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NGPC Progress on Addressing GAC Beijing Advice on New gTLDs

The ICANN Board New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) met on 11 June 2013 to discuss the GAC Beijing advice regarding singular and plural versions of the same string as a New gTLD. The discussion followed the NGPC's decision on 4 June 2013 to accept the GAC's advice to consider this issue. The NGPC made considerable progress toward reaching consensus on a way forward and expects to reach a conclusion at its 25 June 2013 meeting.

The NGPC also considered how it might respond to the ALAC Statement on IDN Variants. Finally, it began in-depth discussion of the GAC's Safeguard Advice applicable to all strings.

The next two meetings of the NGPC on 18 and 25 June 2013 will focus on items within the GAC's Annex 1 Safeguard advice. Below please find an updated NGPC work plan:

Item Resp. Start Date Compl. Date Status
1. Publish GAC Communiqué to solicit input on how the New gTLD Board Committee should address GAC advice regarding safeguards applicable to broad categories of New gTLD strings Staff   23 April Complete
2. Public comment period on how NGPC should address GAC Advice re: Safeguards Public 23 April Comment 14 May; Reply 4 June Complete
3. Summarize and analyze public comments on GAC Advice re: Safeguards Staff 5 June 19 June In Progress
4. Meeting to review and consider staff proposals for addressing overarching Safeguard advice (Annex 1, 1-6) and Restricted & Exclusive Registry policies (Category 2) NGPC   18 June Not Started
5. Meeting to review and consider staff proposals on Category 1, Items 1-5, and Singular vs. Plural NGPC   25 June Not Started

The New gTLD evaluation and objection processes remains on track while the NGPC continues its deliberations. 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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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."