
China's Permit Requirement for All New gTLDs
In March, 2012, the Chinese government announced that it would require all gTLD applicants to apply and receive a permit from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology before applying to ICANN. Required information would include details on their services, their contingency plans, their trademark protection and anti-abuse procedures, and other related information. This would be required of any gTLD, with further hurdles in place to receive government support for GeoTLDs.
ICANN published its first quarterly statement in December 2013. The statement revealed that as of September 2013, ICANN has spend $119.2 million on the New gTLD Program, and has $225.7 million remaining that is dedicated to the program.
Second Round of the New gTLD Program
Two months prior to the implementation of the new gTLD program, the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) requested that ICANN determine and announce a definitive date to implement a second round of new gTLD applications. According to CADNA President, Josh Bourne, a second round will "allow applicants more time to develop more comprehensive plans for utilising new gTLDs, as opposed to obtaining them simply to not miss out." A similar opinion was expressed earlier by Stuart Durham, EMEA sales director of Melbourne IT DBS. He said that some companies felt compelled to apply for their .brand gTLD because they feel that "if they don’t make a decision now, they will have to wait a few years."  CADNA also brought up the request for second round of new gTLD application during the Congressional hearing on the new gTLD expansion program on December 14, 2011.
On February 7, 2012, the ICANN Board approved a resolution to implement a second application window for the new gTLD program. The Board appointed the ICANN CEO to work with the Internet community regarding the work plan and prerequisites needed to implement the second round of applications.
Lawsuits Over the Program
Name.Space, which has been operating an alternative root since 1996, sued ICANN in October, 2012, for trademark infringement and anti-competitive behavior. The company is seeking an injunction against the implementation of any of the 189 TLDs applied for in the 2011 round that overlap with its alternative root zone. The suit alleges that the company is being victimized by "ICANN insiders". In the 2000 TLD expansion round, Name.Space applied to have 118 of its 482 alternative TLDs added into ICANN's root zone. The plaintiff is asking for damages and and the injunction to prevent ICANN's approval and root implementation of the 189 overlapping TLDs.
The performance of new gTLDs in search is a question of great interest to current and potential future gTLD applicants, and will have a huge impact on uptake of new gTLDs in the future. As of December 2014, no clear consensus has emerged. Some have found that new gTLDs perform as well as or better than original TLDs,  while others maintain that new gTLDs have no advantage in search.
- About the New gTLD Program icann.org
- TAS glitch “not an attack” says ICANN, DomainIncite.com. Published 12 April 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- ICANN Expects At Least 1268 New gTLD Applications, DomainIncite.com
- New gTLDs by the Numbers, TheDomains.com
- New gTLD Application Types
- Watch ICANN Approve Some New gTLDs, DomainIncite.com
- About the New gTLD Program
- ICANN Confirms Possible New Applicant Guidebook, DomainIncite.com
- GAC Gets more Power to Block Controversial gTLDs, DomainIncite.com
- Establishment of New gTLD Program Committee
- New gTLD Roadshows, Blog.ICANN.org
- Twitter Post Dec 23 2011, Twitter.com
- ICANN Ombudsman Blog, OmBlog.ICANN.org
- New gTLD Outreach Grazes Japan, UrbanBrain.Posterous.com
- NTIA Letter on gTLD Program Jan 3 2012, NTIA.doc.gov
- SARP (Support Applicant Review Panel) Process Document, icann.org
- New gTLD Applicant Support Program
- ICANN Seeks Evaluators for the Support Applicant Review Panel (SARP) - Request for Expressions of Interest (EOI)
- ICANN Opens New gTLD Program, DomainIncite.com
- 25 companies Register for New gTLDs, DomainIncite.com
- Statement on TLD Application System
- ICANN knew about TAS security bug last week
- It’s worse than you thought: TAS security bug leaked new gTLD applicant data
- TAS Interruption - Update (14 April 2012 06:50 UTC)
- TAS Temporarily Offline
- Breaking: ICANN extends new gTLD application window after technical glitch
- Was ICANN's new gTLDs system hacked?
- TAS glitch “not an attack” says ICANN
- TAS Interruption Update, April 23
- TAS Interruption - Update (25 April 2012)
- TAS Interruption - Update (27 April 2012)
- Beckstrom breaks TAS bug silence, says Big Reveal could be as late as Prague
- TAS Interruption - Update (2 May 2012)
- TAS Interruption - Update (4 May 2012)
- TAS reopens after humiliating 40 days, domainincite.com
- TAS Interruption Update May 21, 2012
- New gTLD Application Change Request Process and Criteria, icann.org
- Announcement, ICANN.org
- Announcement 2 10Oct12, ICANN.org
- New gTLD Winners Will be Decided by Lottery After All, DomainIncite.com
- New gTLD Winners Will be Decided by Lottery After All, DomainIncite.com
- First 27 New gTLDs pass Evaluation, DomainIncite.com Published Mar 22, Retrieved March 29 2013
- Press Release Aug 30, ICANN.org Retrieved Sept 9, 2013
- ICANN 45: New gTLD Overview and Information for Applicants with ICANN CSO Kurt Pritz, thewhir.com
- A Serious Bug in The Similarity Check, CircleId.comPub 21 Jan 2013, Retrieved 6 Feb 2013
- User Summary, AM
- The gTLD Land Grab Controversy Google Amazon and the GAC Part II, Name.com Pub 14 Jan 2013, Retrieved 6 Jan 2013
- GAC Early Warnings, GACweb.ICANN.org
- Announcement, ICANN.org5 February 2013
- Microsoft is Latest to Come Out Against Closed Generic New gTLDs in Letter to ICANN, TheDomains.com Published and Retrieved 6 Feb 2013
- New gTLDs are the New Y2K, Domain Incite Retrieved 12 Sept 2013
- ICANN Facing Growing Pressure Over New Domain Name Plan, NationalJournal.com]
- Exapnding Internet Domains, NYTimes.com
- What's the .rush, WashingtonPost.com
- ICANN, FTC.gov
- Testimony of Esther Dyson, Commerce.Senate.gov
- US Senate Committee Holds Hearing on ICANN's New TLD Expansion, circleid.com
- Senate Implores ICANN to Slow Its Roll but Admits It Can't Do Anything to Stop It, adage.com
- Notes from the Senate new gTLDs hearing, domainincite.com
- Senate Implores ICANN to Slow Its Roll but Admits It Can't Do Anything to Stop It, adage.com
- New gTLD industry pleads with senators
- What the House testimonies tell us, dot-nxt.com
- Congressmen ask for new gTLDs delay, domainincite.com
- Congressmen ask ICANN to delay new gTLDs
- Two Congressmen Ask Commerce Department For Delay to New TLDs, DomainNameWire.com
- NTIA Letter on gTLD Program Jan 3 2012, ntia.doc.gov
- NTIA Letter on gTLD Program Jan 3 2012, ntia.doc.gov
- China Cracks Down on New gTLD Applicants, DomainIncite.com
- ICANN Has spend 120 million on New gTLDs, DomainIncite Retrieved 30 Dec 2013
- International - Call for ICANN to announce second round of gTLD applications
- Testimony of Josh Bourne Before the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the United States House Energy and Commerce Committee
- Reaffirmation of second round of applications in New gTLD Program
- Company Files for Injunction Against 189 New gTLDs, DomainIncite.com
- Early data suggests new gTLDs perform well in search environment Circleid, retrieved 17th December 2014.
- New TLDs search results Domain Name Wire 15th December 2014, retrieved 17th December 2014.