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.EU Update

Earlier this week, ICANN's Board took steps to authorize the delegation of .EU as a ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain), and for ICANN Staff to enter into an agreement with EURid and to complete the delegation of .EU. The technical teams of ICANN's IANA function and EURid are working together to complete the entry of .EU in the DNS root.

The two-letter code for the European Union (.EU) appears on the ISO 3166-1 reserved list of alpha two-letter codes of country names. At the request of the European Commission, the ISO Maintenance Agency extended the scope of this reservation to cover any application of the two-letter code representing the name European Union, including its being used as a TLD. Following this step, the European Union commenced a process, in partnership with ICANN, to designate the .EU ccTLD.

Delegation of a new top level domain requires the completion of a number of procedures. The key requirement is that for each domain there is a designated delegee for supervising that domain's name space. In the case of .EU, the European Commission identified EURid as the appropriate organization to manage .EU.


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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."