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Public Comment: IDN ccTLD Fast Track Draft Implementation Plan

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ICANN is pleased to make the Draft Implementation Plan for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process available for public discussions. The Draft Implementation Plan can be found here [PDF, 297K].

The IDN Fast Track Process is a mechanism recommended by the IDNC Working Group, focused on the introduction of a limited number of non contentious IDN ccTLDs, associated with the ISO 3166-1 two-letter codes, to meet near term demand, while an overall IDN ccTLD policy is being developed.

At the ICANN meeting in Paris (June 2008) the IDNC Working Group submitted the Final Report to the ICANN Board, including statements of the GAC and ccNSO on the proposed methodology for introduction of a limited number of IDN ccTLDs. At its meeting in Paris the ICANN Board

Resolved (2008.06.26.04), the Board thanks the members of the IDNC WG for completing their chartered tasks in a timely manner.

Resolved (2008.06.26.05), the Board directs staff to: (1) post the IDNC WG final report for public comments; (2) commence work on implementation issues in consultation with relevant stakeholders; and (3) submit a detailed implementation report including a list of any outstanding issues to the Board in advance of the ICANN Cairo meeting in November 2008.

Subsequently, ICANN staff posted the IDNC WG Final Report for public comments, and commenced the implementation work as directed. In order to provide the community with an overview of what actions (if any) staff took in their implementation work on the received comments, a consolidated overview of the comments received and document containing staff considerations regarding the comments received is made available here [PDF, 269K]. As part of the implementation process staff also submitted letters to relevant public authorities and ccTLD managers to seek information on their interest in participating in the Fast Track process. ICANN is still receiving responses to these letters and will provide a public report on these before the ICANN meeting in Cairo, Egypt (November 2008).

The Draft Implementation Plan provides the roadmap and many implementation details for the Fast Track process. The plan is presented in modules that later will be further detailed and finalized for the IDN ccTLD Fast Track process. The modules are:

Module 1: general Introduction and background Information

Module 2: Fast Track Eligibility Requirements

Module 3: TLD String Criteria and Requirements

Module 4: Technical Committee Considerations

Module 5: Fast Track Request and Evaluation Process

Module 6: TLD Delegation Process

Module 7: Discussion of Additional Topics

Included in the Draft Implementation Plan are some open issues that will be reworked through additional community consultation and that need to be resolved, to complete the implementation. These topics are presented in Module 7. ICANN staff is encouraging and looking forward to these discussions at the ICANN meeting in Cairo, Egypt, 1–7 November 2008 and beyond.

Comments on the Draft Implementation Plan are welcome via email to An archive of all comments received will be publicly posted at

Related links:

Public comment period:

Fast Track Draft Implementation Plan : [PDF, 297K]

Working Group Final Report (with public comments): [PDF, 269K]

Fast Track webpage:

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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"""" is not an IDN."