Yesterday, ICANN made waves by announcing that it had suspended the Digital Archery process for batching. In the public statement, ICANN stated, “The primary reason is that applicants have reported that the timestamp system returns unexpected results depending on circumstances." The decision came when the Digital Archery process was a mere five days away from closing – and still, only 20 percent of applicants had recorded a timestamp, or fired their digital “arrows” at that point, amounting to about 386 of the 1,930 applications.
While the announcement emphasized that the suspension is designed to give ICANN time to investigate technical issues, some believe this is the first move toward rethinking the entire concept of application batching.
Digital Archery had attracted its share of critics, most notably ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee, who urged the ICANN Board to put the process up for community review in a letter sent on June 17.
At this point, the GAC will be the one to watch here in Prague. FairWinds’ representatives will be attending various GAC sessions today, including a joint session between the GAC and the Board about new gTLDs. Stay tuned to gTLD Strategy for updates, and follow us on Twitter @gTLDStrategy and @FairWinds.