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Joint SO/AC Working Group on New gTLD Applicant Support Snapshot

Open: 16 June 2010
Closed: 21 July 2010

Explanation/Background: The SO/AC Working Group was recently formed to look into applicant support for new gTLDs and is composed by members of ICANN's Supporting Organizations (SOs) and Advisory Committees (ACs). The formation and activities of this working group is a direct response to a recent Board resolution during the ICANN Meeting in Nairobi during recognizing the importance of an inclusive New gTLD Program. The Board requested stakeholders "to develop a sustainable approach to providing support to applicants requiring assistance in applying for and operating new gTLDs." See resolution here: http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-12mar10-en.htm#20. The working group continues to evaluate and propose recommendations regarding specific support to new gTLD applicants in justified cases. The current publication [PDF, 772 KB] is a status report and findings to date, with a view to solicit public comments to guide further work.

Staff member responsible: Kurt Pritz

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."