ICANN Extends gTLD Application Deadline, Blames Software Glitch

Apr 12, 2012 2:30 PM PST

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. — A software glitch is forcing ICANN to extend its generic top-level domain application process by another week.

The Internet overseer's move to temporarily close the gTLD application system until Tuesday comes just hours before the process was about to close.

"ICANN constantly monitors the performance of the TLD Application System (TAS)," ICANN said in a statement. "Recently, we received a report of unusual behavior with the operation of the TAS system. We then identified a technical issue with the TAS system software.

"ICANN is taking the most conservative approach possible to protect all applicants and allow adequate time to resolve the issue."

ICANN went on to say that rather than closing the bidding, it will reopen at Tuesday for three days and close on Friday, April 10.

Bidding for the gTLDs opened Jan. 11 and was meant to close at midnight on Thursday. ICANN planned to announce gTLD applications on April 30.

A single gTLD application fee is $185,000 and applicants who win rights to their planned suffixes will pay an annual fee of $25,000 per suffix to maintain them.

ICM Registry just this morning announced that it had applied for three more adult-related TLDs (top-level domain) — .sex, .porn and .adult. ICM Registry is the operator of .xxx.

If awarded these new TLDs, ICM said it will offer a “grandfathering” clause that will automatically reserve matching names at no cost for those who already have .XXX domains.

Current .xxx registrants can chose to do nothing and the matching names will never be released under the new TLD suffixes. If however, registrants choose to register the new names for use, there will be a nominal fee of about $15.

ICANN said it expects it will take at least 18 months before the first of the new web address suffixes start to appear on the Internet.

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