The ICANN 61 – San Juan meeting schedule has been released

The ICANN 61 Meeting Schedule is now available. The meeting will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is billed as a “Community Forum” and is only a few weeks away (10-15 March).

Expect discussion and debate on agenda items such as:

Cross-Community Session on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and WHOIS Compliance Models—plus a separate session on the same with the GAC and the Public Safety Working Group (PSWG). I don’t have to tell you that the conflict between the domain name system’s WHOIS service and the GDPR that will come into force this May is a super hot topic in the industry. I think it will continue to weigh down resources and potentially add some more misery to the overall negative registration growth rate for new gTLDs.

GAC discussion on .amazon. ICANN says: The GAC will be following up on its inter-sessional discussion since ICANN60 and the Board response received following the ICANN60 Communique.  Alexa, will there ever be a dot amazon?

Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) Update. Wise to keep up with this as the group’s good work benefits IDNs and all of the new gTLDs. ICANN says: Panelists from leading companies will share why their organizations are becoming Universal Acceptance-ready and provide an overview of their respective activities. The Universal Acceptance Steering Group will also provide a brief update on its activities.  

Of course there are plenty more sessions to attend if you can figure out a group’s acroynm name or purpose in the form of an acronym, and if it is germaine to your interests.  If you can’t make it to San Juan you can watch and/or listen via Remote Participation.

At present [as of 22 Feb.] I counted 911 publicly registered attendees.  The public list does not state date of registration, so it’s unknown to me how many that registered before the terrible Hurricane Maria devastation will be scared away, or if they are still planning to attend—or if more will be attending than is stated on the list—which is usually the case with past meetings.  I noticed the close-by hotels are sold out, so right now it looks like there should be a decent crowd.

Some quick back-of-the-napkin statistics on the registered participants data I was able to extract from the public list:

133 (14.6%) state “ICANN” as their organization

33 (3.6%) state “Fellowship” as their organization

The public list does not indicate type of organization, such as registry operator, registrar, government, etc.  However based on my own knowledge of certain organizations, I was able to identify at least:

125 (13.7%) are associated with a registry operator

41 (4.5%) are associated with a registrar

It would appear that unless I’ve not properly identified more registries and registrars on the list, that nearly two-thirds of the publicly registered attendees to date are not directly associated with ICANN, a registry operator and/or a registrar.

Some miscellaneous registration observations that raised my eyebrows:

One person is identified with “Crypto Fund.” Might be interesting to have a chat with that guy.

One person is identified with the “Tanzania Police Force”.  So watch out if you are doing anything wonky with .tz names and attending. 🙂 Seriously though, I note on the .tz registry website there is a prominent banner running across their home page announcing job vacancies. “Seeking Legal Counsel and PR & Marketing Manager.”   At present, there are 14,928 registered .tz domains. Fancy a move to Tanzania?

The six day meeting is being hosted by, the Puerto Rican ccTLD.  Afilias recently won the contract to run the .pr backend, so I’m sure they will have a presence in San Juan. Unlike the new gTLD business, ccTLDs have experienced modest growth in the past year. I expect that growth to continue and increase in that space, especially over the long term.  Afilias seems to be in a good spot lately with ccTLDs. It’s good backend business, and unlike new gTLDs many don’t have to deal with the ICANN regulations.

Good luck to all attending and kudos to ICANN for going on with the meeting in San Juan.