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New gTLDs

Open: 31 October 07
Closed: 20 November 07

Explanation:The GNSO Council voted to send a set of principles, recommendations and implementation guidelines intended to result in a straightforward process that awards new gTLDs if applicants satisfy the pre-published criteria.

In September the GNSO Council approved its Final Report [PDF, 516K] on the Introduction of New Top-Level Domains (Report) after two years of work and numerous public comment periods. The GNSO developed this proposed policy through its bottom-up, multi-stakeholder policy development process, and worked in coordination with an ICANN staff team to help ensure that their final recommendations and guidelines are “implementable.” The questions that have been addressed by the GNSO in the development of new gTLD policy are complex and involve technical, economic, operational, legal, public policy, and other considerations.

The proposed policy provides direction to staff to enable the implementation of a clear, predictable, timely road map for the application process including: objective business and technical thresholds, pre-published contract terms, evaluation criteria, and dispute resolution processes. Detailed information is provided at http://gnso.icann.org/issues/new-gtlds/pdp-dec05-fr-parta-08aug07.htm.

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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."