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Request for Proposal: gTLD Marketplace Health Index Assessment

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") is seeking to identify one or more suppliers qualified to (a) assess a proposed framework for domain name system (DNS) marketplace indicators, (b) create a detailed taxonomy of the final set of recommended indicators, and (c) identify sources for any requisite data external to the ICANN organization.

The gTLD Marketplace Health Index originated to further the ICANN organization's strategic objective (2.3) of "supporting the evolution of the gTLD marketplace to be robust, stable, and trusted." The results of this initiative will foster greater transparency for reputable information on the evolution of the domain name marketplace.

The assessment is scheduled to take place from 15th January 2018 through 30 March 2018.

For a complete overview of the RFP including the timeline, please see here [PDF, 284 KB].

Indications of interest are to be received by emailing Proposals should be electronically submitted by 23:59 UTC on 30 October 2017 using ICANN's sourcing tool, access to which may be requested via the same email address above.

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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."