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Email from Tina Dam to gTLD Registry Operators and Sponsors

Date: July 18, 2004
From: Tina Dam
To: gTLD Registry Operators and Sponsors
Subject: registrar applications

Dear gTLD Registry Operators and Sponsors,

This is a quick note to make you aware that ICANN has received in the past month a large number of new applications for registrar accreditation (approximately 130). While this is a substantial increase in the number of applications ICANN ordinarily receives, almost all of these applications are from new companies that are sisters to or subsidiaries of already-accredited corporations.

On a related note, as you may have already noticed, ICANN is in the preliminary consultation stages of commissioning an external Expert Advisory Panel "to gather facts and assess issues affecting the competitive registry-registrar marketplace and ICANN's Registrar Accreditation Policy." If you have concerns, questions, or feedback on these issues, please contact me or Paul Verhoef (ICANN's Vice President, Policy Development Support) to discuss.>

Kind regards,
Tina Dam
ICANN
Chief Registry Liaison

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."