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Comments Encouraged on the Final Report of IDNC Working Group on ccTLD "Fast Track" Mechanisms

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Final Report of IDNC WG [PDF, 100K]

Public Comment Forum Open Through 15 August 2008

Summary: The IDNC Working Group (IDNC WG) has developed its Final Report on feasible methods that would enable the timely and efficient ("fast track") introduction of a limited number of non-contentious IDN ccTLDs, while an overall long-term IDN ccTLD policy is being developed. The Final Report highlights the latest topics and issues that need to be considered in developing (1) a mechanism for the selection of the IDN ccTLD string and (2) a mechanism to designate an IDN ccTLD manager. The ICANN Board of Directors accepted the Final report at its 26 June meeting in Paris, France and directed that the report be made available for public comments.

Process: In addition to opening this new public forum, the ICANN Staff has been directed by the Board to begin work on implementation measures with relevant stakeholders to implement the fast track and to prepare a detailed implementation report to the Board before the ICANN Cairo meeting in November 2008. Comments submitted in this forum will be used by the staff to help fulfill those obligations.

Background: The IDNC WG was chartered by ICANN's Board to develop and report on feasible methods, if any, that would enable the introduction (in a timely manner and in a manner that ensures the continued security and stability of the Internet) of a limited number of non-contentious IDN ccTLDs, associated with the ISO 3166-1 two-letter codes (both the official code list of ISO 3166-1 and the list of reserved ISO 3166-1 code elements)(popularly known as "the fast track"), while the overall IDN ccTLD policy is being developed. The scope of the IDNC WG was limited to developing methods that would not pre-empt the ultimate policy outcomes of the IDN cc Policy Development Process (ccPDP).

As described in the Final Report, the fast track approach requires two specific mechanisms:

  1. A mechanism for the selection of the IDN ccTLD string; and
  2. A mechanism to designate an IDN ccTLD manager).

The Document: Final Report of IDNC WG [PDF, 100K]

Deadline and How To Submit Comments: The Public Comment forum on the Final Report of the IDNC WG will be open through 15 August 2008. Comments on the document are welcome via email to idn-cctld-fast-track@icann.org. An archive of all comments received will be publicly posted at http://forum.icann.org/lists/idn-cctld-fast-track/.

For more information, visit http://www.icann.org/public_comment/public-comment-200808.html#final-idnc-wg.


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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."