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Next-generation IPv6 Address Added to the Internet's Root DNS Zone

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (20 July 2004) – ICANN announced today that for the first time, an IPv6 nameserver address has been added to the Internet's root DNS zone. This next generation version of the Internet Protocol provides trillions more addresses than the IPv4 system that is in use by most networks today.

By taking this significant step forward in the transition to IPv6, ICANN is supporting the innovations through which the Internet evolves to meet the growing needs of a global economy.

On 20 July 2004 at 18:33 UTC the IPv6 AAAA records for the Japan (.jp) and Korea (.kr) country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) nameservers became visible in the root zone file with serial number 2004072000. It is expected that the IPv6 records for France (.fr) will be added shortly. Other requests are pending and will be added in accordance with documented procedure, which was developed through ICANN's unique multi-stakeholder consensus-based approach. <http://www.iana.org/procedures/delegation-data.html>.

Recognizing the importance of IPv6 to the Internet community, ICANN has coordinated with its Root Server System Advisory Committee, Top Level Domain managers, Security and Stability Advisory Committee, and other interested parties in careful analysis of this issue. After a period of thorough examination, the decision was made to move forward with deployment of the IPv6 address records in the manner prescribed by the community.

ICANN is the global public-benefit non-profit organisation responsible for coordinating the Internet's naming and numbering systems. For more information please visit: <www.icann.org>.


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."