It seems ICANN can multi-task, after all.
Its board of directors has yet to formally approve the next application round, but staff have started looking for a company to build the application system, regardless.
Org has published an RFI (pdf) for potential developers of a “gTLD Application Lifecycle System” that ICANN, applicants and third-party contractors will be able to use to manage bids from application to delegation.
The document details the 18 system services outlined in the Operational Design Assessment ICANN completed in December.
The deadline for submitting responses is February 24 and there’ll be a follow-up, invitation-only RFP in April. Companies have to respond to the RFI to have a chance at joining the RFP.
By ICANN’s recent standards, this is a pretty ambitious timetable, and will no doubt raise the spirits of those in the GNSO who have been calling for the Org to get a move on after the lengthy and disappointing ODA.
It may also please those worried about ICANN’s apparent inability to operate in anything other that a serial manner — it’s setting the ball rolling now, before the board has approved the program.
It may also give a hint at which way the board is leaning. It met eight days ago to discuss the next round and the ODA but did not formally pass any resolutions or provide any color on the nature of the talks.