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New gTLD Program: Update on Independent Evaluators Search

ICANN is reopening the Expressions of Interest (EOI) period for independent evaluators to perform key roles in reviewing applications for new generic top-level domains, scheduled to launch in 2010. The new Expressions of Interest period opens on 31 July, 2009 and closes on 15 September, 2009 at 23:59 UTC.

The evaluation areas needed are:

  1. Applicant Evaluation Teams (Technical and Financial Evaluation)
  2. Geographic Name Evaluation
  3. String Similarity Examiners
  4. Community Priority Evaluation Panel -- formerly the Comparative Evaluation Panel

Below are the links for the extension of the posted Expression of Interest which contain the criteria for each panel:

ICANN is pleased to report that during the initial open search period (25 February, 2009 to 11 June, 2009) it received expressions of interest from nine, well-qualified candidates interested in serving as independent evaluators. ICANN would like to acknowledge and thank those respondents listed below. ICANN continues to engage in further discussions with the current candidates and will shortly hold an "EOI responders conference" limited to the firms that responded by the original due date of June 11, 2009. The outcome of this conference will be shared with the public and used to better inform potential new candidates. The existing candidates will also be able to update their proposals based on this interaction.

The decision to reopen the search period has been made to accommodate the internal requirement to build a robust and scalable operations process with primary and secondary service providers as well as to eliminate the appearance of conflict in the evaluation process.

The Independent Evaluators are expected to be identified by ICANN in Q4, 2009.

Responding Organizations

Deloitte + Laga - Belgium

Fulcrum Inquiry - USA

GeoLang Ltd - United Kingdom

InterConnect Communications - United Kingdom

JAS Communications LLC - USA


Novak Druce + Quigg LLP - USA

TAEUS International Corporation - USA

Talal Abu Ghazaleh Organization - Information Technology International (TAGITI) - Jordan

For further questions regarding this process please email:

Related Resources:

New gTLD Program:

Previous call for expressions of interest open submissions period: and

Requirements for the different evaluation roles: (Please note; new Costs Template Exhibit A, attached to rear of original EOI)

Evaluation Teams (Technical and Financial Evaluation): [PDF, 172K]

Geographic Name Evaluation: [PDF, 184K]

String Similarity Examiners: [PDF, 176K]

Comparative Evaluation Panel: [PDF, 176K]

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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."