The top level domain (TLD) application system of the internet’s domain body ICANN has been taken offline due to a software glitch just hours before the official Thursday deadline for its new "generic" gTLD application process.
ICANN shut down its “TAS” TLD application system on Thursday after it received “a report of unusual behaviour” which it discovered was caused by a “technical issue” with the software.
ICANN has not released details of the glitch, but confirmed the system will remain offline until Tuesday 17 April 23:59 GMT unless otherwise notified.
The outage came just hours before ICANN’s planned Thursday 12 April deadline for major brands to bid for their own generic TLD, such as ".pepsi" or ".google", replacing the current TLD “.com” or “.org” TLD.
Applicants must be willing to pay the $185,000 fee to acquire their own gTLD, allowing these organisations to control what entities can use that domain.
ICANN said its gTLD application process would be extended to Friday 20 April 2012.
It’s unclear whether the new deadline will impact ICANN’s plan to publish application details on April 30.
However, the outage is unlikely to prevent any would-be gTLD applicants, given that the exclusive club of 839 organisations that have taken part in the process would have already notified ICANN of their intent to participate in the process by March to qualify, the BBC reported prior to the outage.
ICANN has ruled out any speculation the outage was caused by a “cyber attack”, adding that the extended deadline was to give applicants the time they would have had without the outage, The Guardian reported.
iTNews has published a list of major Australian telecommunication brands that are likely taking part in the process.
A group of 87 American brands banded together last November in protest against the new gTLD system, complaining of the "excessive cost and harm to brand owners, likelihood of predatory cyber harm to consumers".