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IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process

The approval of the IDN country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) Fast Track Process by the ICANN Board at its annual meeting in Seoul, South Korea in October 2009, enabled countries and territories to submit requests to ICANN for IDN ccTLDs representing their respective country or territory names in scripts other than US-ASCII characters. A country or territory represented on the ISO3166-1 list is eligible to participate in the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process and to request an IDN ccTLD string that fulfills the additional requirements defined in the Final Implementation Plan for IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process (FIP) [PDF, 851 KB].

IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process' 3 Steps: Preparation, String Evaluation, and Delegation

Please contact for any inquiries about the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process.

For information on countries and territories that have completed the IDN ccTLD Fast Track process, click here.

On 27 June 2013, the ICANN Board approved an amendment to the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process Final Implementation Plan. The amendment implements a two-panel process for string similarity review in the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process using a different methodology by the Extended Process String Review Panel. For details of the process and reports received, click here.

When the ICANN Board of Directors approved the FIP, they also directed the staff "to monitor the operation of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process at regular intervals to ensure its smooth operation, and, subject to Board review, update the process when new technology or policies become available, with the goal to efficiently meet the needs of Fast Track Process requesters, and to best meet the needs of the global Internet community." Based on the direction, FIP is currently undergoing review. For details, see the recent public comment announcement.

FIP has been revised multiple times since its initial approval. The various versions (in reverse chronological order) are given below:

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."