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Email from Tina Dam to Registry Operators and Sponsors

Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2005
From: Tina Dam
To: gTLD Registry Operators and Sponsors
Subject: Number of current registrar applications

Dear gTLD Registry Operators and Sponsors,

In July 2004, I wrote to you to let you know about a substantial increase in the number of applications for ICANN registrar accreditation. As you have seen over the past few months, the number of applications has stabilized, but still continues at a higher level than the historical average. As of today, ICANN has approximately 60 pending applications in our "queue."

Based on past trends, we expect that almost all of these applications will be approved over the next couple of months. I hope this information will be helpful to you in your planning. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Kind regards,

Tina Dam
Chief gTLD 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"""" is not an IDN."