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How Do We Raise Global Awareness of New gTLDs?

Comment Period Important Information Links
Open Date: 24 June 2011
Close Date: 15 July 2011 Public Comment Announcement To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Time (UTC): 23:59 View Comments Submitted Report of Public Comments
Originating Organization: ICANN Communications Department
Purpose: To solicit the public's suggestions on strategies that will help us leverage our limited budget and the strengths of ICANN's volunteer community. This document [PDF, 486 KB] is a working draft of the Communications Plan that the ICANN Communications Department will follow in seeking to raise global awareness of new gTLDs during the remainder of 2011.
Current Status: On 20 June 2011 ICANN's Board of Directors approved a plan to dramatically increase the number of generic top-level domains (new gTLDs). The Board had previously specified that if the plan were approved, there must be a "minimum of four months" spent in raising global awareness of the new opportunity before applications for new gTLDs could be accepted. When passing the New gTLDs plan on 20 June 2011, the Board also extended the communications period to roughly six months. The ideal is that during the application window, which runs from 12 January to 12 April 2012, no organization comes forward and says "We would have liked to apply for a new gTLD, but we didn't know we could." Budget limitations make achieving the ideal quite challenging.
Next Steps: Staff will evaluate the ideas and suggestions submitted in the Forum and determine the extent to which they might be incorporated into the Communications Plan.
Staff Contact: Michele Jourdan Email: michele.jourdan@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."