The new agreement is a result of efforts of over a year of negotiations that took place between ICANN and Registrar Stakeholders Group. The new agreement brings about quite a few improvements including making it mandatory for registrars to appoint a point-of contact for reporting abuse, establishment of registrar responsibilities for reseller compliance, enhancement of compliance tools, audit rights, certification requirements among others. Find the press release here.
Under the new agreement it would be mandatory for registrars to confirm the phone numbers or addresses of domain name buyers within 15 days of domain registration. This will enable ICANN to determine whether the identity of person registering the domain name is real or fake. Up until now there were loose checks when it came to finding out whether the entity registering the domain was a real or fake one.
ICANN says that this particular milestone is a significant one when moving towards huge expansion of domain names and will apply to well over 1000 registrars globally. Currently ICANN is busy considering over 1800 requests for new gTLDs like .shop, .motocycle, .google, .youtube, and .lol. According to ICANN the new agreement takes into considering everything that it wanted for the new gTLD rollout. ICANN may release first set of gTLDs as early as the last quarter of 2013.