Delays in starting the application process for new generic top-level domain (gTLD) names are causing increasing frustration among businesses and domain registrars.
Registrars are keen to begin business, and many companies wanting to sign up for a gTLD are having to hold back from building new platforms until their domain name is confirmed.
It became clear at an Icann event in Seoul that the process may not even begin until the end of next summer, prompting registrars to discuss how to get the ball rolling themselves.
Registrar Minds + Machines has put forward an idea of a pre-application process that focuses on the initial administrative tasks that will need to take place after applicants submit domain name proposals, such as the flagging of competing applications.
Asking applicants to submit their proposals sooner rather than later will also give Icann an idea of the number of businesses interested in gTLD names.
Minds + Machines further argues that such a procedure will significantly speed up the more complex and final parts of the application process when it officially begins next year.
"In this way applicants can go back to their constituents, their stakeholders, communities and investors with positive news," said Jothan Frakes, chief operations officer at Minds + Machines.
"And Icann staff will gain information about the universe of applicants who will be bringing discussions about public morality, root scaling, rights protection and other matters out of the theoretical and into the practical realm."
Frakes's comments came in a report on the Domain Name Wire site, and confirmed by Minds + Machines in its Twitter feed.
Meanwhile, Gandi.net warned that the longer the process drags on, the more Icann runs the list of losing credibility over the new gTLDs.
"Icann has already pushed back the deadline on several occasions, and by doing so again they risk undermining a lot of the support for the liberalisation process, particularly from those seeking to run new gTLDs and their financial backers," said Gandi.net chief operating officer Joe White.
"It is important for them to keep the momentum moving so that people don't lose interest. While there are some issues which will still take time to resolve, there are several bureaucratic stages in the application process that could be started earlier.
"For example, if two people wanted to operate .music, the process to settle their competing applications could begin soon, rather than waiting for the other, more technical and legal, pieces from Icann to be complete."
Icann chairman Peter Dengate Thrush said that he will consider the proposal for the pre-application process.
"We are aware that delay is costly and may, in fact, deprive us, if it goes on for much longer, of the very innovation that this project was intended to help stimulate," he said.
"There have been some very effective corridor conversations going on this week about how we might move forward with an application process that would give us a lot of information about likely applicants, likely strings, and things that can go forward."
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