ICANN by the Numbers

FairWinds Partners —  May 4, 2012

ICANN’s TLD Application System (TAS) remains offline this week as ICANN is continuing to work through the data in order to determine which applicants’ information may have been compromised during the security glitch. ICANN has said that it will likely take until May 8 to notify all of the applicants whether or not their user names or file names were exposed, but this week, the organization did publish some stats about the TAS delay:

  • As of April 12, when ICANN took the TAS offline, there were 1,268 users registered in the system
  • There were approximately 455 instances where a file name or user name may have been seen by another applicant
  • Approximately 105 applicants’ file names and user names may have been viewed by another applicant
  • Approximately 50 applicants may have viewed the file names and user names of one or more other applicants

So, still no word about when the TAS will reopen, but now we can at least begin to quantify the scope of the glitch. Also, the 1,268 registered users gives us some insight into how many applications we will see on Reveal Day, especially when coupled with the data ICANN disclosed in its Draft Fiscal Year 2013 Operating Plan and Budget.

Originally, ICANN had prepared its FY13 budget on the assumption that the organization would receive 500 applications for new gTLDs. But in the published version, which is currently open for public comment, ICANN has modeled three scenarios: one in which it receives 500 new gTLD applications, a second in which it receives 1,000 new gTLD applications (the maximum number of new gTLDs that can be delegated into the root in a year), and a third scenario in which it receives 2,000 applications.

On the one hand, you could read this as ICANN simply planning for double the maximum number of gTLDs that could be delegated within a year. Or, you could read it in the context of 1,268 registered TAS users and guess that the total number of applications will be closer to 2,000 once the TAS finally closes.

It is also worth noting that in this scenario of 2,000 new gTLD applications, ICANN will receive a total of $368 million in application fees. According to this budget, it will allocate nearly a third of that, or $120 million, to “Risk Costs.”

UPDATE, May 7, 2012

Shortly after we posted this blog post on Friday, ICANN issued another TAS update statement. In that statement, ICANN said that at the time of the TAS closure on April 12, there were 2,091 applications already submitted or in progress. There were also an additional 214 applications for which the payments have not yet been received or reconciled.

Turns out that 2,000 applications estimate was pretty spot on.

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