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Initial Report on Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs

Comment/Reply Periods (*) Important Information Links
Comment Open: 6 January 2012
Comment Close: 7 February 2012 Extended to 23 March 2012
Close Time (UTC): 23:59 UTC Public Comment Announcement
Reply Open: 24 March 2012 To Submit Your Comments (Forum Closed)
Reply Close: 13 April 2012 View Comments Submitted
Close Time (UTC): 23:59 UTC Report of Public Comments
Brief Overview
Originating Organization:

Joint ccNSO and GNSO IDN Working Group (JIG WG)

  • Top-Level Domains
  • Policy Processes
Purpose (Brief):

The Initial Report reflects the preliminary stocktaking by the WG members of policy and other considerations relating to the Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs.

Current Status:

Seeking public comment on its Initial Report is part of the process to report on identified issues to the respective Councils and propose a methodology to address the issues.

Next Steps:

The WG will closely review all submitted comments to revise and assess its prelimanary stocktaking.

Staff Contact: Bart Boswinkel Email:
Detailed Information
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

The joint ccNSO – GNSO IDN working group (JIG) is seeking public comment on its Initial Report on Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs. This report is intended to solicit input from the community on the preliminary stocktaking of policy and other considerations as well as possible actions to taken by ICANN and the ICANN community to address the issue of Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs in support of the introduction of IDN cc and gTLDs.

The following are policy and coordination considerations identified:

  1. Are there policy aspects to be considered and/or policies to be implemented at ICANN?
    1. Budgeting policies?
    2. Registry policies for IDN ccTLDs and IDN gTLDs?
  2. Which organizations should ICANN work with on the issue and how should ICANN identify such organizations?
    1. Industry, regional and related organizations
    2. Emerging de facto industry standards, such as:
  3. Which areas should ICANN focus its efforts and exert its influence on?
    1. Browsers and DNS Lookup tools and components
    2. Network infrastructure, hosting and email providers
    3. Network management and security tools
    4. Applications and databases
    5. Registries, Registrars and RIR systems
  4. On what types of work should ICANN and the ICANN community focus its efforts and priorities?
    1. Participation in, support and/or oversight of emerging industry standards
    2. Development and promotion of tools and educational materials
    3. Document and maintain a set of "checklist" or guidelines for new IDN TLDs
    4. Organizing and supporting relevant events (along with speaking engagements)
    5. Support for IDN TLDs in relevant local initiatives

To be most helpful input and feed-back from the community is sought with respect to the following questions:

  1. Is the approach used by the JIG satisfactory?
  2. Are the identified areas of policy and coordination comprehensive?

Has the JIG captured the major issues associated with Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs? If not, what is missing?

Section II: Background

The purpose of the Joint ccNSO/GNSO IDN Working Group is to deal with issues related to the introduction of IDN ccTLDs under the IDN ccTLD Fast Track implementation process and IDN gTLDs under the new gTLD implementation process, which are of common interest to both the GNSO and ccNSO.

The following topic area's have been identified of mutual interest:

  1. Policy aspects relating to the introduction of Single Character IDN TLDs
  2. Universal Acceptance of IDN TLDs
  3. Policy aspects pertaining to variant management of IDN TLDs

Both the ccNSO and GNSO Council adopted the charter of the JIG.

Section III: Document and Resource Links

The Initial Report can be found at: [PDF, 160 KB]

Additional Resources

Further information on the work of the joint ccNSO – GNSO IDN WG is available at:

Section IV: Additional Information

(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making that takes place once this period lapses.

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."