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Root Zone Maintainer Service Agreement Is Now Effective

Last month, I mentioned in my implementation update that as the final step to removing the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) role, NTIA and Verisign needed to amend the cooperative agreement between them.

As of today, the cooperative agreement between NTIA and Verisign was amended to release Verisign from its root zone maintainer obligations. Verisign will now perform the root zone maintainer services for ICANN under the Root Zone Maintainer Service Agreement (RZMA). ICANN and Verisign are in the process of switching to the root zone management systems that do not include NTIA’s authorization role. The changes to the cooperative agreement between NTIA and Verisign can be found here.

For more information, visit Verisign’s Q&A here.

Additionally, as previously approved by ICANN’s Board resolution on 15 September (following a 43-day public comment process), ICANN has signed the .COM Registry Agreement amendment. The .COM Registry Agreement amendment is now effective through 30 November 2024 to coincide with the term of the RZMA.

With the RZMA and .COM Registry Agreement now in effect, ICANN and Verisign will now execute the post-transition workflow with the NTIA role removed, which we expect to be completed early next week. 


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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."