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Whois Service Level Agreement (SLA)

On 17 May 2018 the ICANN Board adopted a Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data. This page is under review and will be updated to address the Temporary Specification.


The 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) requires ICANN-accredited registrars to provide Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS or Whois) at specified levels of availability, response time and update time. Additional details are in the Whois Service Level Agreement (SLA) Matrix.

These requirements only apply to registrars under the 2013 RAA. Registrars still under the 2001 or 2009 RAA do not have this requirement.

To determine which RAA version applies to a registrar, visit the ICANN-Accredited Registrars page, which lists the RAA version for every registrar.

If you have a complaint regarding a registrar failing to comply with the Whois SLA, please submit a Whois Service Complaint Form.

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."