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ICANN Signs Registry Agreeement for .Name

Marina del Rey, California, USA (1 August 2001) The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced a key step forward towards a new top-level domain that will make it easier for individuals to register their names as personal domain names on the Internet. ICANN has signed an agreement with Global Name Registry (GNR) for the introduction of a new Internet top-level domain (TLD) designated as .name. Individuals will be able to request domain names of the form after GNR opens the registration process in late August.

"ICANN is pleased to reach another milestone in the introduction of new Internet top-level domains. Individual consumers will benefit from having a top-level domain dedicated to their needs, and permitting registration of personal names for web-site and e-mail identities," stated ICANN President/CEO M. Stuart Lynn.

Registrations will be accepted by any of dozens of ICANN-accredited registrars located worldwide. In September, they will be submitted to the GNR central registry. GNR will conduct a randomized selection process among multiple submissions of the same name. "This is a fair process to select among competing requests," noted Lynn. "Understandably everyone would like their first choice for use by themselves and their families, but this is just not possible in a world where thousands of people may have the same name."

Registered names in .name are expected to become operational throughout the Internet around November 1. GNR is the third of seven registries selected last November by the ICANN Board of Directors for the first introduction of new generic top-level domains since the 1980s.

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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."