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Public Comment: Fast Track Proposed Solutions

A public comment period opens today on a number of proposed implementation features in the “Fast Track” process, as well as an updated version of the Fast Track’s Implementation Plan .

The Fast Track is a mechanism to introduce a limited number of non-contentious internationalized country-code top level domain names (IDN ccTLDs) to the Internet.

In the initial draft of the Fast Track Implementation Plan, a number of open issues were identified that require further input from the community and need to be resolved to complete the implementation.

There are separate papers of proposed implementation details (listed below). The papers are based on comments and input received from the community, notably from meetings held at ICANN’s international public meeting in Cairo in November 2008.

Along with the papers are: an updated Draft Implementation Plan; a document providing a consolidated overview of the comments received and document containing staff considerations regarding the comments received on the initial Draft Implementation Plan. This new version of the plan is intended to elicit further community feedback both during and after the ICANN meeting in Mexico City next month (1-6 March 2009).

The public comment period that opened today covers both the Draft Implementation Plan and the papers. Comments received will be used to revise the plan in preparation of a Final Implementation Plan. The comment period ends on 6 April 2009.

Please note that the papers listed below are proposed discussion drafts only. Potential IDN ccTLD requestors should not rely on any of the proposed included details as it remains subject to further consultation and revision.

Please also note that it is expected there will be several updates to this announcement as papers are released as they are finalized and translated.

The papers describe:

1. Documentation of Responsibility between ICANN and prospective IDN ccTLD Managers [PDF, 156K]

2. Development and use of IDN tables and character variants for second and top level strings [PDF, 120K]

Related links:

Public comment period: http://forum.icann.org/lists/ft-implementation/

Revised Fast Track Draft Implementation Plan (clean) [PDF, 348K]

Revised Fast Track Draft Implementation Plan (redline) [PDF, 392K]

Staff considerations on received comments: (coming)

Working Group Final Report (with public comments): http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/staff-considerations-idnc-wg-final-report-23oct08-en.pdf [PDF, 269K]

Fast Track webpage: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/


My Name My Language My Internet

After years of development, discussion, review and thought, internationalized domains are being expanded. While IDNs have been available under certain TLDs since 2001 (for test purposes) and since 2003 (under technical protocol) they will now become available as TLDs as well. They will allow for more innovation, choice and change to a global Internet presently served by just 21 generic top-level domain names.

For the IDN ccTLDs a Draft Implementation Plan has been developed with opportunities for public comment. The draft plan describes processes for countries and territories to request their country or territory name in their local language or script as an IDN ccTLD. There has been and will continue to be detailed technical scrutiny to ensure the Internet's stability and security. For more details see http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/

For IDN gTLDs, while technically no different than the IDN ccTLDs, these will become available through the process for introduction of new gTLDs.

A draft guidebook for new gTLDs has also been made available for public comment, see http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtld-program.htm for more details. Additional comment periods will open shortly and ICANN staff is looking forward to further discussions during the upcoming ICANN meeting in Mexico City, Mexico.

ICANN is a not for profit corporation dedicated to coordinating the Internet's addressing system. Promoting competition and choice is one of the principles upon which ICANN was founded. In a world with 1.5 billion Internet users (and growing), diversity, choice and innovation are key.

The Internet has supported huge increases in choice, innovation and the competition of ideas and expanding the concept of TLDs is an opportunity for more.


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."