Navigating the Five Stages of TAS Grief

When I predicted earlier this year that ICANN would, open the new gTLD application period without any glitches” (and yes those are my exact words) I could not have been any more wrong.

Sure I wasn’t thrilled with ICANN’s TAS (Top-Level Domain Application System) but after a week or so I became used to its clunky interface.

Over time I learned to almost like TAS especially when all of the questions turned green and I was presented with notices that said the applications had passed validation and could be submitted. Little did I know what was in store for me.


I really can’t describe the feeling I had when my colleague called me at 6:30am on Thursday April 12 to tell me that TAS was down. That didn’t surprise me given the latency the system was experiencing the day before when we were finalizing our submissions. But when he told me that the application period was extended to April 20 I couldn’t believe it. I thought to myself I must be dreaming – this couldn’t be. It really took me an hour or so before I could grasp that all of the recent long hours to complete the applications ahead of the deadline had been for naught.


After I realized that I was not dreaming and that this was really happening – anger set it. I was angry that we had worked so hard to complete everything on time. I was angry that we couldn’t celebrate the completion of this phase. I was also angry that I had to go back to clients to tell them of the situation and that the deadline was now pushed back by a week.


Once my anger settled a bit I began thinking – well okay just one more week. Then we can finish. Then we can take a break. Then we can celebrate. All ICANN needs to do is correct the problem require new usernames and passwords and then open the system on April 17 so that the application period can officially close on April 20. Uh yeah – right.


After several notices from ICANN it became apparent that the system would not re-open on April 17 and that the application period would not close on April 20. What a let-down. Everyone had high-hopes for getting on to the next phase and everyone had been anxiously looking forward to Reveal-Day.


To be honest I am not really sure that I have fully accepted what has transpired. Part of me is still a little mad and a part of me is little depressed by what has happened. But it is what it is. ICANN will continue to provide their updates and we will all pay close attention to them. So when will TAS be brought back online and when will the application period close? Who knows? These things happen and I am sure that it will all get figured out eventually even if it’s not based on the timeline on which I was relying.