On October 28th, at a Special Meeting of the ICANN Board of Directors, an updated New gTLD timeline was adopted as a working plan.
The new Launch Scenario indicates that the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook will be declared final at the December ICANN Meeting in Cartagena, Colombia.
Upon approval from the ICANN Board in Cartagena, final changes may be implemented as directed and the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook will be publicly posted in January.
Once posted, a four-month Communication Campaign will commence and the New gTLD Application Period will begin May 31st, 2011.
It should be noted that many are predicting that the actual approval will not occur until the March 2011 meeting in San Francisco. If the approval does occur in March, the Application Period would not begin until Fall 2011.
Regardless of when the Application Period begins in 2011, companies should plan their application and objection strategies in earnest before the yearÛªs end.