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Country Code Names Supporting Organization Review Final Report Submitted

LOS ANGELES – 3 September 2019 –Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announces that the Meridian Institute, the independent examiner of the Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO), has concluded its review and submitted its final report.

Final Report

The final report is the result of Meridian's review of documents, observation of meetings, interviews and a community-wide survey. Meridian also collaborated closely with the ccNSO Review Working Party (RWP) and wider ICANN community via webinar, public comment, and public sessions during ICANN64 and ICANN65. The report contains important findings on how the ccNSO fulfills its purpose, manages its structure and operations, and strives for accountability.

Based upon the findings, the Meridian Institute's determination is that:

  • the ccNSO has a strong continuing purpose;
  • there does not seem to be a significant need to make structural or operational changes; and
  • the ccNSO is accountable to its constituencies, including its members.

The report contains 14 recommendations for continuous improvements, some of which have already been acted on by the ccNSO.


An independent review of the ccNSO is mandated by ICANN's Bylaws. The purpose of the review is to determine (i) whether the ccNSO has a continuing purpose within the ICANN structure; (ii) 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 (iii) the extent to which the ccNSO as a whole is accountable to its organizations, committees, constituencies, and stakeholder groups. Meridian Institute was selected to perform the review and began its work in August 2018. Learn more about the ccNSO Review here.


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."