One of the most important tests yet remaining for dotgay LLC efforts to gain the gTLD .gay for the gay community, is the Community Priority Evaluation. The GNSO recommendation for new gTLDs gave priority to community applications over standard applications. Since dotgay LLC’s community applications for .gay has 3 Standard application competitors, dotgay LLC will need to do the CPE in order to establish its community status within the application procedures.
The various community applicants for community TLDs have created an interest group, CTAG, within the ICANN structures, to represent the interests of community applicants and of their communities. The CTAG sent a letter to ICANN discussing some of the open issues with the CPE. the primary issue from which most of the specifics stemmed, was the treatment communities have gotten from ICANN. Instead of being trusted, though required to verify their bona fides vis a vis the community, ICANN has chosen a path of suspicion regarding communities and has treated them as suspect. dotgay LCC is a co-signer to the letter of concern sent by the CTAG. And despite the strong community support already shown by the international gay community, dotgay LLC, continues to recruit for further endorsement – to make sure there is no confusion during the CPE about the support for dotgay LLC in the gay community. While dotgay LLC and many of the other applicants are confident that they have community support for their applications and will pass the CPE test, since the CPE is a test that has never been given before, there is a lot of concern that this be a fair test.
ICANN will not be making the evaluation on its own, but following its normal procedures has arranged for an outside evaluator. In this case ICANN has appointed the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) as the sole new gTLD Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) panel firm and that the firm has developed a set of guidelines for CPE, which is open for stakeholder feedback from 16 August – 9 September 2013.
Dotgay LLC and the CTAG are currently studying the guidelines put out by the EIU and may submit a comment. The At-Large Advisory group (ALAC) is also drafting a statement in response to these guidelines.