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ICANN and UASG Announce Results of Universal Acceptance Study for New gTLDs

14 September 2015 – ICANN, in conjunction with the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) announced the availability of a new report: An Analysis of New gTLD Universal Acceptance. Universal Acceptance (UA) is the concept of removing all technical barriers that might hinder a user from accessing any name in any top-level domain (TLD) from any web browser, email client, or other Internet application on any computer or electronic device. The report, sponsored by ICANN, is available here [PDF, 1.63 MB].

APNIC Labs, the research arm of the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), conducted the tests and analysis, which included measuring overall and per-country acceptance of certain generic top-level domains (gTLDs) by end-users and the domain name system (DNS) as a whole. The tests show that there were no underlying infrastructure obstacles to the accessibility of any TLDs.

"These results were in-line with our expectations," said ICANN's Chief Technology Officer, David Conrad. "However, there will need to be changes to systems and software to fully leverage the global opportunities these new TLDs enable."

Conrad went on to note that the results of the APNIC Labs tests identified occasional problems with Adobe's Flash product working in Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla's Firefox when accessing Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) TLDs.

UASG Chair Ram Mohan said "The problems identified in the report resulted in a larger than expected number of IDN TLDs being unresolvable, clearly an issue for Universal Acceptance. The UASG is reaching out to Microsoft, Mozilla and Adobe to further investigate and mitigate this issue identified in the report, and ensure problems are resolved for all TLDs." Mohan also strongly encouraged members of the Internet community to join the UASG and facilitate the proliferation of Universal Acceptance for all TLDs.

To learn more about the Universal Acceptance visit the UASG Wiki or ICANN's UA webpage. Interested parties are also invited to join the discuss list: https://mm.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/ua-discuss.


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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."