Last Wednesday we posted that we had received indication from ICANN’s new gTLD Customer Support Center that there would be a new Applicant Guidebook coming out. Unfortunately, at that time, we could not say when that new Guidebook would be published. Now, after some digging around ICANN’s website, we at least know when the new version should be ready: Wednesday, January 11.
Last Thursday, January 5, the ICANN Board of Directors met for an Informational Briefing. On the Board Minutes page of its website, ICANN published a set of briefing materials that had been distributed to Board members beforehand. One of those was a document titled “gTLD Operational Readiness,” which listed a variety of tasks that must be completed by the launch of the new gTLD Application Period on January 12. One of those tasks was listed as “Updated AGB with Board approved amendments and clarification,” with an expected completion date of January 11. “AGB,” of course, is the widely used abbreviation for “Applicant Guidebook.”
Unfortunately, the actual transcript of the Briefing has not yet been published, so we cannot cross-reference with that to determine whether ICANN is in fact on schedule to complete the updated Guidebook on January 11. For what it's worth, ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom has been tweeting that the organization is shooting to have the updated version published by January 12. We will continue following this, so be sure to check back with gTLD Strategy. And as promised, once ICANN does publish the new version of the Guidebook, we will summarize the changes in a post here on the blog.