By Trevor Little
May 22 2012
And we’re back. After a delay of more than a month, ICANN’s TLD Application System (TAS) is now back online, with gTLDs applicants able to log in, review and submit their applications until 23:59 UTC on May 30 2012. While the system opened slightly earlier than anticipated, there is still no news about the planned application reveal date.
As WTR previously reported, the system was taken offline on April 12 after it was revealed that a technical glitch allowed some applicants to see others’ file and user names. Planned re-openings of the system came and went as ICANN investigated the problem and set about notifying applicants whether they were one of the affected parties. However, the site is now up and running and, while there were just 12 hours remaining in the application window when TAS was taken offline, the site will be kept open for eight days, closing at 23:59 UTC on May 30 2012. In a statement, ICANN’s Akram Atallah explained: “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”.
In addition to the previously reported problems, Atallah noted: “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.”
There is still no official word on the re-scheduled reveal date. With the original April 30 date just over two weeks from the planned April 12 deadline, a similar time lag would suggest a mid-June date at the earliest, with ICANN’s Prague meeting at the end of June previously identified as a worst case scenario. Once the reveal date is unveiled, the precise timings of the comment and objection periods can be set in the diary.
In the meantime, users will be keeping a close eye on the system. In its advice to applicants, ICANN has asked: “If you come across an issue as you are navigating or entering information in the system, please notify the Customer Service Centre immediately. We will follow up on your inquiry as soon as possible.” TAS’ technical glitch was first reported on March 19 – four weeks before the system was taken offline. Given the negative reaction to the stalling of the application window, ICANN will no doubt be quicker to react to any new problems.
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