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gTLD Registry Continuity

ICANN has developed a gTLD Registry Continuity Framework in collaboration with experienced gTLD, ccTLD registries and members of the technical community.

The overall goals of ICANN's gTLD Registry Continuity Framework are

  1. the protection of existing registrants and
  2. to ensure confidence in the DNS.

The development of the framework has been guided by the following ICANN Core Values:

1. Preserving and enhancing the operational stability, reliability, security, and global interoperability of the Internet.

8. Making decisions by applying documented policies neutrally and objectively, with integrity and fairness.

9. Acting with a speed that is responsive to the needs of the Internet while, as part of the decision-making process, obtaining informed input from those entities most affected.

News and Project Updates

Since late 2009, ICANN has been updating the gTLD Registry Continuity Plan into a framework based on recognized international standards for business continuity. The framework is an internal process for contingencies involving gTLD registries, and is part of overall ICANN Business Continuity efforts. ICANN has also been testing gTLD registry data escrow with escrow agents and several gTLD registries. Testing results will be reported later in the year.

ICANN Continuity Efforts Timeline 2009 through 2010

Current ICANN gTLD Registry Continuity Plan

ICANN has updated the gTLD Registry Continuity Plan [PDF, 96K] to be consistent with current terminology in the draft Applicant Guidebook for the new gTLD process and following the Joint ICANN-gTLD Registry Continuity Exercise conducted on 28 January 2009. The implementation procedures for the gTLD Registry Continuity Plan will be posted on this page in the near future.

Previous Timeline

Document Archive

For further information on ICANN activities in this area, please see the document archive.

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."