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Welcome Registry Operators

Please note that the English language version of all translated content and documents are the official versions and that translations in other languages are for informational purposes only.

This site is designed to provide information for and about generic top-level domain (gTLD) registry operators.

The role of the registry operator within the Internet ecosystem is to keep the master database of all domain names registered in each top-level domain (TLD) and generate the "zone file" that allows computers to route Internet traffic to and from TLDs anywhere in the world.

The ICANN organization accredits registry operators to provide certain domain name registration services relating to gTLDs. The agreements between ICANN and registry operators outline certain responsibilities for each party.

The Registry Services and Engagement team supports registry operators by managing the services registry operators use to fulfill their contractual obligations with ICANN, by establishing relationships with registry operators to better understand the marketplace, and by helping registry operators remain in compliance with their agreement. Collaboratively, the ICANN organization and registry operators work together to ensure a secure, stable and resilient gTLD namespace.

The Basics

The ICANN organization's gTLD Registry area provides information on:

What We Do

Registry Services

Under certain circumstances the registry operator must inform, request approval, and/or request consent from the ICANN organization to add new services they would like to offer that are not currently defined in their Registry Agreement. To facilitate these processes, service managers plan, design and implement the services necessary to support registry operator requests. Registry services include, but are not limited to Registry Operator Name Change, Registry Service Evaluation Process, Change of Control, and Registry Agreement Termination Service.

Additionally, our team implements Consensus Policies by creating implementation plans, engaging community led Implementation Review Teams, and conducting outreach to relevant stakeholders.

Outreach & Engagement

Each registry operator has an assigned engagement manager, who serves as the point of contact for matters of escalation and advocates for registry operators' needs within the ICANN organization.

Engagement managers work proactively with registry operators and consultants for registry operators to understand their business needs and challenges. The Engagement managers help address concerns from their assigned registry operators and develop educational tools and resources that make it easier for the registry operator to stay in compliance with their registry agreement.

How we work with Registry Operators

Registry operators are encouraged to submit formal questions and requests via the Naming Service portal or via email to globalsupport@icann.org.

The engagement manager, assigned to each registry operator, may be used as resource for consultations prior to submitting formal service requests, as well as a point of escalation for any issues or concerns that may arise.

As the ICANN organization continuously strives to improve support and service to the community, we publish service level targets (SLTs) that provide visibility into expected response times. The SLTs and their associated metrics can be found here: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/metrics-gdd-2015-01-30-en.

Meet the Team

Registry Services & Engagement Team

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."