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ICANN Sets the Stage for Next Round of New Generic Top-Level Domains, Anticipates Q2 2026 Launch

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Board of Directors has green-lighted the next phase of implementing new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), per a resolution approved on July 27, 2023. This is a crucial step towards the “Next Round” of the New gTLD Program, initiated during ICANN’s community forum in CancĂșn, Mexico, earlier this year.

This roadmap will govern the launch of the new gTLDs and includes details about the completion timelines, cost estimates, tool and system requirements, and more. The organization will provide regular progress updates to the board while also supplying information regarding funding requirements for the project’s various milestones.

The strategy includes two years of policy implementation work, culminating in the completion of the Applicant Guidebook (AGB). Additionally, ICANN estimates the program development to take three years, two of which will be carried out concurrently with policy work. The operational phase is expected to take a further year after the AGB is finalized. Thus, the AGB is anticipated to be ready by May 2025, potentially opening the next application round by Q2 2026.

However, any delays in the policy implementation phase could postpone the start of the round. The board stressed that the plan’s successful execution requires consistent dedication, resources, and effort from all participants, including ICANN Board, the community, and the organization itself.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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