ICANN Acronyms and Terms

ICANN has hundreds of acronyms and terms, which can be confusing. We created this multilingual tool to help explain what these terms mean and facilitate your work within the ICANN community.

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ICANN Acronyms and Terms

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21-40 of 40 results

application submission period

In the New Generic Top-Level Domain Program (New gTLD Program), the period during which applicants can submit gTLD applications to ICANN.

applied-for generic top-level domain string(applied-for gTLD string)

In the New Generic Top-Level Domain Program (New gTLD Program), the string that is the subject of an application for a gTLD.

Approved Launch Program(ALP)

In the New Generic Top-Level Domain Program (New gTLD Program), a program that a registry operator (RO) can apply for to conduct a registration process during the launch phases of its TLD. Without authorization by the ALP, such registration processes are not permitted under an RO’s Registry Agreement.


A common character-encoding standard that computers use to store, transmit, and print English (or “Latin”) text.

After many decades of use, the acronym ASCII (pronounced AS-KEE) is more well-known and more frequently used than its full name (American Standard Code for Information Interchange).

ASCII-compatible encoding(ACE)

The encoding form produced by the Internationalized Domain Names in Applications (IDNA) protocol. IDNA uses the Punycode algorithm to generate an ASCII domain, known as an A-label, within the Domain Name System. ACE is used to encode Unicode strings for applications that cannot reliably handle values other than ASCII characters.

Asia Pacific Internet Governance Academy(APIGA)

A five-day capacity-development program on Internet governance for youths in the Asia Pacific region.

Asia Pacific Top Level Domain Association(APTLD)

A nonprofit association of country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registries in the Asia Pacific region. APTLD provides a forum where its members can discuss policy matters affecting the ccTLD registries in their region. The association also serves as a channel of communication between its membership and Internet governance bodies such as ICANN.

Asian, Australasian, and Pacific Islands Regional At-Large Organization(APRALO)

The Regional At-Large Organization (RALO) that serves as the main forum and coordination point for public input to ICANN from the At-Large community in Asia, Australasia, and the Pacific Islands. APRALO keeps the At-Large Structures (ALSes) in its community informed about significant ICANN news. It also establishes mechanisms to facilitate two-way communication between the ALSes and ICANN policymakers, so ALS members can share their views on pending issues.

Asynchronous Full Transfer(AXFR)

A Domain Name System (DNS) protocol mechanism through which a DNS zone can be replicated to a remote DNS server.

At-Large Advisory Committee(ALAC)

One of four Advisory Committees in the ICANN community. The ALAC voices the interests of Internet end users and advises the ICANN Board on policies within ICANN’s mission and scope.

The ALAC is composed of 15 members, two selected by each of the five Regional At-Large Organizations and one per region selected by the Nominating Committee.

At-Large Structure(ALS)

A certified body of volunteers within a Regional At-Large Organization (RALO) that represents the interests and concerns of individual Internet users. Working with its RALO, an ALS enables individuals to share their views on ICANN issues, help shape global ICANN policies, and conduct outreach and engagement.

The ALSes are wholly independent of ICANN. Groups that serve as ALSes include professional societies (e.g., engineers, lawyers), Internet Society chapters, community networks, and computer user groups.

To serve as an ALS, a group must be certified by the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC). Some RALOs also certify individual Internet users in their region.


Auctions for applied-for generic top-level domain strings occur as a last resort when attempts at resolving a string contention do not produce a clear winner. A string contention happens when there is more than one qualified application for the same or similar generic top-level domain (gTLD) string.

auction proceeds

In the New Generic Top-Level Domain Program (New gTLD Program), the net earnings from an auction held by ICANN to resolve string contention. These earnings are reserved and earmarked until the ICANN Board, in consultation with the ICANN community, determines a plan for the appropriate use of the proceeds.

auction round

In an auction, an auction round is the period of time from the announcement of the starting price, – the start-of-round price – to the announcement of an ending price – the end-of-round price.

authoritative name server

A Domain Name System (DNS) server that hosts the official database of resource records (the registry) for a DNS zone. The registry identifies the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of the host servers (e.g., web servers, mail servers) and name servers in the authoritative name server’s zone. The resource records in its registry enable an authoritative name server to respond definitively to queries about the servers and subdomains within its zone.

To enable other computers to reach host servers within a domain, the domain must have one or more authoritative name servers. The name and IP addresses of those servers must also appear in the registry of the domain’s parent domain.

authorization code

A code created by a registrar to help authenticate the registrant of a domain name in a generic top-level domain. The authorization code is a security measure to help prevent fraudulent or unauthorized transfers. This code is required for a registrant to transfer a domain name from one registrar to another.

Some registrars generate authorization codes for their registrants, and some allow registrants to generate their codes through a control panel on the registrar’s website. When registrants request an authorization code from the registrar, the registrar is obligated to provide the code within five days.

Auto-Renew Grace Period(AGP)

A 45-day period following the expiration of a domain name. If a registrant does not explicitly consent to renew the domain name, the registrar must delete the name from the registry by the end of the AGP. Often, registrars allow registrants to renew an expired name during this period.

autonomous system

A group of IP networks that share a single clearly defined routing policy.

autonomous system number(ASN)

A globally unique identifier given to an autonomous system (AS). An AS is a collection of Internet Protocol (IP) networks operated by one or more network operators. When an Internet user sends a message to an IP address that exists outside the user’s own AS, routers forward the message to the AS in which the address resides. In this respect, the Internet uses ASNs to route messages between autonomous systems in much the same way postal systems use postal codes to route physical mail between geographic regions.

ASNs are allocated to network operators by Regional Internet Registries.