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Universal Acceptance Steering Group: A Year of Progress

Uasg tech 26oct16 en

Over the past year, the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), a community-based team of industry leaders supported by ICANN, has led the effort to prepare the online community for the next billion Internet users through a process known as Universal Acceptance (UA).

The concept of Universal Acceptance advances the Internet by ensuring that Internet applications and systems treat all top-level domains (TLDs) and emails based on those domains in a consistent manner – including those in non-Latin-based languages and those that are more than three characters long. This ensures that people using these new extensions can continue to use online systems, such as a web form, without receiving an "error" or "invalid address" message. UA is also critical to the continued expansion of the Internet, as it allows governments, organizations and other online entities to serve populations around the world in their local languages and with domain names that better align with their identities. This is helping to enable a true multilingual Internet.

The UASG has made significant progress over the past year in raising awareness of UA around the world. In addition to launching a website ( that acts as a central repository for UA materials, it has also developed and disseminated a comprehensive suite of educational resources about UA and what organizations need to do to become UA-ready. Of the 11 reference-quality documents created, some of the noteworthy ones are:

  • A comprehensive 40-page technical guide to Universal Acceptance aimed a developers and systems architects (UASG007); [PDF, 689 KB]
  • A "Quick Guide to Universal Acceptance" aimed at senior IT leaders; available in nine languages, including Chinese and Hindi (UASG005);
  • A one-page fact sheet aimed at the C-suite, Government Ministers and leading influencers (UASG003); [PDF, 74 KB]
  • A comprehensive FAQ (UASG011); [PDF, 119 KB]
  • A guide for developing local UA initiatives (UASG008); [PDF, 80 KB]
  • A Quick Guide to linkification (UASG010); [PDF, 85 KB] and
  • A short template that people can use to notify the webmaster when they encounter a website that is not UA-ready; available in 14 languages (UASG002) [PDF, 174 KB]

The full list of documents can be found at

We are only at the start of our efforts. In the months ahead, the UASG will continue to work to further the UA cause by working to get the popular open source programming language libraries UA-ready. It is developing a white paper that will identify economic, social and cultural benefits of UA readiness. The group is also producing educational and technical materials about UA for use by professional and trade associations. Finally, throughout all of the campaigns, the UASG will catalog how organizations' UA readiness is changing over time.

We'd like to thank the 130+ companies, governments, community groups and individuals that support the UASG for their continued partnership on this important effort. Come learn about UA and how you can help at the UA workshop session at ICANN57 on 3 November. For more information, visit or join the mailing list at


    Business setup Dubai  08:05 UTC on 06 November 2016

    Good post

    Sharon Susan Conwell  06:11 UTC on 15 November 2016

    "But Internet-enabled applications, devices and systems are often still developed using rules created over 20 years ago". I hope some day UA will become as much known as Apple, GoDaddy, Google, Microsoft. And I'll write an historical essay about Acceptance Steering Group

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."