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Press Communique: ICANN Accredits Twelve New Domain Name Registrars

(September 21, 1999) The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced today that twelve additional applicant companies have met the criteria to be accredited as registrars in the .com, .net, and .org domains.

As accredited registrars, these twelve companies will compete in the market for domain name registration services by participating in the Shared Registry System (SRS), which allows multiple ICANN-accredited registrars to register domain names ending in .com, .net, and .org. Under an agreement announced August 6 by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Network Solutions, Inc. (the developer of the SRS), new registrars that have signed the accreditation agreement with ICANN will be eligible to join the five testbed registrars as participants in the SRS's initial test phase. The testbed operation is currently scheduled to conclude on September 30, 1999.

The twelve companies named today join the 64 companies that have already been accredited by ICANN, starting in April, 1999. Until the initial introduction of competitive registration services in June, registration services in the .com, .net, and .org domains were provided solely by Network Solutions, Inc., under a 1992 Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Government.

The twelve companies named today are:

Further information about these companies will be posted on the ICANN website's registrar pages.


Under an October 6, 1998 amendment to the Cooperative Agreement between Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) and the U.S. Government, the process of opening the Internet Domain Name System's three largest domains to competition was launched with a testbed phase that began on April 26. Five companies were initially accredited to use the NSI Shared Registry System in a test operation designed to ensure that the introduction of competition occurs in a smooth, coordinated manner. The original testbed participants, all of which are now offering registration services in competition with NSI, are: America Online; CORE (Internet Council of Registrars); France Telecom/Oléane; Melbourne IT; and

By qualifying to be accredited as registrars in the .com, .net, and .org top-level domains, the seven registrars named today join the five original testbed registrars, as well as the 64 other companies that have already qualified for ICANN accreditation. Under an agreement announced on August 6, 1999, the Shared Registry System testbed program has been expanded to extend to all accredited registrars that sign the standard testbed registrar agreements with NSI and meet technical certification requirements. For further details, click here.

The 64 applicant companies previously announced as meeting ICANN's accreditation criteria are:

9 Net Avenue, Inc. (United States); A+Net (United States); A Technology Company (Canada); Active ISP (Norway); Advanced Systems Consulting, Inc. (United States); Affinity Hosting, LLC (United States); Alabanza, Inc. (United States); All West Communications (United States); (United States); America Online, Inc. (United States); American Domain Name Registry (United States); Animus Communications, Inc. (United States); AT&T (United States); CASDNS, Inc. (United States); CommuniTech.Net, Inc. (United States); Computer Data Networks (Kuwait); Concentric Network Corp. (United States); Council of Internet Registrars (CORE) (global); Domain Bank, Inc. (United States); Domain Direct (Canada); Domain Registration Services (United States); (United States); Corporation (United States); eNom, Inc. (United States); EPAG Enter-Price Multimedia AG (Germany); France Telecom / Oléane (France); GANDI (France); iDirections, Inc. (United States); Info Avenue Internet Services (United States); InfoNetworks (USA & United Kingdom); InterAccess Company (United States); Interactive Telecom Network, Inc. (United States); Interdomain, S.A. (Spain); Internet Domain Registrars (Canada); InterNeXt (France); interQ Incorporated (Japan); Marvin Enterprises/Global Knowledge Group (United States); Melbourne IT (Australia); MS Intergate, Inc. (United States); The Name It Corporation (United States); (United States); Name.Space (United States); NetBenefit (United Kingdom); NetNames (United Kingdom); NetNation (Canada); Nominalia (Catalonia); Port Information System (Sweden); ProBoard Technologies (United States); PSINet, Inc. (United States & global); PSI-Japan (Japan); PSI-USA (United States); RCN Corporation (United States); (United States); Research Institute for Computer Science, Inc. (Japan); Signature Domains, Inc. (United States); SiteName (Israel); Techdogs (United States); TelePartner AS (Denmark); TierraNet Inc. (United States); Total Web Solutions (United Kingdom); Verio (United States); Virtual Internet (United Kingdom); WebTrends Corporation (United States); World-Net (France).

For more information and links to these companies, click here.


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit, international corporation formed in September 1998 to oversee a select set of Internet technical management functions currently managed by the U.S. Government, or by its contractors and volunteers. Specifically, ICANN is assuming responsibility for coordinating the management of the domain name system (DNS), the allocation of IP address space, the assignment of protocol parameters, and the management of the root server system.

For more information, please contact Andrew McLaughlin.

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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."