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ICANN Posts Application and Assessment Criteria Information for New Top-Level Domain Proposals

August 16, 2000 - Marina del Rey, CA -- Yesterday, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) posted the application forms and assessment criteria for new top-level domain (TLD) proposals. Applications will be accepted beginning September 5, 2000 until October 2, 2000, followed by a two-week public comment period and review by the ICANN Board of Directors. An announcement of the Board's decisions is scheduled for mid-November.

During the application period, applicants with questions can address them in writing to <tld-applications@icann.org> and substantive responses will be posted at <http://www.icann.org/tlds/tld-faqs.htm>.

Criteria for use in selecting among the proposals submitted are posted at <http://www.icann.org/tlds/tld-criteria-15aug00.htm>. Application materials may be accessed through <http://www.icann.org/tlds/tld-applications-15aug00.htm>.

They include:

  1. Sponsored & Unsponsored TLD Application Transmittal Forms
  2. Sponsoring Organization's Proposal
  3. Registry Operator's Proposal
  4. Description of TLD Policies
  5. Statement of Requested Confidential Treatment of Materials Submitted
  6. Fitness Disclosures

An overview of the application process is posted at <http://www.icann.org/tlds/application-process-03aug00.htm>.


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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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."