"As part of the resolution, the Board directed ICANN organization (org) to deliver a comprehensive implementation plan, including a work plan, information for the infrastructure design, timelines, and anticipated resource requirements to achieve the necessary work to open the next round of gTLDs no later than 1 August 2023".
What does it mean?Well, first, it certainly does not mean that this date will let new gTLD service providers submit their client's application(s). One would even be tempted to think that this is the publication's date of the awaited Applicant Guidebook so service providers clearly know what to tell their clients; but wait...nope...this is not what it means since deliverable 4 says something which ends with : "...that will impact the next Applicant Guidebook".
If only the person to have written this publication understands what it means, what matters is that this date is given by the ICANN and no other organization. Let's no forget that official dates provided by the ICANN were a real problem in the first Round of new gTLDs: many published "possible timelines" extracted from ICANN work groups and other participants to the program. This was a real problem since no one was then able to provide official dates to interested parties: lesson learnt from Round 1 of new gTLDs: "don't tell or write a date until it was first written by the ICANN".
Let's make it simple: after more than 10 years, we now have a date but let's make it clear: what potential new gTLD applicants need to proceed is:
- a methodology: the next new gTLD Applicant Guidebook (also called "AGB"),
- an official date to submit their application.