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IANA Stewardship Transition Implementation

It has been amazing to watch how far the community has come in its efforts to develop proposals for the IANA stewardship transition over the last 18 months. The time and effort that has gone into the process so far is nothing short of incredible.

In addition to my existing responsibility as the President of the Global Domains Division, I have also recently taken on the responsibility of ensuring a successful implementation of the IANA Stewardship transition, assuming an approved proposal by NTIA. As such, I have been following the community discussions very closely and assessing the potential impact of any shifts in the timelines, while working in close collaboration with Theresa Swinehart, who leads the IANA stewardship transition process in the development of the transition proposals and the community work to achieve a successful outcome.  We have determined there are numerous operational aspects in this phase of the process and planning our work must begin now.

Based on my initial assessment of the current proposals, ICANN will need approximately four months once the proposals are approved by the U.S. Government to finish implementing all the required elements. NTIA's contract with ICANN is set to expire on 30 September, 2016, but we do not know when the proposals will be approved by NTIA.  Therefore, it behooves us to make as much progress as possible prior to the approval of the proposals.

We are already starting pre-planning discussions with the operational communities and the CCWG to factor in the oversight and reporting needs so we can have an efficient and productive process to meet the quickly approaching deadline. We are also working closely with NTIA to identify elements of the proposals that can be implemented ahead of approval while respecting the IANA contract obligations.

We look forward to a productive working relationship with the ICANN community to ensure a smooth and timely implementation.

If you're interested in learning more about how ICANN has begun evaluating the work necessary for implementation, please join us for the IANA Stewardship Transition – Planning for Implementation session on Wednesday, October 21 at ICANN54.


    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."