After nearly a full week of debates, discussions, meetings, and even a handful of thinly veiled jabs from community members, the ICANN Board officially pronounced Digital Archery dead and gone today at around 2:35 PM, Prague time, during the Public Forum here at the ICANN Public Meeting.

Yes, there was applause.

Moreover, Cherine Chalaby, Board member and Chair of the Board’s New gTLD Program Committee, also indicated that ICANN will evaluate all applications as one group, and move them through to the next phase of the evaluation process as soon as practical.

And that was, as they say, that.

Still got questions? So do we. So do other members of the ICANN community, including the Board itself. But we have to wait – about three weeks, actually. During that time, ICANN will develop a roadmap detailing the next steps of the New gTLD Program along with a timeline, while assessing the implications these steps will have on applicants and what risks they might have for the Program as a whole. And in about three weeks, the New gTLD Program Committee will reconvene on a conference call to asses its progress and report back to the community.

Hopefully, at that time, ICANN will be able to clarify some lingering confusion about how long initial evaluation will take, when the GAC will provide its input in the form of Early Warnings or Advice, whether or not ICANN will have to order applications for delegation once they pass evaluation, how it might go about doing that, and a whole host of other questions.

Digital Archery might be dead, but applicants’ curiosity most definitely is not.

Josh Bourne
Last Nail into the Coffin