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Update on NGPC Progress on GAC Advice on New gTLDs

The ICANN Board New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) held a discussion in Amsterdam on 18 May 2013 regarding how and when it could address the Beijing GAC advice. The NGPC structured the discussion around the attached GAC Advice Framework [PDF, 52 KB]. The Framework organizes the individual advice items into discrete groupings to allow the NGPC to prioritize its work. The NGPC's goal is to carefully consider GAC advice and community input and to make decisions that will allow the greatest number of new gTLD applications to move forward as soon as possible.

As mentioned in our last update, the NGPC is developing a scorecard for the advice, marking items as a "1A," "1B" and "2." In Amsterdam, the NGPC made progress on identifying the potential "1As," i.e., those items for which the NGPC has a tentative position that appears to be consistent with the GAC's advice. Final scoring of the items will not be possible until the applicant responses to the GAC Advice are summarized and reviewed. The NGPC anticipates that it will discuss these items further during its next meeting tentatively scheduled for early June.

The NGPC also began discussing the GAC Advice on Safeguards. Currently there is an open Public Comment Forum seeking input on how the NGPC should address the GAC's Safeguard Advice. The Public Comment Forum closes on 4 June 2013. As shown in the attached, the NGPC is evaluating the safeguard advice grouped as follows:

  • Safeguard Advice Applicable to all strings
  • Category 1 Safeguard Advice: Consumer Protection, Sensitive Strings, and Regulated Markets
  • Category 2 Safeguard Advice: Restricted Registration Policies (Restricted Access and Exclusive Access)

Over the next few weeks, the NGPC will hold a series of calls to discuss applicant responses to the GAC advice, the Safeguard advice and related public comment, and other matters including responding to the GAC's advice on singular and plural strings, its questions in Annex 2, and its requests for briefing papers.

The New gTLD evaluation and objection processes remains on track while the NGPC continues its deliberations. As mentioned above, the NGPC is prioritizing its work in order to allow the greatest number of applications to move forward as soon as possible. We will continue to provide updates on the NGPC's progress in responding to the GAC Beijing advice.

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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."