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Request for Proposal Issued For Contact Center Platform Solution Provider

ICANN is issuing today a Request for Proposal (RFI) [PDF, 1.15 MB] to identify a Contact Center Service Provider capable of supporting ICANN's New gTLD Applicant Support Center operations. The Contact Center Service Provider will provide the operational infrastructure and potentially, Tier 1 customer service agents necessary for a timely and professional response to all inquiries.

New gTLDs have been in the forefront of ICANN's agenda since its creation. The New gTLD program will open up the top level of the Internet's namespace to foster diversity, encourage competition, and enhance the utility of the DNS.

The program will create a means for prospective registry operators to apply for new gTLDs, and create new options for consumers in the market. When the program launches its first application round, ICANN expects a diverse set of applications for new gTLDs, including IDNs, creating significant potential for new uses and benefit to Internet users across the globe.

ICANN is committed to providing support to assist applicants through the New gTLD application process via the Applicant Service Center (ASC). Through this RFP, ICANN seeks to identify a Contact Center Service Provider that will meet the ASC operating and service requirements.

Respondents are requested to respond to this RFP by replying to by 15 July 2011. The period to submit questions about the RFP will close on 24 June 2011. ICANN will provide answers to all questions submitted to all respondents by 1 July 2011. The final response to the RFP is due on 15 July 2011.

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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."