Evaluation panels are to spend five months considering the merits of generic top level domain name (gTLD) applications this summer, it has been announced.

According to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), string and applicant reviews will be undertaken during the Initial Evaluation period, which will last from June 12th to November 12th 2012.

String reviews will focus on whether an applied-for TLD is confusingly similar to an existing TLD or another applicant’s, whether the TLD violates a reserved string or whether it contributes to domain name system (DNS) instability.

Applicant reviews focus on the applying organization to determine if they have demonstrated the appropriate technical, operational, and financial capabilities to run a registry.

ICANN said the applicant’s proposed registry services will also be reviewed to determine whether they might cause DNS instability.

In November, ICANN will post the outcome of the Initial Evaluation and reveal whether applications have passed or failed evaluation.

“Some results may be posted earlier than this date. TLDs that failed the initial evaluation can request Extended Evaluation,” ICANN stated.

ICANN explains gTLD evaluation process
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