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ICANN Opens Comment Period on Proposed Add Grace Period Modifications for NeuStar and Afilias

ICANN is today opening public comment periods on requests submitted by NeuStar, the .BIZ registry, and Afilias, the .INFO registry, to modify terms regarding the add grace period (AGP) in their respective registry agreements.

On 5 February 2008, NeuStar and Afilias submitted separate but similar requests through the Registry Services Evaluation Process to modify the AGP in their respective TLDs in order “to address the excessive delete problem” (i.e. domain tasting) in .BIZ and .INFO. Currently there are no limitations on the number of deletions that a registrar can process and receive a refund during the five-day AGP. The proposed service would limit the number of AGP deletions where a registrar could receive a full registration fee credit each month: either 50 per month or 10% of that registrar’s net new monthly domain name registrations, whichever is greater. A registrar would be permitted to delete as many names as it wished during the five-day AGP, receiving credit throughout the month. However, at the end of the .BIZ or .INFO normal monthly billing cycle the Registrar’s account would be debited for the full value of the domain name registrations that exceeded the month’s set threshold.

As provided for by existing consensus policy (, ICANN has undertaken a preliminary determination to determine whether the proposed modifications might raise significant security or stability, or competition issues. ICANN's determination is that the proposed modifications by NeuStar and Afilias do not raise such issues.

The next step in evaluation is that (because implementation of the proposals would require changes to the .BIZ and .INFO Registry Agreements) ICANN will post the proposed amendments, solicit public comment and refer the proposals to the ICANN Board for consideration.

A copy of the proposed NeuStar amendment is available here [PDF, 25K], and a copy of the proposed Afilias amendment is available here [PDF, 25K]. Both amendments provide for changes to Appendix 7, Section 3.1.1. Comments on the NeuStar amendment submitted to will be considered until 23:59 UTC 26 March 2008 and may be viewed at Comments on the Afilias amendment submitted to will be considered until 23:59 UTC 26 March 2008 and may be viewed at Please keep in mind that these are separate proposals with separate public comment forums.

All documentation regarding the NeuStar proposal is available at, while documentation on the Afilias proposal is available at  

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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."