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Proposed Implementation Plan for Synchronized IDN ccTLDs

Open: 22 March 2010
Closed: 13 April 10 Extended to 17 Apr 2010

Explanation/Background: ICANN is pleased to announce the public comment period for the proposed Implementation Plan for Synchronized IDN ccTLDs [PDF, 440 KB]. Synchronized IDN ccTLDs are described by situations in the Fast Track Process where:

  • IDN ccTLDs are requested in more than one official language or script in a country/territory,
  • the requests for corresponding multiple strings are considered equivalent and delegation would solve a significant problem for Internet users, and
  • users accessing domains under any of the equivalent IDN ccTLDs expect that such domains will resolve to the same address or value.

If approved by the ICANN Board, the proposed implementation plan and process will be available for IDN ccTLD requests for synchronized IDN ccTLDs that have completed the String Evaluation step in the Fast Track Process.

Following successful completion of the evaluation process, the requesters may initiate delegation of the synchronized IDN ccTLDs by following ICANN's standard processes for TLD delegation, through the IANA function.

ICANN hosted two webinar on April 15, 2010. Here are the recordings of those sessions:

You may wish to fast forward to the 4:53 and 4:58 minute mark, respectively.

Staff member responsible: Tina Dam

Announcement | Comments | Summary/analysis of comments

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."