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Authorization Process for Release of Two-Character ASCII Labels

On 13 December 2016, the Authorization Process and its accompanying pages were retired. For current information regarding Two-Character ASCII Labels, please go here:

Archive Index and Updates of Note:

  • Version April 2016
    • Updated authorization process for release of letter/letter two-character ASCII labels to include labels with comments that do not pertain to confusion.
  • Version February 2016
  • Version October 2015
    • Comments Consideration Process Webpage launched
    • Updated text to reflect new mechanism for submission of comments
    • Links to new web forms and interface to submit and view comments
  • Version March 2015
    • Added status of "Authorization*" for requests that include letter/letter two-character labels for which the TLD has already received authorization. Requests with this status have all additional requested characters authorized for release
    • Added clarification language that ICANN will only consider comments submitted during the public comment period
    • Added a column for Public Comment Period Close Date
  • Version February 2015
    • A Background page is added to provide information regarding the history and context of the two-character labels process and process updates
    • As information regarding the history and context of the authorization process has been moved to the background page, main page mainly contains information regarding authorization process, comment submissions and requests in order to provide a streamlined interface
    • Requests sortable by reference number, TLD, registry name and date posted
    • The list of all requests for letter/letter two-character ASCII labels is now available for download as a .csv file
    • A column has been added to identify whether a TLD has been granted a .BRAND specification
    • The "View Comments" page has been updated to show all comments made in a calendar year, rather than showing comments on a month-by-month basis
  • Version December 2014
    • Original version of webpage, launched on 1 December 2014
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."