On Tuesday 3 January 2012, our executive team met with Michael Salazar, New gTLD Program Director, to review ICANN’s readiness to open the application window for the new generic top-level domain program on Thursday, 12 January, as planned.
We carefully reviewed every critical aspect. Each executive was called on to indicate whether his or her group is fully prepared to fulfill their role in supporting the program. While we noted the ongoing presence of risks that were identified and highlighted to the Board and community in June, and the mitigation steps that have been taken, each executive indicated approval to proceed. As a result, Chief Operating Officer Akram Atallah and Michael Salazar gave me the green light to move forward.
On Thursday, we held an information call with the Board of Directors. I informed the Board that we are prepared to move forward and to open the program as planned. In the package of materials, available at http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/, you can see the items that have been completed, as well as target dates for open items that require final resolution. These include support for needy applicants and a discussion of the timing of the next application round. The issues should be settled before the application window closes on 12 April but their resolution is not essential before the window opens on 12 January.
We thank the community, the Board and everyone involved in developing and refining this program, which will open the Internet to greater innovation at the top level.