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Looking for Expertise in Auction Design

ICANN announced earlier today that it is seeking expressions of interest from auction design experts (see Announcement).

ICANN has identified several areas where auctions might be an appropriate tool, such as the efficient disposition of data from terminated registrars and registries, the allocation of single-character second-level domain names, and perhaps, resolution of contention between competing commercial applicants for identical strings in the application process for new generic Top Level Domains.

A number of commenters and academics have recommended auctions as the preferred method of objectively allocating scarce resources such as popular second-level domain names or gTLD strings. Also, ICANN received substantial public comment in the discussion on allocation of single-character second-level names that the names should be allocated through an auction model.

This does not necessarily mean that ICANN has decided to formally proceed with auctions or that auctions will occur any time soon. At this point, ICANN is seeking expertise to further work in this area. However, ICANN is hoping to select a qualified entity or entities to assist with auctions in 2008.

Expressions of interest should be sent to my email at Patrick.jones at icann.org by 23:59 UTC on 18 February 2008.

Comments

    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."