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Geographic Regions Review – Draft Final Report

Comment Period Important Information Links
Open Date: 30 September 2011
Close Date: 19 December 2011 Public Comment Announcement To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Time (UTC): 23:59 View Comments Submitted Report of Public Comments
Originating Organization: Community-Wide Geographic Regions Review Working Group
Purpose:

For the past two years a community-wide working group chartered by the ICANN Board has been working to (1) confirm the history, underlying principles and goals of the current geographic regions framework, (2) analyze how those goals and principles have been applied by the Board, Staff and community and (3) consulted with the community on how those principles and goals can be best maintained in the future.

This Draft Final Report reflects the penultimate step of that research and consultation effort.  The draft document outlines specific recommendations from the Working Group to the ICANN Board regarding how the present Geographic Regions Framework can be modified to ensure that the organizational principles of geographic and cultural diversity are honored and maintained. Those recommendations are based on thorough research, extensive community consultation and reflect the points of view of a wide range of the ICANN community.

Mindful of the potential implications even small changes to the framework could have on the wider community, the WG decided to make this draft document available to the community for review and comment before the WG formally publishes its Final Report.  The WG will closely review all submitted comments to determine if further modifications to the draft document are necessary.

Current Status: The Working Group has reached a consensus on its recommendations, but given the extensive consultative nature of this effort and mindful of the potential implications even small changes to the framework could have on the wider community, the WG decided to make this draft document available to the community for review and comment before the WG formally publishes its Final Report.
Next Steps: The Working Group will closely review all comments submitted in this proceeding and will determine whether to modify the recommendations in the Final Report. The Working expects to formally publish its Final Report early next year. At that time the various ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees will be asked to formally comment on the recommendations in the Final Report.
Staff Contact: Robert Hoggarth Email: robert.hoggarth@icann.org
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."