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New gTLD Program: Public Comment Summary & Analyses and Supporting Documents

Updated 23 February 2011

ICANN is publishing today the summaries and analyses of public comment on the previous version of the Applicant Guidebook and on other previously published New gTLD Program papers.

ICANN thanks all those who participated in the various public comment periods. ICANN has read and considered each of the submissions, and summaries and analysis of comment are now available for the following:

Two new papers discussing specific aspects of the program will be published in addition:

  • A study of defensive registrations and registrant behavior in order to better understand the prevalence of defensive registrations in new gTLDs.
  • Community gTLD change request handling:  a discussion draft for a procedure to address the need for a process to evaluate proposed amendments that may have the effect of changing the charter or purpose of a community-based TLD. The ICANN Board directed the formulation of such a briefing paper for the GNSO.

Also being published under separate cover are:

The ICANN Board and Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) will meet in Brussels from 28 Feb 11 – 1 Mar 11 and during the ICANN meeting in San Francisco (13 Mar 11 – 18 Mar 11) in the interest of resolving the outstanding issues the GAC has identified with the new gTLD process.

A new version of the Applicant Guidebook is not being published at this time. This decision was made with the intent to avoid presuming the outcomes of the discussions among the Board, GAC, and community. Given the short time period between these consultations and the ICANN meeting in San Francisco, there is little utility to publishing a version with new changes, which would also be subject to additional changes based on the outcomes of these meetings, and without time for comment between versions.

Work on the Applicant Guidebook is continuing in parallel with these activities. ICANN is continuing to work with stakeholder groups in order to fully understand comments made on the Guidebook and make changes based upon them. It is expected that the next version of the Guidebook to be released will incorporate updates based on: public comment, ongoing consultations, and changes resulting from the Board-GAC consultations and from community discussions in San Francisco.

Expected Path Forward

  • Board-GAC Consultations: 28 Feb 11 – 1 Mar 11
  • ICANN meeting: 13 Mar 11 – 18 Mar 11
  • Release of Applicant Guidebook: 14 Apr 11

The date of the Guidebook publication is proposed and does not indicate whether the Guidebook is a “final” Guidebook or whether it would be posted for public comment. It is the province for the Board of Directors to take a position on the disposition of the Guidebook. Those decisions cannot be taken until the planned GAC consultations conclude and the Board also can listen to community comments during the upcoming ICANN meeting.

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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"""" is not an IDN."