Today is April 12 2012. It's also meant to be the day that the new TLD application window closes.
ICANN has spectacularly failed to manage the new TLD process and will miss its own deadline by over a week.
Any prospective new TLD applicant will be greeted with the following message if they try to access the TAS (the online system ICANN provides for submitting new TLD applications):
In a rather badly worded announcement ICANN states that it's extending the deadline for online applications (the only way to apply) until April 20th at 23:59 UTC.
The announcement was also emailed to existing applicants.
Here's the full text of the announcement:
From: new gTLDs [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 12. april 2012 13:52
Subject: TAS Temporarily Offline
ICANN constantly monitors the performance of the TLD Application System (TAS). Recently, we received a report of unusual behavior with the operation of the TAS system. We then identified a technical issue with the TAS system software.
ICANN is taking the most conservative approach possible to protect all applicants and allow adequate time to resolve the issue. Therefore, TAS will be shut down until Tuesday at 23:59 UTC — unless otherwise notified before that time.
In order to ensure all applicants have sufficient time to complete their applications during the disruption, the application window will remain open until 23:59 UTC on Friday, 20 April 2012.
We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. If you have any questions, please contact the gTLD Customer Service Center (CSC) via the CSC portal.
If you have any questions, please contact the Customer Service Center here: http://newgtlds.icann.org/applicants/customer-service
New gTLD Team
What amuses me most is both the email and the announcement are entitled "TAS Temporarily Offline". I run a hosting company and my concept of "temporarily offline" is not offline for 4 days! And this is the same organisation that wants to impose SLAs on both registries and registrars? Seriously?
I previously posted about the "big reveal" and how I thought it would be delayed, as ICANN's track record wasn't exactly stellar.
Guess I've been proven correct!
So what does this mean?
I'm sure some will try to argue that a week's postponement of the deadline isn't that much "in the grand scheme", but others, including myself, would have to wonder about how ICANN invested in systems and infrastructure that were so fragile that they need this much unplanned downtime.
Any takers on my latest crazy prediction that ICANN will announce their new CEO in the next 48 hours to deflect people's attention from this massive screw up?
And for those new TLD applicants who were planning on celebrating the "big reveal" in Vegas, will they be asking for a refund from the hotel?
UPDATE: A couple of applicants have confirmed that the TAS issues were due to its inability to handle certain characters e.g. ">" and "<". So the multi-million dollar new TLD application program was brought to a standstill due to some programmers inability to properly encode and "escape" characters? Seriously?
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