Skip to main content

IANA Stewardship Transition: Full Steam Ahead

Original posting:

Last week the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group (ICG) met in Los Angeles to review and discuss public comments concerning the Proposal to Transition the Stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Functions [PDF, 2.07 MB]. Upon review of the comments received, the ICG decided to continue advancing the proposal as planned, aiming to make as much progress as possible by the time of ICANN 54, scheduled for October 19-22.

During its public comment period that concluded on September 8, the ICG received more than 150 comments from a wide variety of stakeholders all over the world. The majority of the comments expressed support for the proposal. In some cases that support was qualified by suggestions, questions, and criticism that the ICG is working hard to synthesize and address as appropriate.

ICG members worked diligently before and during the Los Angeles meeting to assess the comments. The ICG divided the comments into categories (for example, those related to the Post-Transition IANA, the Root Zone Maintainer, etc.) and for each category the ICG is examining whether the comments have already been addressed in the proposal development process, whether clarifications are needed from the ICG, or whether the ICG will pose questions or request clarifications from the operational communities. That work is ongoing and is expected to be finalized this week. ICG communications to the communities will request responses by mid-October to allow the ICG to prepare in advance of ICANN 54.

The ICG's decision to adhere to its planned timeline as much as possible without sacrificing quality for speed is notable in light of indications that the work in Work Stream 1 of the Cross-Community Working Group on Enhancing ICANN's Accountability (CCWG) is likely to be delayed. The ICG is closely following the work of the CCWG and expects to have more clarity about the trajectory of the CCWG's work after that group meets at the end of this week.

The ICG's aggressive work schedule will be carried out via phone conferences and meetings which, as always, will be open to silent observers. The next ICG conference call is scheduled for 23 September at 11:00 UTC.

Finally, we chairs want to recognize in these busy days the hard work not only done by the communities, but our ICG members, our secretariat and ICANN staff helping to ensure that we can move forward as effectively as we are.

For more information, see

Alissa Cooper, Patrik Fältström, Mohamed El Bashir
ICG chair and vice-chairs


    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."