Skip to main content

ICANN Solicits Public Comment on Single Character Name Allocation Framework

This page is available in:

In response to community comment and interest, ICANN has developed a proposed allocation framework and use of funds from the allocation of single-character second-level domain names (SC SLDs) in existing gTLDs. ICANN is proposing an auction mechanism and disbursement of funds toward areas of public good for the Internet community. Discussion of proposed allocation methods will involve consultation with gTLD registries.

ICANN invites public comments on the Allocation Framework through 13 July 2008 23:59 UTC. Comments can be submitted to, and viewed at

ICANN is also announcing the selection of Power Auctions LLC ( as ICANN's auction design consultant for various auction needs, including 1) the development of models for the resolution of contention among applicants for new generic TLD strings, 2) for the disposition of data from failed registrars or registries, and 3) for the allocation of SC SLDs.

Power Auctions has an international team composed of noted experts in auction design and implementation. Power Auctions and its affiliate, Market Design Inc. (see, have implemented auctions for electricity (Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, US), natural gas (Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary) and greenhouse gas emission reductions (UK). They have also implemented a prototype auction for airport landing slots (for the FAA in the United States) and have assisted governments in auctions of telecommunications spectrum (in Canada, Singapore, and Trinidad and Tobago).

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"""" is not an IDN."