ICANN offers refund to top level domain applicants

Cites inconvenience caused by temporary suspension of TLD application system

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has responded to delays caused by a software glitch in its TLD Application System (TAS) by offering a full refund of the US$185,000 application fee back to companies and individuals.

The glitch meant some applicants could view other applicant’s file names under certain circumstances. The system remains suspended to allow ICANN to comb through top level domain applications logs and analyse data to determine which applicant information was viewed as well as repair and test the software glitch.

ICANN chief operating officer, Akram Atallah, said in a statement released on the ICANN website that the refund would be offered to generic top level domain (gTLD) applicants that want to withdraw prior to the publication of applied-for new TLD names.

“We believe it is an important part of fulfilling our commitment to treat applicants fairly and regret the difficulties that we know the temporary suspension of TAS is causing,” he said.

TLD applications were originally meant to close on 12 April with the big reveal of which companies had applied for TLD names slated for 1 May 2012 in Australia. However, the software glitch has caused ICANN to delay the announcements.

Australian domain name management provider, Melbourne IT Group, (ASX: MLB) has managed 25 applications for Australian companies. A spokesperson for the company told Computerworld Australia that companies in the financial sector, retail and consumer goods industries had shown the most interest in applying for gTLDs.

The spokesperson added that while the go live date for TLDs is still slated for February 2013, the application deadline delay may mean that not all of the TLDs will go live that year.

“ICANN received 2,300 applications instead of the expected 1000-1500 so it’s likely that the new domains will appear over time between 2013 and 2015,” the spokesperson said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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