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ICANN Board Recommends Action on Domain Tasting | Suggested fee change would effectively eliminate tasting

MARINA DEL REY, Calif.: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is looking to effectively end domain tasting with a proposal to start charging the annual ICANN fee on registrar domain registrations.

Domain tasting is the use of the Add Grace Period to test the profitability of a domain name registration. The AGP is a five-day period following the initial registration of a domain name when the registration may be deleted and a credit can be issued to a registrar.

"Domain tasting has been an issue for the Internet community and ICANN is offering this proposal as a way to stop tasting," said Dr Paul Twomey, ICANN’s President and CEO. "Charging the ICANN fee as soon as a domain name is registered would close the loophole used by tasters to test a domain name’s profitability for free."

AGP was originally introduced by registries so registrars could avoid costs if a domain name was mistyped or misspelled during the registration process. It is part of the .com, .net, .org, .info, .name, .pro, and .biz registry contracts.

Tasting has been a serious challenge for the Internet community and has grown exponentially since 2004. In January 2007 the top 10 domain tasters accounted for 95% of all deleted .com and .net domain names — or 45,450,897 domain names out of 47,824,131 total deletes.

The proposal will be part of the ICANN budget process for the fiscal year starting 1 July 2008. The early draft version of that budget will be released for and discussed at ICANN’s New Delhi meeting later this month. After public discussions of this proposal and other budget issues, the proposed budget will be released for addition discussions by 17 May 2008 and be voted on at the board meeting to be held during the ICANN meeting in Paris in June. ICANN accredited registrars representing two-thirds of fees collected will be asked to approve the proposal.

"This idea came from the ICANN community and we think it is a viable solution the Internet community has been seeking," Dr Twomey added.

About ICANN:

ICANN is responsible for the global coordination of the Internet's system of unique identifiers like domain names (like .org, .museum and country codes like .uk) and the addresses used in a variety of Internet protocols that help computers reach each other over the Internet. Careful management of these resources is vital to the Internet's operation, so ICANN's global stakeholders meet regularly to develop policies that ensure the Internet's ongoing security and stability. ICANN is an internationally organized, public benefit non-profit company. For more information please visit: .

Media Contacts:
Jason Keenan
Media Adviser, ICANN
Ph: +1 310 382 4004

International: Andrew Robertson
Edelman (London)
Ph: +44 7921 588 770

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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."