ICANN's board of directors gave the go-ahead for the creation of new top level domain names at its fourth annual meeting in Amsterdam last weekend.
The board authorized the president to take the necessary steps to implement the New TLD Evaluation Process Planning Taskforce's recommendations on the new names. It also requested a recommendation on whether and how to structure the evolution of the generic top level namespace, and directed the president to develop a draft request for proposals covering the soliciting of a limited number of new sponsored gTLDs.
Last month, ICANN president Stuart Lynn issued a document calling for the addition of three sponsored gTLDs. These would be targeted at narrow subscriber bases, for example specific industries or professions. At the time, he said it appeared new gTLDs can be added relatively painlessly.
Last weekend's meeting also authorize the president to spend up to $325,000 to pay for the hiring of nine additional staff, and other expenditures, to implement the organization's evolution and reform plan.