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Proposed .COM Registry Renewal Agreement Published – ICANN has posted the proposed agreement to renew the .com Registry Agreement between ICANN and Verisign. The existing contract was entered into in 2006 and expires on November 30, 2012. In addition to a number of changes to modernize the agreement and to align it with other large registry agreements, the proposed agreement permits Verisign to increase the price it charges to registrars four times during the six-year contract term, with each increase being no more than 7%. Public comment on the proposed agreement is being sought through April 26.

User Registration Closes For gTLD Applications – The March 29 deadline to become a registered user in ICANN’s TLD Application System has passed. ICANN has not announced the final number of registered users; as of March 25 there were 839. Each registered user is allowed to apply for up to 50 gTLDs by the application deadline of April 12.

ICANN Adopts “Digital Archery” To Determine gTLD Batching – If substantially more than 500 gTLD applications are received by ICANN, it will process them in batches of approximately 500. If batching is required, a secondary timestamp process dubbed “digital archery” will be employed, as recently approved by the ICANN Board. The process, outlined in a “Batching Basics” article, involves each applicant selecting a future date and time target and then returning to the online system to “hit” that target as close as possible to the selected date and time.

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