ICANN Domain Name Application Process Re-Opens
May 23, 2012

ICANN Domain Name Application Process Re-Opens

As of Monday, companies and organizations can once again log in, review, and submit applications to the agency handling a large-scale expansion of Internet addresses, various media outlets have reported.

According to the Associated Press (AP), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) reopened the proposal process this week after shutting it down on April 12 due to a software glitch that had made some private information accessible. Repairs were originally expected to take just four days.

As a result of the delay, BBC News reports that the deadline for new applications has been extended until 23:59 GMT/UTC on May 30. Prior to the tech issues, ICANN reported that 839 users had applied for up to 50 new, top-level domain names -- which requires an up-front payment of $185,000 and annual maintenance fees of $25,000 -- the British news agency added.

"During the last few weeks, we have fixed the technical glitch that caused us to take the system offline. Also, to address user feedback, we have improved the overall system performance and the HTML preview function," ICANN Chief Operating Officer Akram Atallah said in a May 21 statement.

"In our continuing review of the system logs and system traffic, we determined that in two instances, a single file might have been temporarily unavailable to an applicant. Full access to those two files has been restored. ICANN notified the affected users," Atallah added. "We recognize and regret the inconvenience caused by this glitch and the delayed closing of the application window."

Even before the software glitch and the lengthy delay in the application process, ICANN was receiving criticism for their handling of the process, BBC News reported Tuesday.

"The US Department of Commerce cancelled a bidding process expected to extend its right to manage the domain name system after dozens of firms signed a petition protesting that they would face significant new costs to protect their trademarks," they said. "They claimed the expansion program involved a 'deeply flawed justification, excessive cost and harm to brand owners, likelihood of predatory cyber harm to consumers and failure to act in the public interest'."

Since then, the group announced that Alain Pellett, the former head of the International Law Commission of the United Nations (UN), to serve as an "independent objector" who will be responsible for filing grievances regarding applications that he believes are counter to "the best interests of the public," the BBC added.