Public Comment

Public Comment is a vital part of our multistakeholder model. It provides a mechanism for stakeholders to have their opinions and recommendations formally and publicly documented. It is an opportunity for the ICANN community to effect change and improve policies and operations.

closed Phase 1 Final Report of the EPDP on Internationalized Domain Names

RequestersICANN Board


Under the ICANN Bylaws, prior to any action by the ICANN Board on proposed policies that substantially affect the operation of the Internet or third parties, ICANN is required to provide a reasonable opportunity for the community to comment on these policies. The Bylaws also obligate the Board to consider any timely advice that may be duly submitted by the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) as part of the Board’s decision-making.

For the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council-approved Phase 1 Final Report of the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) on Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) (EPDP-IDNs) that included sixty-nine (69) policy recommendations, the ICANN Board allowed for the community to view the final recommendations during the Public Comment period and provide relevant feedback. This process will ultimately assist the Board in their decision-making process.

What We Received Input On

Following the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council’s approval, the ICANN Board is seeking the community’s input on the Phase 1 Final Recommendations from the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) on Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). Input received on the recommendations will be considered by the ICANN Board prior to Board action.

The EPDP Team’s sixty-nine (69) recommendations focus on the definition and implications of the Root Zone Label Generation Rules (RZ-LGR) and variant Generic Top-level Domains (gTLDs) on the New gTLD Program, including adjustments that may be needed. In brief, the impacted program elements include, but are not limited to, the application fee, initial evaluation string similarity evaluation, objection processes, and contractual requirements. The recommendations cover impacted parties and program elements.

The Phase 1 Final Report notes that specifically, the underlying principles agreed upon by the EPDP Team and reflected in the final recommendations include the following:

  • RZ-LGR as the sole source: The RZ-LGR will be the sole source to determine valid top-level domain labels, their variant labels, and disposition values of the variant labels.
  • Same entity: At the top-level of the DNS, the same registry operator must manage the approved labels from the variant label set of a primary gTLD from the application, legal, and operational standpoints.
  • Integrity of the set: The relationship between a primary label and its allocatable and blocked variant labels shall not be infringed upon as long as the primary label exists.
  • Conservatism: Adopt a more cautious approach in the gTLD policy development as a way to limit any potential security and stability risks associated with the variant label delegation.

Input on all areas of the policy recommendations will be greatly appreciated to assist the ICANN Board in reaching a decision.

Proposals For Your Input
The EPDP Team’s Phase 1 Final Report


In May 2021, the GNSO Council initiated an Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) on Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) to i) Determine the approach for a consistent definition of all Generic Top-level Domains (gTLDs); and ii) Develop policy recommendations that will eventually allow for the introduction of variant gTLDs at the top-level. In November 2022, the Council approved an EPDP Team request to divide its work into two phases, with Phase 1 covering topics related to top-level gTLD definition and variant management. The two-phased approach was intended to allow the EPDP Team to focus on the charter questions that are most likely to impact the implementation of the Next Round of the new gTLDs and avoid potential delays.

As a result, the EPDP Team published its Phase 1 Initial Report for Public Comment in April 2023. Following its review of all the Public Comments received, the EPDP Team finalized its recommendations and submitted its Phase 1 Final Report to the GNSO Council in November 2023. The Council approved the Final Report, including all sixty-nine (69) policy recommendations, which obligates the Board to adopt the recommendations under the ICANN Bylaws, unless, by a vote of more than two-thirds, the Board determines that the policy is not in the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN. Accordingly, this Public Comment proceeding is seeking the community’s input on the Phase 1 Final Report recommendations that will be considered by the ICANN Board prior to Board action.

Supporting Information

Supporting Information
The EPDP Team's Phase 1 Initial Report