Skip to main content

IDN ccTLD Delegations approved by the ICANN Board

This is a very brief blog post with quite the big content. Last week was a special week at ICANN, with several IDN milestones meet. Many were included in the 22 April 2010 ICANN Board meeting. The ICANN Board approved the first IDN ccTLD delegation requests for four countries. These countries are: Egypt, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This means that we will soon start seeing domain names ending in: مصر, рф, امارات , السعودية

The ICANN Board also took actions that are expected to expedite Chinese characters in top-level domains as part of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track. This will be the first set of variant IDN ccTLDs to be introduced – under special circumstances. More work is underway on the subject of variants, including policy-procedural analysis and technical definitions and plans for testing.

In addition, last week, a new IDN ccTLD request was announced as having passed the String Evaluation stage – for the country of Jordan. This means that Jordan now may enter the String Delegation step, which is the last step in the Fast Track Process. As such Jordan joins 13 other countries/territories having succesfully passed String Evaulation. The full list can be seen here:

The total number of received requests in the Fast Track Process is: 21
The total number of languages represented is: 11

To read more about the IDN ccTLD Fast Track, go here:

If you only see boxes in the above IDN ccTLDs, then you may need to download the necessary font: – or perhaps you are experiencing a problem with IDNs that is not rendered correctly when viewed in various applications. Either way we’d love to hear about it :)


    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."