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Apply Now: Experts in Consumer Protections, Economics and Security Needed for New gTLD Program Review

ICANN today announced that it extended the application deadline for participation on the community-based team that will review the New gTLD Program in regard to competition, consumer trust and consumer choice (CCT). Experts in consumer protections, economics and security are highly desired, and geographic diversity will be taken into account when selecting review team members. Any travel required will be funded by ICANN. The deadline for expressing interest is 13 November 2015 at 23:59 UTC.

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Participants selected as CCT Review Team members will pioneer an ongoing effort to track and examine data about the domain name industry and system. Their analysis of how new gTLDs are affecting the market place will impact future rounds of the New gTLD Program through potential changes to policy. Enhancing competition, choice and trust in the domain name space are key goals of the New gTLD Program, and the Internet community has a vested interest in determining whether new gTLDs have delivered on these promises. CCT Review Team members will represent the broader community in determining these conclusions.

Team members will be chosen in December 2015 and work is scheduled to begin in January 2016. Participants are expected to work closely with one another and there will be opportunities to network with other fellow community members. The CCT Review Team will set its own schedule for data collection, analysis and reporting, with the goal of producing its final report by 31 December 2016.

The review of the New gTLD Program in regard to competition, consumer trust and consumer choice is mandated by ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments. The review team is tasked with examining "the extent to which the introduction or expansion of gTLDs has promoted competition, consumer trust and consumer choice, as well as effectiveness of (a) the application and evaluation process, and (b) safeguards put in place to mitigate issues involved in the introduction or expansion." The team will consider multiple inputs in its deliberation, including metrics recommended by the Internet community. ICANN has been collecting data for those metrics and recently created a webpage where this information is displayed. Other metrics were captured in global surveys of Internet users and domain name registrants, and through an economic study.


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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."