ICANN extends new domain name application deadline

Armando Franca/AP

The group that runs the Internet's address system is extending by a week the deadline for applications to run a new top-level domain name such as .horse or .bank to compete with .com, .net and other existing extensions.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers announced on its website Thursday that it is extending the application deadline for its controversial new domain name program until April 20 at 11:59 pm GMT because of technical problems with its application database. Those seeking to apply to run a new top-level domain name had to first register by March 29 before they could submit an application. They have to pay a $185,000 fee and show they have the technical and financial means to run a generic domain.

"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 said in a note on its website. "ICANN is taking the most conservative approach possible to protect all applicants and allow adequate time to resolve the issue."

ICANN has said it will reveal at the end of the month the list of proposed names that applicants are seeking.

While most applicants have declined to publicize the names they applied for, among those who have gone public is ICM Registry, which now operates the adult-oriented .XXX top-level domain . The company said Thursday that it is seeking to expand the red light domain name district by applying to run .sex, .porn and .adult. The company says if it is successful in launching the new domains, it will allow those who already have .xxx names to reserve matching second-level names in the three new top-level domains for no extra charge.

"ICM Registry has worked for more than a decade to create .XXX which has become a globally accepted and responsible place for adult online entertainment to thrive in an easily recognizable self-regulated environment," ICM Registry CEO Stuart Lawley said in a statement. "We chose to submit applications for additional TLDs to spare .XXX participants from needless expense and to ensure the TLDs will be run in the same trustworthy and appropriate ways that .XXX is today."