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Draft Final Report of Recommendations for IDN ccTLD Fast Track Mechanism Made Available

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Discussion Draft of Interim Report of IDNC WG for Public Comments [PDF, 152K]

Public Comments welcomed by 23 June 2008

Summary: The IDNC Working Group (IDNC WG) is currently working to develop and report on feasible methods that would enable the timely and efficient ("fast track") introduction of a limited number of non-contentious IDN ccTLDs, while an overall long-term IDN ccTLD policy is being developed. The IDNC WG has created a Draft Final Report designed to highlight the latest topics and issues that need to be considered in developing (1) a mechanism for the selection of the IDN ccTLD string and (2) a mechanism to designate an IDN ccTLD manager.

Process: The draft document is being made publicly available at this time solely to alert the community to the latest IDNC WG thinking and to facilitate further discussions at the ICANN Paris meeting later this month. This document has not been signed off by the IDNC Working Group whose members will continue to provide their own comments and input.

Background: The IDNC WG was charted by ICANN's Board to develop and report on feasible methods, if any, that would enable the introduction, in a timely manner and in a manner that ensures the continued security and stability of the Internet, of a limited number of non-contentious IDN ccTLDs, associated with the ISO 3166-1 two-letter codes (both the official code list of ISO 3166-1 and the list of reserved ISO 3166-1 code elements)(popularly known as "the fast track"), while the overall IDN ccTLD policy is being developed.

The scope of the IDNC WG is limited to developing feasible methods (for the introduction of a limited number of IDN ccTLDs) that do not pre-empt the ultimate policy outcomes of the IDN cc Policy Development Process (ccPDP).

As outlined in previous discussion drafts, the fast track approach requires two specific mechanisms that are addressed in this report:

  1. A mechanism for the selection of the IDN ccTLD string (See Section 3 of the report); and
  2. A mechanism to designate an IDN ccTLD manager (See Section 4 of the report).

The Document: The Draft Final Report is available for review here: Discussion Draft of Interim Report of IDNC WG for Public Comments [PDF, 152K]

Deadline and How To Submit Comments: Comments on the draft document are welcome via email to idn-cctld-fast-track@icann.org. In order to be considered by the IDNC WG in Paris any emailed comments must be submitted by 23 June 2008. An archive of all comments received will be publicly posted at http://forum.icann.org/lists/idn-cctld-fast-track/.

Public Comment: http://www.icann.org/public_comment/public-comment-200806.html#idn-cctld-fasttrack-dfr


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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."