About the Timing of Those Withdrawn gTLD Applications

By Doug Isenberg Last month, I questioned the accuracy of ICANN's gTLD database after announcements that three (and, later, six) applications had been withdrawn -- yet the online database continued to show no withdrawals.

Then, yesterday, ICANN updated the database to identify that four applications had been withdrawn.

Today, finally, ICANN seems to have addressed these discrepancies.

Although the previous announcements clearly stated that a number of applications had been withdrawn, now ICANN seems to be saying something different: the withdrawal process for each had only been started. And, apparently, the database is only updated once the withdrawal process is complete.

Kurt Pritz, ICANN's senior vice president, stakeholder relations, indicated in a webinar today that ICANN will post public notification of withdrawal "as soon as the withdrawal process is completed, which means that the applicant has executed some paperwork" -- not, presumably, when the applicant initiates the process.

It's still not clear why ICANN previously stated that a number of applications had been withdrawn if the withdrawal process had not been completed, nor is it clear why executing the proper "paperwork" would require a month or so of work.

But this much seems clear: There is a delay between the date on which an applicant initiates the process of withdrawing an application and the date on which the withdrawal process is complete; and, the online database is not updated in the interim.