Skip to main content

New Deadline for Testbed Registrar Accreditation: April 8, 1999

(March 25, 1999) The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced that it will extend the deadline for submission of applications to participate in the SRS testbed program from March 29 to April 8, 1999.

Q: So what exactly is the new testbed registrar application deadline?

A: In order to be considered as one of the five testbed registrars, applications for accreditation must be received by ICANN by 4pm U.S. West Coast time (GMT -08:00) on Thursday, April 8, 1999.

Q: What does this mean if I've already submitted an accreditation appliction?

A: Applicants who have already submitted accreditation applications may (but need not!) supplement or replace their application and supporting materials, so long as new submissions are received by ICANN by 4pm on Thursday, April 8,1999.

Q: Why is ICANN extending the deadline?

A:ICANN has received a number of messages from prospective testbed accreditation applicants expressing concerns about the uncertainty that exists with respect to the technical and financial terms of their anticipated future business relationship with Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI), the current registry operator for the .com, .net, and .org generic top level domains. The areas of uncertainty include the following: (1) the technical requirements to interact with the SRS registry/registrar interface; (2) the licensing fee that accredited registrars will pay to NSI, for access to the SRS; (3) the per-domain-name registry fee that NSI will be permitted to charge for each domain name registration submitted by an accredited registrar; (4) the terms of the licensing contract that registrars will sign with NSI in its capacity as the .com, .net, and .org registry; (5) the rules that will allow competing registrars equal access to expiration and renewal information for existing registrations in the .com, .net, and .org registry. Without a better sense of that information, prospective testbed applicants have stated, they have been unable to complete satisfactory business plans and business risk analyses.

ICANN has been assured that NSI and the U.S. Department of Commerce are working expeditiously to resolve outstanding issues under Amendment 11, including items (1) - (5), above. Indeed, ICANN today received and posted a FAQ from NSI generally describing the technical requirements for registrars to interact with its SRS registry/registrar interface.

In order to give prospective registrar applicants a better opportunity to obtain needed information about the technical and financial terms of their anticipated future business relationships with NSI (the current registry operator), while at the same time completing testbed registrar accreditation in time to launch the testbed program as soon as possible pursuant to Amendment 11 and Amendment 12 to the Cooperative Agreement between NSI and the U.S. Government, ICANN has elected to extend the deadline for the submission of testbed registrar applications.

Q: When will ICANN announce its decision on the five participants in the testbed program?

A: Assuming that the necessary information is available to prospective applicants soon, so that this new schedule can be maintained, ICANN will announce the five accredited testbed registrars on April 21, 1999.

Q: Is this extended deadline a sign that the introduction of competition to the market for registration services in the generic top level domains is going to be delayed significantly?

A: No. ICANN intends to complete its accreditation responsibilities in time to launch the testbed program as soon as possible pursuant to Amendment 11 and Amendment 12 to the Cooperative Agreement between NSI and the U.S. Government.


More Announcements
Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."