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IDN ccTLD Requests Completes Fast Track String Evaluation

ICANN is pleased to announce the successful completion of String Evaluation on proposed IDN ccTLDs. Announcements for the completion of each request are provided here: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/announcements-en.htm.

The requesters may now initiate delegation of the IDN ccTLDs by following ICANN's standard processes for TLD delegation, through the IANA function.

Also, included are two sets of synchronized IDN ccTLDs that are pending review in the evaluation for synchronized IDN ccTLDs. This process is currently posted for public comments and pending finalization.

The IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process was approved by the ICANN Board at its annual meeting in Seoul, South Korea on 30 October 2009. First requests were received starting 16 November 2009. The process enables countries and territories to submit requests to ICANN for IDN ccTLDs, representing their respective country or territory names in scripts other than Latin. IDN ccTLD requesters must fulfill a number of requirements:

  • the script used to represent the IDN ccTLDs must be non-Latin;
  • the languages used to express the IDN ccTLDs must be official in the corresponding country or territory; and
  • a specific set of technical requirements must be met (as evaluated by an external DNS Stability Panel comprised of DNS and IDN experts).

The request and evaluation processes are comprised of three steps:

  1. Preparation (by the requester in the country / territory): Community consensus and supporting documentation are assembled for the IDN ccTLD: what string to request, how the TLD is operated, and which organization will be running it, along with preparing and gathering all the required supporting documentation.

  2. String Evaluation: requests for IDN ccTLDs are evaluated in accordance with the criteria described above. i.e., the technical and linguistic requirements for the IDN ccTLD string(s). Applications and supporting materials are received through an online system, http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/.

  3. String Delegation: requests successfully meeting string evaluation criteria are eligible to apply for delegation following the same ICANN IANA process as is used for ASCII based ccTLDs. String delegation requests are submitted to IANA root zone management function.

At this time ICANN has received a total of 19 requests for IDN ccTLD(s) in the Fast Track Process, representing 11 languages. ICANN is looking forward to enabling the availability of all these strings in the DNS root zone, by completion of the String Delegation function and the synchronized IDN ccTLD evaluation, as well as finalizing the remaining received requests in String Evaluation, and receiving additional new requests in the Fast Track Process.

A staff support function is available to help all countries and territories interested in participating in the Fast Track Process. Please email idncctldrequests@icann.org for inquiries for participation.

Updates about received numbers of applications and the number of completions will continue to be provided on the Fast Track Process web page at http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track.

About ICANN:

To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet's unique identifiers. ICANN doesn't control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn't deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet's naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. For more information please visit: http://www.icann.org.


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."