The Generic Domains Division of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has announced the conclusion of the initial evaluation phase of the generic top-level domain (gTLD) program.

As a result of this, more than 1,700 applications have moved into the next step in the process.

Akram Atallah, president of ICANN’s generic domains division, described it as an “extraordinary landmark” that demonstrates the progress in the scheme.

“We are looking forward to the innovations that these new introductions will enable on the internet,” he added.

Of all the 1,930 new gTLD applications, a total of 1,745 have passed the Initial Evaluation and 32 have gone into an extended evaluation process, while 121 have been completely withdrawn from the initiative.

Christine Willett, vice-president of gTLD Operations, said the division is excited to reach this point in the program.

“Applicants worked hard on their applications and the evaluations were complex and rigorous. We are pleased that 90 per cent of the original applications passed Initial Evaluation – this is a clear and distinct success,” she added.

Applications that have passed the Initial Evaluation will now proceed through the program based on their complexity. Some of them will move straight to the transition to delegation phase, while others may have to go through further steps, such as dispute resolution and string contention depending on their individual circumstances.

Furthermore, 12 additional registry agreements have just been signed, 11 of which are the first English character top-level domains. This is a good indicator of the progression of the new gTLD program, with the contracts governing the registry and administration of a dozen new gTLDs.

ICANN’s new gTLD program is the culmination of eight years of study and public participation, including 47 consultation periods, which produced over 2,400 comments, 55 explanatory memoranda and seven versions of the new gTLD applicant guidebook.

New gTLD initial evaluation process is complete
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