ICANN Announcements

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ICANN Publishes UA Roadmap for Domain Name Registry and Registrar Systems

25 January 2023

Over the past decade, the Domain Name System (DNS) has expanded dramatically. Today, there are more than 1,200 active new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) representing many different scripts and character strings of varying length (e.g., .дети, .london, .engineering). Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) enable people around the world to use domain names in local languages and scripts, with more than 60 IDN country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) representing global communities online in native scripts (e.g., .ไทย, .中国, السعودية).

But while the DNS has changed, the rules used by many applications have not evolved to support all these top-level domains (TLDs) – leaving many users unable to realize the full potential of the Internet. Universal Acceptance (UA) solves this issue by ensuring that all domain names and email addresses can be used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices and systems. UA means that everyone can navigate and communicate on the Internet using the domain name and email address that best aligns with their interests, business, culture, language, and script.

UA is an important issue for TLD registries and registrars, as organizations both local and global are increasingly looking to connect with audiences through local language IDNs. UA is a fundamental requirement for a truly multilingual and digitally inclusive Internet. Becoming UA-ready can also be a competitive advantage for registries and registrars and the customers they serve.

To this end, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is publishing a study on The Universal Acceptance (UA) Roadmap for Domain Name Registry and Registrar Systems, which proposes how to test these systems for UA-readiness, for the benefit of TLD registries and registrars. The study is based on the Universal Acceptance Readiness Framework and also includes results of testing a registry system and a registrar system in the appendices.

The study is being published after incorporating the feedback from the community received through a Public Comment period. Additional details are available here.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.