ICANN continues at its snail's pace on introduction of new top-level domains. At the Montreal meeting, staff sprung this RFP for new sponsored TLDs. As if "a few" and "sponsored" weren't limitation enough, it further narrowed the applicant pool to those who had applied unsuccessfully as sponsored TLDs in November 2000.
It's unclear how recycling failed applications (with a new $25,000 fee) and excluding new ones can help ICANN in its "Proof of Concept" evaluation, but it is clear who's left out of the next round -- anyone who isn't .travel, .health, .union, .post, or .mobi (thanks Lawrence).
The slighted include ICM Registry, whose application for .XXX was unsponsored in 2000 (this is one of their banners hanging in the conference lobby). Betcha didn't know you could count on .XXX for "responsible growth of the DNS."