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New gTLDs: Root Zone Scaling Report

Report: Impact on Root Server Operations and Provisioning Due to New gTLDs [PDF, 4.75 MB]

ICANN is publishing the report "Impact on Root Server Operations and Provisioning due to New gTLDs." The report is a result of a request by ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee to provide "a complete report with full analysis, including all underlying data of root zone scalability."

The report builds on past work but also includes additional areas of analysis to support this report's conclusion that the root zone can be grown in a stable manner. The new analyses include an additional, improved statistical model for projecting root zone growth, and an analysis of the impact of delaying root zone updates. These analyses and other important supporting information are included in the appendices.

The report is the result of close collaboration among technical ICANN Board, community and staff members. There were multiple iterations in order to arrive at a version that is responsive to the GAC request. Even with that, the report is published as a first version so that it can be amended in response to governments' or others' questions and requests for clarifications.

New reports are generally not published during ICANN meetings. This report, recently forwarded to the GAC, is being posted in response to other requests.


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