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Icann reopens gTLD application system after bug fix

22 May 2012
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Icann has re-opened its branded domain registration system, which was taken offline when it first launched after it emerged that a bug in the system let applicants see who else had applied.

The application system was taken offline mid-April in an attempt to protect user data. It will now be open until 30 May, and Icann has published a 10-point document to help users manage their applications.

The document includes advice on managing passwords and ensuring that payment details are submitted correctly. Applicants must pay $185,000 by the 30 May deadline to have their submission processed.

“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,” said Akram Atallah, chief operating officer, Icann.

The new gTLDs will enable organisations to apply for generic domain names, which could be for brand names such as Pepsi, or related to specific locations such as London.

But with several organisations trading under the same name in different parts of the world, the system has always been likely to generate controversy.

The revelation that applicants using the original system could see who else had applied is likely to have caused acute embarrassment at Icann.

“We recognise and regret the inconvenience caused by this glitch and the delayed closing of the application window,” said Atallah.

Icann offered to refund the application fee for any companies that no longer wanted to register for a new domain after the error. That could cost Icann up to £350m.

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