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ICANN Launches New Online Information Center for New Generic Top-Level Domains

ICANN has just launched a new "micro-site" as the online home for information about the New Generic Top-Level Domain (New gTLDs) Program.

You can access the site from a button on the home page of ICANN.ORG, or go directly to

Resources for Everyone

The micro-site is designed to help everyone interested in new gTLDs, regardless of their level of knowledge.

  • Unfamiliar with ICANN and domain names?

  • You can find basic material under the "About" tab.

  • Wondering whether your organization should apply to operate a new gTLD?

  • You will find helpful information under the "Applicants" tab. It offers a wide range of educational materials, including interviews with CEOs of current Internet registries about what you’ll need to know, and presentations on how to complete the application form.

  • Seeking financial or in-kind assistance?

  • Potential applicants, including those in developing economies, can learn about financial and non-financial assistance through the Applicant Support Program.

  • What is the status of your gTLD application?

  • Beginning in January 2012, you can track the progress of your application under the "Program Status" tab. This is where all new gTLDs that have been applied for will be publicly posted.

  • Are you a journalist? Or just looking for the latest news?

  • Check out the "Announcements & Media" to see the latest new gTLD-related developments, and learn about upcoming events.

If you intend to apply for a new gTLD, the Applicant Guidebook and access to the TLD Application System (TAS) are available from any page on the micro-site.

This is just the beginning! Much more information and online tools are just a click away at

Multilingual Commitment

The new site is not solely for English speakers. Many new gTLD-related resources are available in other languages, including Fact Sheets and presentations, with many more translations coming.

All important program materials will continue to be posted in six UN languages.

Applicant Support Program

Seeking to ensure that the New gTLD Program is inclusive and accessible to all parts of the world, the ICANN community has created a sustainable approach to providing support to applicants, particularly those from developing economies as they apply for and operate new gTLDs. The Applicant Support Program will provide financial and non-financial support to qualified applicants registered or residing in developing countries, and potentially to others.

Raising Global Awareness

ICANN is in the midst of a major campaign to raise awareness around the world about the impact and possibilities of new gTLDs. The new site represents a foundational expression of the campaign. Many more new articles, tools, and materials will be made available in the coming days and weeks. To stay abreast of the latest developments related to new gTLDs, from now on, your most up-to-date, authoritative, and comprehensive resource is

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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."