ICANN is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the testing period for internationalized top-level domains (IDNs) in the DNS root zone.
On 9 October 2007, ICANN inserted into the DNS root zone eleven internationalized domain names (IDNs) of the word "test" written in nine scripts representing ten different languages. The purpose of these domains was to identify potential adverse impacts on root zone operations caused by the use of IDNs as top-level domains (TLDs) prior to the production deployment of IDN TLDs. To test the domains, ICANN set up websites as various translations of "example.test" under the 11 test top-level domains. These websites allowed Internet users to create subpages to be used for testing and discussion on any issues encountered when accessing a whole domain name written in the characters of one of the designated languages.
Following a positive evaluation of the test IDN TLDs, ICANN launched in November 2009 the IDN Country Code Fast Track Process that enables qualified countries and territories to apply for production IDN TLDs. To date, 35 IDN ccTLDs (representing 25 countries and territories) have been delegated in the DNS root zone.
As a result of the successful testing and several years of production experience, there is no longer a need to have the test IDN TLDs delegated in the DNS root zone. This announcement serves as a notice to the community that the test IDN TLDs will be retired from the DNS root zone on 31 October 2013 in accordance with the ICANN Board approved procedure, Procedures for Test IDN Deployment.