Skip to main content

First IDN ccTLDs Requests Successfully Pass String Evaluation

ICANN is pleased to announce the successful completion of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track String Evaluation for four (4) proposed IDN ccTLDs. The requests are associated with: Egypt, the Russian Federation, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. Details of the successful evaluations are provided here.

The IDN (Internationalised Domain Name) ccTLD Fast Track Process was approved by the ICANN Board at its annual meeting in Seoul, South Korea on 30 October 2009. First requests were received starting 16 November 2009. The process enables countries and territories to submit requests to ICANN for IDN ccTLDs, representing their respective country or territory names in scripts other than Latin. IDN ccTLD requesters must fulfil a number of requirements:

  • the script used to represent the IDN ccTLDs must be non-Latin;
  • the languages used to express the IDN ccTLDs must be official in the corresponding country or territory; and
  • a specific set of technical requirements must be met (as evaluated by an external DNS Stability Panel comprised of DNS and IDN experts).

The request and evaluation processes entail three steps:

  1.  Preparation (by the requester in the country / territory). Community consensus is built for which IDN ccTLD to apply for, how it is run, and which organization will be running it, along with preparing and gathering all the required supporting documentation.
  2.  String Evaluation: incoming requests to ICANN in accordance with the criteria described above: the technical and linguistic requirements for the IDN ccTLD string(s). Applications are received through an online system available together with additional material supporting the process at
  3. String Delegation: requests successfully meeting string evaluation criteria are eligible to apply for delegation following the same ICANN IANA process as is used for ASCII based ccTLDs. String delegation requests are submitted to IANA root zone management.

At this time ICANN has received a total of 16 requests for and IDN ccTLD through the String Evaluation process, representing eight languages. Four of these have now successfully passed through the String Evaluation and are hence ready for the requesting country or territory to initiate the application for String Delegation.

ICANN is looking forward to the String Delegation function for these four requests, as well as finalizing the remaining received requests in String Evaluation, and receiving additional new requests in the Fast Track Process. A staff support function is available to help all countries and territories interested in participating in the Fast Track Process. Please email for any inquiries for participation.

Updates about received numbers of applications and the number of completions will continue to be provided on the Fast Track Process web page at

Press Release: [PDF, 36K]

About ICANN:

To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer — a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. For more information please visit:

More Announcements
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."