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Notice of Publication: Revised IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process Implementation Plan

Following the ICANN Board's approval on 8 December 2011 of the amendment to the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process Implementation Plan, ICANN is providing this notice of publication for the Revised Implementation Plan. This amendment was considered following guidance received from the ccNSO during the ICANN meeting in Dakar, Senegal.

Two versions are posted: 1) the revised IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process Implementation Plan (http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/idn-cctld-implementation-plan-15dec11-en.pdf [PDF, 805 KB]) and 2) a version that tracks the changes from the previous version (http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/idn-cctld-implementation-plan-redline-15dec11-en.pdf [PDF, 849 KB]). The community should take note that the original version of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process Implementation Plan [PDF, 498 KB] is now archived and superseded by the Revised Implementation Plan [PDF, 805 KB].

Background

On 26 October 2011, the ccNSO Council approved a resolution and communicated it in a letter from ccNSO Chair to ICANN Board Chair asking the Board to direct staff to amend the relevant sections of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Implementation Plan. The amendment is to address specific cases when a requested IDN ccTLD string may be confusingly similar with the two-letter ASCII ccTLD corresponding to the same country or territory.

This work was developed out of the ccNSO Council Resolution from the ICANN meeting in San Francisco in March 2011. This resolution requested a sub-group of the IDN ccPDP Working Group 1 to develop, as soon as possible, guidelines (within the framework of the existing rules for the Fast Track) to improve the predictability of the evaluation process relating to string confusion as defined in the IDNC WG Final Report and the Final Implementation Plan, as adopted by the ICANN Board in November 2009.

ICANN conducted an initial review of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process and its implementation between October 2010 - January 2011. A summary and analysis was published in February and the Board acknowledged the Fast Track review at the ICANN meeting in March 2011.

The IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process Implementation Plan was approved by the ICANN Board at its meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea in October 2009. A link to the original Implementation Plan may be found at: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/idn-cctld-implementation-plan-16nov09-en.pdf [PDF, 498 KB]


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."