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Third 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 updates that were published on 25 July 2002 and 4 August 2002.

Supplemental Questions to Applicants and Answers Posted

Supplemental Question 2 was posed to all applicants on 7 August 2002. Supplemental Question 3 was posed to Internet Multicasting Service, Inc./Internet Software Consortium, Inc. on 9 August 2002. The applicants' responses to Supplemental Questions 1, 2, and 3 have been posted.

Preliminary Evaluation Report Issued

A preliminary version of the staff evaluation report was posted on 19 August 2002. It is based on four underlying reports, which were also posted on 19 August 2002:

Gartner, Inc. Evaluation Report (technical aspects)
Academic CIO Evaluation Report (technical aspects)
NCDNHC Evaluation Report (usage aspects)
ICANN General Counsel Evaluation Report (procedural aspects)

Comments on these reports are invited. They should be sent by e-mail to <>. Please note that comments received will be sorted into categories and posted for public review.

Schedule for Remainder of Selection Process

29 August 2002 - Last day for comments by applicants and members of the public on the preliminary staff evaluation report. Comments should be sent by e-mail to <>. Please note that comments received will be posted for public review.

5 September 2002 - Based on the comments received through 29 August 2002, the preliminary report will be finalized and posted.

6-23 September 2002 - Public comment period on finalized evaluation report. Comments should be sent by e-mail to <>. Comments received will be posted for Board and public review.

16 September 2002 - Each applicant is invited to submit by this date a commentary, no more than 5000 words long, on the final evaluation report. The commentaries will be provided to the ICANN Board and posted shortly after they are received.

Late-September 2002 - The ICANN Board will consider the evaluation report at a telephone meeting.

Mid-October 2002 - Target date for completion of a registry agreement between ICANN and the selected successor operator of the registry for the .org top-level domain.

1 January 2003 - The contracted successor operator will assume responsibility for operation of the .org top-level domain.

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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"""" is not an IDN."