Skip to main content

Proposed Implementation Plan for Synchronized IDN ccTLDs

ICANN is pleased to announce the public comment period for the proposed Implementation Plan for Synchronized IDN ccTLDs [PDF, 440K]. Synchronized IDN ccTLDs are described by situations in the Fast Track Process where:

  • IDN ccTLDs are requested in more than one official language or script in a country/territory,
  • the requests for corresponding multiple strings are considered equivalent and delegation would solve a significant problem for Internet users, and
  • users accessing domains under any of the equivalent IDN ccTLDs expect that such domains will resolve to the same address or value.

If approved by the ICANN Board, the proposed implementation plan and process will be available for IDN ccTLD requests for synchronized IDN ccTLDs that have completed the String Evaluation step in the Fast Track Process.

Following successful completion of the evaluation process, the requesters may initiate delegation of the synchronized IDN ccTLDs by following ICANN's standard processes for TLD delegation, through the IANA function.

The implementation plan is based on a set of principles created by the Equivalent Strings Working Group (ES-WG) that was formed by the ICANN Board at the Nairobi meeting. The ES-WG was formed to review the issue relating to synchronized IDN ccTLDs, and develop a framework to guide development of the synchronized implementation plan. The ES-WG remains available for consultation during consideration of this plan.

The Proposed Implementation Plan is posted for public comments through 13 April 2010, after which it will be provided the ICANN Board for their considerations at their meeting on 22 April 2010.

Comments can be submitted at and reviewed at

General information about ICANN's IDN Program can be found here:

The Final Implementation Plan for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process can be found here:

The IDNC Final report can be found here:

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."