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Public Comment: Fast Track Implementation (3rd Revision)

Updated 4 June 2009

One more paper is being included in the Fast Track Implementation package, Cost Analysis of IDN ccTLDs: Focus on Program Development and Processing Costs [PDF, 148K]. This paper provides cost analyses of the IDN ccTLDs including the costs to process a request for a new IDN ccTLD as well as the development costs associated with IDN policy and the Fast Track process. Ongoing support costs for TLDs are covered in the EAG paper published last week.

ICANN is pleased to announce the public posting of the revised Draft Implementation Plan for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process.

A public comment forum opens today and closes on 15 July 2009. ICANN is particularly interested in feedback on a number of proposed implementation features in the Fast Track Process. Separate papers on these topics are being made available (see links to this announcement).

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

The initial version and two subsequent revisions of the implementation of the Fast Track Process were discussed at several meetings and online. That community input resolved a number of issues.

As a result of the progress on the implementation effort, at the recent ICANN meeting in Mexico, Mexico City, the Board passed several resolutions:

It is resolved (2009.03.06.03), that the Board thanks the ICANN community for its work to date and encourages it to continue its work so that the implementation plan can be finalized and considered by the Board no later than at its annual meeting in 2009.

It is resolved (2009.03.06.04), that the Board directs staff to work towards completion of the Implementation Plan for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process by, among other tasks, continuing consultation on the Documentation of Responsibility, including a specification for adherence to the IDN Guidelines and IDN technical standards such as the IDNA protocol.

It is resolved (2009.03.06.05), that the Board directs staff to rapidly provide the community with financial information on ICANN costs attributable to ccTLDs, including the costs associated with IDN ccTLDs, that will inform the creation of a financial model for cost contributions to the launch and continued management of the IDN ccTLDs.

The revision of the Draft Implementation Plan is being released in an effort to meet the goal set out in the ICANN Board resolution aimed at eliciting further community feedback both during and after the ICANN meeting in Sydney, Australia, June 21-26, 2009.

In further response to the ICANN Board resolution, consultation papers are made available on the three remaining topics: Documentation of Responsibility, Fee and Cost Considerations, and the IDN Tables and Variant Management.

There are separate papers describing 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 Mexico City in March 2009.

The public comment period that opens today covers both the Draft Implementation Plan and the papers. Comments received will be used to revise this implementation plan in preparation of a final version prior to ICANN’s meeting in Seoul, 26-30 October 2009. This comment period ends on 15 July 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 details as they remain 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, finalized and translated.

The papers describe:

  1. Draft Implementation Plan for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process (rev 3.0) (redlined) [PDF, 528K]
  2. Draft Implementation Plan for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process (rev 3.0) (clean) [PDF, 287K]
  3. Revised Proposed Implementation Details Regarding Documentation of Responsibility [PDF,145K]
  4. Revised Proposed Implementation Details Regarding IDN Tables Development and Usage (redlined) [PDF, 146K]
  5. Revised Proposed Implementation Details Regarding IDN Tables Development and Usage (clean) [PDF, 157K]
  6. Proposed Implementation Details Regarding Financial Contributions to Support the Development and Deployment of IDN ccTLDs [PDF, 84K]
  7. Cost Analysis of IDN ccTLDs: Focus on Program Development and Processing Costs [PDF, 148K]

Related links:

Public comment period for Fast Track:

Staff considerations on received comments: [PDF, 382K]

Working Group Final Report (with public comments):
[PDF, 269K]

Fast Track webpage:

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

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 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"""" is not an IDN."