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History of the New gTLD Program

The ICANN Bylaws include the core value to foster "competition in the registration of domain names where practicable and beneficial to the public interest as identified through the bottom-up, multistakeholder policy development process."

In 2000, ICANN launched the first round of applications for new generic top-level domains. It included the delegation of .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, and .pro. It was the first expansion of the DNS since the 1980s, when the first seven gTLDs were created (.com, .edu, .gov, .int, .mil, .net, and .org.). During 2003, ICANN launched an additional round of new gTLDs that included gTLDs .asia, .cat, .jobs, .mobi, .tel, .travel, and .xxx.

In 2008, the Board adopted the 2007 GNSO policy recommendations, which called for the introduction of new gTLDs in rounds until the scale of demand is clear, beginning a policy implementation process to develop the application rules and procedures.

In 2011, the Board approved the gTLD Applicant Guidebook, enabling the opening of the 2012 new gTLD application process. That same year, the Board passed a resolution directing ICANN org to open a second application window "as expeditiously as possible."

In January 2012, ICANN launched the New gTLD Program and subsequently received 1,930 gTLD applications. Since the launch of the New gTLD Program, more than 1,200 of these applied-for gTLDs have been delegated into the DNS root zone. These new gTLDs included non-Latin scripts such as 游戏 (Chinese for "Game(s))", сайт (Russian for "site"), and شبكة (Arabic for "web/network").

In November 2014, the Board passed a resolution directing ICANN org to work with the community on reviews of the 2012 round of the New gTLD Program and identify a set of topics for potential GNSO discussion in the Policy Development Phase (PDP). 

Preliminary steps toward a next round were taken in June 2015, when the GNSO Council requested an Issue Report to explore potential changes or adjustments to procedures of new gTLDs. In August 2015, ICANN org published the Preliminary Issue Report on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures, which was subject to a Public Comment period from 31 August to 30 October 2015.

In December 2015, ICANN org prepared and delivered the Final Issue Report on New gTLDs Subsequent Procedures. Later that same month, the GNSO Council initiated a PDP for New gTLD Subsequent Procedures. The New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Working Group (SubPro WG) was chartered by the GNSO Council, which tasked the WG with calling upon the community's collective experiences from the 2012 New gTLD Program round to determine what, if any changes needed to be made to the existing Introduction of New Generic Top-Level Domains policy recommendations from August 2007.

In July 2018, the SubPro WG published the Initial Report on the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process, containing the outputs of the SubPro WG on the overarching issues as well as preliminary recommendations, for Public Comment. In December 2018 the SubPro WG published a Supplemental Report on the new gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process (Work Track 5).

In September 2020, the Draft Final Report on the new gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process was opened for Public Comment and published in full. On 18 February 2021, the GNSO Council voted to approve all of the outputs that were determined to have received either "Full Consensus" or "Consensus" designations documented in the Final Report on the new gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process (Final Report).

On 24 March 2021, the GNSO Council transmitted its Recommendations Report to the ICANN Board to review and consider, requesting that the Board initiate an Operational Design Phase (ODP) on the Final Report and its outputs. A Public Comment period followed, from 22 April to  1 June 2021, with the ensuing Staff Report published on 15 June 2021.

On 12 September 2021, the Board directed the ICANN President and CEO to undertake an ODP to inform its decision on whether the outputs contained in the Final Report represented the best interests of the ICANN community or ICANN. The ODP began in January 2022 and in December 2022, ICANN org delivered the resulting New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Operational Design Assessment (ODA) to the Board for its consideration.

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."