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An Update on the IANA Naming Function Review (IFR)

Ifr update 1563x886 03jan19 en

We received some questions regarding the IANA Naming Function Review (IFR) and would like to provide you with an update on this important review. As many of you know, the IFR is one of the new accountability mechanisms created as part of the IANA stewardship transition to ensure that Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) meets the needs and expectations of its naming customers. On 16 September 2018, the first IFR was convened by the ICANN Board, in compliance with Article 18 of the ICANN Bylaws.

The IANA Naming Function Review Team (IFRT) is currently being formed. Per specifications in the ICANN Bylaws, the IFRT will include representatives from the following parts of the ICANN community:

  • At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) – One representative
  • Commercial Stakeholder Group (CSG) – One representative
  • Country code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO) - Two ccNSO country code top-level domain (ccTLD) representatives and one non-ccNSO ccTLD representative
  • Government Advisory Committee (GAC) – One representative
  • Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) – One representative
  • Registrars Stakeholder Group (RrSG) – One representative
  • Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) – Two representatives
  • Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) – One representative
  • Security & Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) – One representative

The following organization have also been invited to provide a liaison to participate in the IRFT:

  • Address Supporting Organization (ASO) – One optional liaison
  • Customer Standing Committee (CSC) – One liaison
  • Internet Architecture Board (IAB) – One optional liaison

The ASO and IAB have declined to appoint liaison to the IFRT.

Once the panel is formed, the IFRT will conduct the review in accordance with the scope specified in the ICANN Bylaws, which centers around a review and evaluation of PTI's performance of the IANA naming function against the contractual requirements in the IANA Naming Function Contract.

The IFR does not replace the work of the Customer Standing Committee (CSC), which reviews PTI's performance of the naming function on a monthly basis to ensure that PTI delivers on the Service Level Agreements specified in the IANA Naming Function Contract. The full scope of the review is available in Section 18.3 of the ICANN Bylaws.

ICANN org will continue to work with the appointing organizations to ensure that the composition of the IFRT meets the Bylaw's requirements so that the review team can begin its work. I hope you find this information helpful.

If you have questions, please email with the subject line "IANA Naming Function Review." I wish you a happy new year with all the best for 2019!


    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."