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90-day Root Zone Management System "Parallel Testing" Period Ends Successfully

ICANN and Verisign today announce the successful completion of a 90-day parallel testing period of the Root Zone Management System (RZMS), which concluded on 5 July 2016. During the testing period, zero unexplained differences were found between the production RZMS and the parallel test version of the RZMS, which has the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) authorization step removed. This result confirms that the production RZMS and parallel test system produce an identical output for every root zone file published, which was a key step to ensuring the continued security and stability of the Internet's root zone post transition.

Daily comparison reports created during the testing period are available on Verisign's website. Additionally, monthly progress reports for the testing period are available on ICANN's designated Root Zone Management System Parallel Testing webpage.

The authorization process step performed by NTIA will be removed upon the successful completion of the IANA Stewardship Transition, currently projected for 30 September 2016. Until then, the authoritative root zone file will continue to be produced by the production RZMS that contains the authorization step performed by NTIA.

For more information on ICANN's broader IANA Stewardship Transition implementation planning efforts, visit: https://www.icann.org/stewardship-implementation.


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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."