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ICANN Board Designates VeriSign to Retain Control of .NET Registry

Marina del Rey, CA – 8 June 2005 – ICANN’s Board has named VeriSign, Inc. as the designated .NET successor registry. ICANN has also approved entering into a new agreement with VeriSign for their continued management of the .NET registry for six additional years. This announcement is the culmination of the .NET RFP and successor registry process that began on 6 March 2004 and included an independent evaluation of VeriSign and four other applicants.

In taking this action ICANN’s Board considered the entire RFP Process, an independent evaluator’s report, Internet community comments and the terms of the new agreement.

ICANN hired Telcordia Technologies, Inc. (an independent third party) to conduct the evaluation of the applications and the qualifications of the applicants. In April, Telcordia declared that all five applicants were capable of running the registry for .NET but gave the highest ranking to the incumbent registry, VeriSign. In May, Telcordia confirmed this ranking after evaluating an additional round of comments from all five applicants.

VeriSign’s current agreement for .NET is scheduled to run out on 30 June 2005. The agreed framework for ICANN and VeriSign’s new arrangement will be set out in a new .NET Registry agreement which will strike a balance between innovation and business certainty, with the need to ensure competition, security and stability in the domain name system.

Commenting on the designation, Dr. Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN, stated: “We would like to thank all five qualified applicants, the entire Internet community, ICANN’s Generic Supporting Organization, and Telcordia for the work in making this a successful process.”

A detailed outline of the .NET Successor Registry Process can be found at the following link:

Additionally, here are some of the key documents and announcement from the process:

27 May 2005 Telcordia Report .NET RFP on Evaluation

3 May 2005 ICANN Posts Telcordia Review of Findings

20 Jan 2005 ICANN Receives Five Applications to Operate .NET 

12 Dec 2004 ICANN .NET Reassignment RFP 

5 Aug 2004 Final Report from the GNSO on .NET Criteria

29 Jun 2004 Final Procedure for Designating Subsequent .NET Registry Operator

6 Mar 2004 ICANN Board Resolution regarding Preparation for the Designation of a Transparent Procedure for Designating a Subsequent .NET Registry Operator

About ICANN:

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions. As a private-public partnership, ICANN is dedicated to preserving the operational stability of the Internet; to promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processe s.

Any press enquires should be addressed to Tanzanica King at ICANN on +1 310 301 5804. Any follow-up questions or requests can be sent to

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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"""" is not an IDN."