Skip to main content

Tracking the Future of the New gTLD Program

The New gTLD Program, one of the most important developments in the Internet space in recent years, continues to gain momentum: over 400 new gTLDs have been introduced so far, and still counting. The Program represents significant work by the ICANN community, and we continue to hear from more people interested in learning about these opportunities and how to participate.

What's next? ICANN is committed to opening another application window for new gTLDs as quickly as possible, but there is a lot of work to be done first.

ICANN is currently focusing resources on a series of New gTLD Program reviews to evaluate the results of the Program so far in light of the original goals. We expect the reviews to reflect valuable input from the community, including lessons and best practices that will inform consideration of future procedures.

To better track the review efforts, we've created a new online home for information about the program reviews. This is intended to provide a consolidated resource for keeping up to date on the multiple reviews and activities that are anticipated to take place with respect to the Program.

Read about New gTLD Program Reviews now.

Individual pages provide detail on each review area, including:

  • Program Implementation – A review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the implementation of the New gTLD Program
  • Security & Stability – A review of the New gTLD Program's impact on the DNS root system
  • Rights Protection – A review of the effectiveness of rights protection mechanisms such as the Trademark Clearinghouse, Uniform Rapid Suspension system, and Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedures
  • Competition, Consumer Trust, and Consumer Choice (CCT) – A review under the ICANN's Affirmation of Commitments that will include consideration of the Program's impact in these areas, as well as the effectiveness of the Program's evaluation procedures and safeguard elements.

Going forward, you'll find relevant reports, drafts, and public comment fora on these pages. We've also published an updated draft of the Work Plan for New gTLD Program Reviews and Assessments [PDF, 691 KB], to present progress in each area and to account for current timelines for the various activities (for those who like redlines, see what's changed here [PDF, 428 KB]).

We encourage you to take a look at the new Program Reviews page and to participate in and support the activities that will help inform the development of the next round of the New gTLD Program. Full participation and input from the Internet community are key to making these reviews successful.

Finally, we invite you to join us in Singapore, or remotely, from wherever you are, on 9 February 2015 for a session on the New gTLD Program: Status, Reviews and Next Round at ICANN's 52nd public meeting. View the ICANN 52 schedule for more details.


    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."