Is ICANN’s gTLD Database Inaccurate? (Updated 8/21/2012)

August 13, 2012

By Doug Isenberg

In an webinar last week (August 9, 2012), ICANN announced that three of the 1,930 applications had been withdrawn from its gTLD program. Here’s a slide from ICANN that notes the withdrawals:

However, as of today (August 13, 2012), ICANN’s “New gTLD Current Application Status” database does not indicate that any applications have been withdrawn, as shown in this screenshot:

So, what’s the truth?

Either the applications have been withdrawn, or they haven’t. It’s that simple, right?

If the applications have not been withdrawn, then ICANN should update its slides and the webinar page on which they are linked.

If the applications have been withdrawn, then ICANN should update its database.

In either case, ICANN should explain the discrepancy between these two sources of data. And, if the database is wrong, then ICANN also should explain why this happened — and whether the public can rely on this database for accurate information about gTLD applications in the future.

Commenters and objectors, among many others (including the applicants themselves), are looking at this database as an important source of information as they decide how to proceed in the gTLD program. Any failure to maintain the gTLD database in a timely and accurate manner only undermines public confidence in the program and could lead to important missteps.

If you know why the ICANN slide and database contain different information, please send me an e-mail with the explanation, and I’ll update this post appropriately.

Update (8/21/2012): Although the gTLD database still shows no applications have been withdrawn, ICANN said in an announcement today (August 21, 2012): “To date, six applications have been withdrawn from the new gTLD program. The withdrawals are being processed and once the applicants have received their refunds, we will provide an update.”

Previous post:

Next post: