ICANN’s gTLD application process disrupted

Regular readers will know that I’ve been following with interest the coming addition of many new gTLDs in the next year or so.  It represents the biggest change in internet naming since the world wide web became popular, and it means big changes for how companies market themselves and interact with customers and other interested parties online.  The implications may be far reaching, affecting branding, SEO, landing page optimization, security, and new applications, among other things.

A few weeks ago ICANN announced that it had more than 800 individual applicant organizations registered, and everything appeared from the outside to be on track.

Well, on track everything was not.  On April 12, the last day for applications to be turned in, ICANN took the application system off line because of security vulnerabilities that made it possible for some applicants to see file names and potentially other details of others’ applications.  Original expectations were for a delay of a week or so.

The latest news is very different.  ICANN has announced that it may take until at late as April 27 just to declare when the application system will go back on line.  While it may be that someone is working on categorizing the existing applications, I still have to suspect that the original May target for announcing which applications had been submitted and what they said is no longer valid.  And of course, that means the window for contesting applications and all of the steps in the process that flow out from that are likely to be delayed as well.

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