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[council] Batching of New gTLD Applications: Secondary Timestamp

  • To: "council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [council] Batching of New gTLD Applications: Secondary Timestamp
  • From: Glen de Saint Géry <Glen@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2012 06:45:31 -0700
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  • List-id: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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  • Thread-topic: Batching of New gTLD Applications: Secondary Timestamp

28 March 2012

Batching of New gTLD Applications: Secondary Timestamp

Whereas, the window for applying for new gTLDs opened on 12 January 2012, and 
is scheduled to close on 12 April 2012.

Whereas, the New gTLDs Applicant Guidebook (section 
<http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb> indicates that if the volume of 
applications received significantly exceeds 500, then applications will be 
processed in batches.

Whereas, on 8 December 2011, the Board adopted a resolution 
 authorizing the development of a plan to use a "secondary time stamp" for 
determining the processing order in the event that multiple batches are 

Whereas, the New gTLDs program team has developed proposed operational details 
of a plan for implementing a secondary time stamp, now referred to as "digital 

Whereas, some members of the community have expressed concerns about whether 
the digital archery proposal is sensible and fair, and an informal subgroup of 
the Board has studied the feasibility, benefits, and risks of the proposal as 
well as alternative batching mechanisms such as auction.

Resolved (2012.03.28.01), the Board confirms the approval of secondary 
timestamp/digital archery as the mechanism for sorting new gTLD applications 
into batches, and directs that the operational details of the mechanism be 
communicated to applicants and the public as necessary and appropriate.

Rationale for Resolution 2012.03.28.01

The reaffirmation of the Board's commitment to the secondary timestamp/digital 
archery is taken after an review of alternate proposals for batching processes 
considered after hearing the community's comments and concerns as raised at the 
ICANN meeting in San Juan, Costa Rica. A small group of the Board intensively 
looked at the digital archery solution, a potential auction solution, and 
considered the prioritization comments provided by the community. For the 
ongoing application round, affirming the digital archery process is the fairest 
way to achieve a non-random batching solution that accounts for diversity 
across all regions of ICANN. The Board also reaffirms the Rationale for 
Resolutions 2011.12.08.04 - 2011.12.08.06.

The batching selection process determines how applications will be divided into 
batches and prioritized for evaluation analysis. Conceptually, the batching 
selection process is relatively straightforward and includes the following four 

 1.  Applicants register in an online batching system to select their batching 
preference (i.e., earliest or any batch) and select a target date and time 
(e.g., Target Date: 10 May 2012 and Target Time: 12:00:00 UTC);
 2.  Applicants re-enter the online batching system and generate a message that 
is sent from their computer/system to the online batching system. The online 
batching system records the date and time the applicant's message is received. 
(e.g., Message Received Date: 10 May 2012 and Message Received Time: 12:00:01);
 3.  The system calculates the time variance between the applicant's Target 
Date/Time from step 1 and the Message Received Date/Time from step 2. This time 
variance is known as the applicant's "secondary timestamp" Based on the example 
in steps 1 and 2 above the secondary timestamp is 1 second. The closer to zero 
the secondary timestamp is the more likely the application will be processed in 
the earliest batch, assuming the applicant has opted in to the earliest batch.
 4.  The batching selection process then combines the applicant's batching 
preference (i.e., earliest or any batch), the "secondary timestamp" (e.g., 1 
second), and the geographic region to determine the batch/processing order for 
the specific application.

However, the implementation of the online batching system must be undertaken 
with care and it must ensure that a secure, consistent, and objective process 
is available for all applicants. The operational details of the online batching 
system have considered and addressed a number of concerns. Those concerns 
include ensuring that:

 1.  The details of the batching selection process are clear to applicants, 
through direct communications with them;
 2.  Only authorized applicants can enter the online batching system to perform 
the specific tasks necessary to complete the batching selection process;
 3.  An opt-out mechanism is available so applicants can designate their 
batching preference (i.e. earliest or any batch);
 4.  The online batching system allows applicants to perform their tasks 
without hindrance (i.e., system remains available during appropriate times);
 5.  Latency concerns are addressed in a fair manner so that applicants are not 
put at an advantage or disadvantage based on their geographic location;
 6.  The target time variance is measured at a level that allows ICANN to 
adequately determine batches; and
 7.  Applicants are allowed to practice portions of the process to understand 
how the target time variance will be calculated.
 8.  The goals of geographical diversity and fairness are taken into account.

Accordingly, to ensure that applicants and prospective applicants are aware of 
the batching selection process the Board has determined that it is appropriate 
to take this action now. The Board is therefore approving the operational 
details of the batching selection process and is authorizing the CEO to release 
the details of this plan.

Providing for this now will allow the community and applicants to understand 
when applications will be processed if a large number of applications (i.e., 
significantly more than 500 applications) are received by ICANN.

Glen de Saint Géry
GNSO Secretariat

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