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Variant Issues Project -- Cyrillic Case Study Team Issues Report

Comment Period Deadlines (*) Important Information Links
Public Comment Box
Open Date: 6 October 2011 To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Close Date: 14 November 2011 Time (UTC): 23:59 View Comments Submitted
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

Public comment: Cyrillic Case Study Team Report [PDF, 1.02 MB]

As described in earlier announcements on this topic, the benefits and risks associated with the potential delegation of Variant TLDs have been widely discussed and solutions are being pursued.

ICANN is publishing today the issues report completed by the Cyrillic case study team, for public comment. In accordance with the Variant Issues Project [PDF, 195 KB], ICANN has conducted six case studies of individual scripts to investigate any issues that need to be resolved to facilitate a good user experience for IDN variant TLDs.

Individual case studies for the Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Devanagari, Greek, and Latin scripts have been undertaken. Each study, carried out by a volunteer community study team with help from ICANN staff, concentrates on specific issues that are relevant to the individual scripts.

It is expected that the results of the case studies will play a crucial role in the identification of solutions towards the delegation of IDN variant TLDs. With these individual case studies being completed, a team comprised of representatives from the case study teams and ICANN will develop a single, integrated issues report to be published in December 2011. After that, work on developing solutions can proceed as a second phase.

Public comment on these reports will inform the formulation of the combined issues report. The public comment forum is open through 14 November 2011.

Section II: Background

On 25 September 2010 the Board of Directors of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) directed the CEO "to develop an issues report identifying what needs to be done with the evaluation, possible delegation, allocation and operation of gTLDs containing variant characters IDNs as part of the new gTLD process in order to facilitate the development of workable approaches to the deployment of gTLDs containing variant characters IDNs." (

In response ICANN has conducted six case studies of individual scripts to investigate any issues associated with delegating and using IDN variant TLDs that need to be resolved to facilitate a good user experience.

The original Variant Issues Project proposal [PDF, 195 KB] was published on 20 April 2011.

Section III: Document and Resource Links
Document posted for public comment: Cyrillic Case Study Team Report [PDF, 1.02 MB]
Section IV: Additional Information
Next steps: ICANN will complete a consolidated issues report that will summarize and synthesize the issues identified by the case study teams. The group's work in preparation of this consolidated report is scheduled to start in October at the ICANN public meeting in Dakar, Senegal.
Staff Contact: Patrick Jones Email:

(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making that takes place once this period lapses.

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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."