Maintenance Finished: ICANN Reopens TLD Application System

The application process for new Top-Level-Domains continues

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) opens its application window for new Top-Level-Domains for the second time. Due to a technical glitch the TLD Application System was taken offline while being already on the home stretch. On 12 April 2012, the day of the submission deadline, ICANN announced the shut-down of the TAS in order to protect applicant data after they had learned that a limited number of users was allowed to view some other users‘ file names and user names. At this time there were 1,268 registered users with a total amount of some 95,000 file attachments in the system.

To many Top-Level-Domain aspirants the announcement came as a surprise.
Although there was a poor performance of TAS at several times, most applicants reduced it to a last-minute rush because many users were busy finishing their applications. As part of the TAS bug analysis the whole process was delayed for over a month. Therefore the eagerly anticipated announcement of the applied-for domain names had to be postponed as well. The original release date was 30 April 2012.

According to ICANN it was determined that approximately 105 applicants have been affected by the glitch. Their file names and user names might have been viewed by a group of approximately 50 other applicants. ICANN states that it has absolutely no indication that the system was the target of any type of cyber-attack. Nevertheless some applicants fear that free riders could take advantage of the data spill and try to apply for someone else’s TLD. The organization promised transparency.

In recognition of the inconvenience ICANN also changed its refunding rules: Applicants that wish to withdraw their application prior to publication of the list of applied-for new Top-Level-Domains are guaranteed to receive the total USD 185,000 application fee. Previously the USD 5,000 TAS registration fee was stated to be non-refundable. ICANN has received approximately USD $350 million in fees for applications for new gTLDs so far.

At this time the new submission deadline is scheduled for 30 May 2012 which means that all applicants will have eight days remaining to review and complete their applications. However, ICANN has neither released any new time line for publication of applied-for TLDs nor any changes regarding the evaluation process yet.

Knipp Medien und Kommunikation GmbH is a pioneer regarding new Top-Level-Domains and has accompanied the liberalization process of the domain name industry actively since 1998. The company operates several Top-Level-Domains and knows the domain name industry from all perspectives: As a Registry operator, as a Registrar and from national and international committee work. With TANGO REGISTRY SERVICES® Knipp offers a specialized technical platform for brand name Top-Level-Domains.

Knipp Medien und Kommunikation GmbH
Alissa Sekulic
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44227 Dortmund
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