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Request for Proposal for ccNSO Review

LOS ANGELES – 26 April 2018 - The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is seeking a provider to conduct an independent assessment of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO).

The objective of this RFP is to identify an independent examiner that can conduct a comprehensive assessment of the ccNSO. This includes, but is not limited to assessments of:

  • Whether the ccNSO has a continuing purpose within the ICANN structure;
  • How effectively the ccNSO fulfils its purpose and whether any change in its structure or operations is desirable to improve the ccNSO's effectiveness; and
  • The extent to which the ccNSO as a whole is accountable to its organizations, committees, constituencies, and stakeholder groups.

The review is scheduled to take place from August 2018 through July 2019. For a complete overview and timeline for the RFP, please see here [PDF, 107 KB].

Indications of interest must be emailed to: Proposals should be electronically submitted by 23:59 UTC on 24 May 2018 using ICANN's sourcing tool. Access to the sourcing tool may be requested via the same email address as above.


According to the ICANN Bylaws, the ccNSO is responsible for:

  • Developing and recommending to the Board global policies relating to country-code top-level domains;
  • Nurturing consensus across the ccNSO's community, including the name-related activities of ccTLDs;
  • Coordinating with other ICANN Supporting Organizations, committees, and constituencies under ICANN;
  • Nominating individuals to fill Seats 11 and 12 on the Board; and
  • Other responsibilities of the ccNSO as set forth in the Bylaws.

For more information about the ccNSO, visit the website.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

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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."