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The TLD Universal Acceptance Project

As the global Internet expansion continues to move forward, ICANN’s motto of, “One World, One Internet,” has never been a more apt rallying cry.

The growing number of TLDs will doubtlessly affect us all, but the benefits are most likely to be felt most deeply by two very different groups. The first group is the non-Latin-based-writing population of the world, a huge segment of humanity for whom the Internet has hardly been accessible. The second group is comprised of those users who will benefit from the new ways the Internet can be used with the new, Latin-script-based TLDs. Both of these groups are equally important, as the expansion efforts give more and more people the chance to partake in the benefits of the tremendous global community that is the Internet.

One of the challenges of the growing Internet is to improve the way certain web-applications and software in general treat domain names that include new TLDs. Some barriers are currently being used, among other things, to screen invalid domain names, including those with TLDs containing more than three letters or non-Latin character-based TLDs, or simply because they are new TLDs. The TLD Universal Acceptance initiative seeks to encourage the acceptance of all TLDs across the Internet.

The upcoming TLD Universal Acceptance session at ICANN 49 Singapore will allow attendees to learn who will be the most affected by the barriers that some TLDs experience. It will also permit ICANN to better understand the potential scope of the situation by adhering to our multi-stakeholder model, listening to constituency voices and identifying organizations that hold the keys to success.

We hope to see you there!


    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."