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Final Report of IDNC Working Group on ccTLD Fast Track Mechanisms

Open: 15 July 08
Closed: 15 August 08

Explanation:The IDNC Working Group (IDNC WG) has developed its Final Report on feasible methods that would enable the timely and efficient ("fast track") introduction of a limited number of non-contentious IDN ccTLDs, while an overall long-term IDN ccTLD policy is being developed. The Final Report highlights the latest topics and issues that need to be considered in developing (1) a mechanism for the selection of the IDN ccTLD string and (2) a mechanism to designate an IDN ccTLD manager. The ICANN Board of Directors accepted the Final Report at its 26 June meeting in Paris, France and directed that the report be made available for public comments.

Final Report of IDNC WG [PDF, 100K]

Comments on the document are welcome via email at idn-cctld-fast-track@icann.org. This public forum will be open through 15 August 2008. An archive of all comments received will be publicly posted at http://forum.icann.org/lists/idn-cctld-fast-track/.

Staff member responsible: Bart Boswinkel

Announcement | Comments | Summary/analysis of comments [PDF, 233K]

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."