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Review of the ASO

Comment/Reply Periods (*) Important Information Links
Comment Open: 16 March 2012
Comment Close: 6 April 2012
Close Time (UTC): 23:59 UTC Public Comment Announcement
Reply Open: 7 April 2012 To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Reply Close: 30 April 2012 View Comments Submitted
Close Time (UTC): 23:59 UTC Report of Public Comments
Brief Overview
Originating Organization: Number Resource Organization, NRO
Categories/Tags: Reviews/Improvements
Purpose (Brief): ITEMS International, a consultancy engaged by the NRO to undertake an independent review of the ASO, has delivered its final report. Comments are sought to inform the NRO as well as ICANN to prepare for further steps in the review process.
Current Status: Independent review concluded, final report delivered and posted for public comments
Next Steps: Consideration by the NRO and ICANN and decisions on implementation steps. The NRO will submit its conclusions on the report during the reply comment period, based on comments received.
Staff Contact: Olof Nordling Email: olof.nordling@icann.org
Detailed Information
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose
A review of the Address Supporting Organization, ASO, as required by the ICANN Bylaws, is currently being undertaken by the Number Resource Organization, NRO, in line with the provisions of the ASO MoU. An important step in this process is now finalized: ITEMS International was engaged to perform an independent review and has now presented a final report, to which public comments are sought to inform considerations and decision by the NRO and ICANN in preparation of further steps.
Section II: Background
The ICANN Bylaws require independent reviews to be undertaken of Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees. The MoU between ICANN and the NRO states that the NRO shall fulfill the role of the ASO and further that the NRO shall devise the review mechanism for the review of the ASO. The NRO selected a consultant to perform an independent review as the first step in this process.
Section III: Document and Resource Links

Final report: http://www.nro.net/wp-content/uploads/ASO-Review-Report-2012.pdf [PDF, 3.75 MB] 
ASO MoU, providing the foundation for this supporting organization: http://archive.icann.org/en/aso/aso-mou-29oct04.htm
ASO website, for further information: http://aso.icann.org/
NRO website: http://www.nro.net/

Section IV: Additional Information

None


(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making that takes place once this period lapses.

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."