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sTLD Update: ICANN Moves Forward in First Phase Commercial & Technical Negotiations with an Additional sTLD Applicant

ICANN is pleased to announce that the independent evaluation process, which began last year, has resulted in a further sponsored Top Level Domain (sTLD) application moving to the next stage.

As the process for selecting new sponsored Top Level Domain (sTLDs) continues from a pool of ten applications, ICANN has now entered into commercial and technical negotiations with an additional candidate registry, ICM Registry, Inc, (.XXX).

ICANN recently announced the designation of two new sponsored Top-Level Domains (sTLDs), .JOBS and .TRAVEL at the 22nd ICANN International meeting in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

ICANN has also recently entered into commercial and technical negotiations with the following additional candidate registries, .CAT, .POST & .MOBI.

Discussions continue among ICANN Board and Staff regarding the evaluation of four additional proposed sponsored Top Level Domains (sTLDs): .ASIA, .MAIL, .TEL-Pulver, & .TEL-Telnic.

An update on the status and progress of the additional applicants will be made as they proceed further through the process.

Please address any media enquires concerning the registry applicant, ICM, to Stuart Lawley +1 (202) 585- 0259 or visit for more information. For any enquires concerning ICANN please email

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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."