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Second Update on .org Reassignment Process

This is an update on the status of the evaluation of the eleven applications ICANN received from entities seeking to become the registry operator for the .org top-level domain on 1 January 2003, when VeriSign, Inc. gives up that role. For more information, see the previous update that was published on 25 July 2002.

Current Status and Schedule

The groups described in the 25 July update are proceeding with their review of the applications. Based on their progress, the schedule remains unchanged from that announced in the 25 July update:

  • 9 August 2002 - Last day for ICANN to pose questions or requests for additional information to applicants. Applicants should be prepared to respond quickly.
  • 19 August 2002 - Posting of draft staff report, which will be accompanied by written reports received from the groups described in the 25 July update. Comments by the applicants and the public will be invited on these materials.
  • 29 August 2002 - Deadline for applicant comments on and responses to draft staff report.
  • 5 September 2002 - Posting of Final Staff Report and Recommendation.
  • Late September 2002 - Board decision on selection.

Supplemental Question Posed to Applicants

The following clarifying question has been posed to each applicant, with a request that a response be provided by 8 August 2002:

Supplemental Question No. 1:

According to the Criteria for Assessing Proposals, "ICANN will place significant emphasis on the demonstrated ability of the applicant or a member of the proposing team to operate a TLD registry of significant scale in a manner that provides affordable services with a high degree of service responsiveness and reliability." In various parts of the written proposals submitted, and in the presentations given at the ICANN Public Forum on the evening of 26 June 2002 in Bucharest, applicants frequently made references to the number of domain names they (or their team members) support as either a registry operator or a registrar that interacts with a registry. For consistency sake, we are asking all applicants to clarify their responses and presentations by providing details, including the number of domain names, they (or their team members) support in each registry or registrar operation they wish to have considered in the course of the evaluation.

Specifically, please give the following details separately for each registry or registrar operation you wish to have considered:

a. Identify each registry or registrar operation you wish to have considered.

b. State whether it is a registry, a registrar, or both.

c1. If it is a registry, state the number of domain names and registrars supported by the registry.

c2. If it is a registrar, state the number of domain names supported by the registrar, and state what registries it interacts with.

d. State which of the following protocols the registry or registrar operation uses for registry-registrar communications: EPP and RRP. If both protocols are used, please provide details regarding which communications employ each protocol.

e. Identify all differences between the protocols identified in your response to item (d) above (i.e. as implemented in the registry or registrar operation concerning which you are responding) and the protocol you propose to use for the .org registry.

f. Name which of the applicant and members of the proposing team is/are responsible for the operation of the registry or registrar, and describe the role(s) under which it is/they are responsible.

Responses will be posted once they are received.


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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."