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Universal Acceptance

The concept that all domain names and email addresses should be treated equally.

UA Announcements, Reports, and Blog Posts

  • Sept. 2021 - Working Towards a Multilingual and Digitally Inclusive Internet: FY21 Progress and Looking Ahead (Blog)
  • Aug. 2021 - Learn How You Can Help Build a More Digitally Inclusive Internet (Blog)
  • Aug. 2021 - UASG Adds Spam Filter Testing to Evaluation of Internationalized Email Support Among Global Systems (Blog)
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The Internet is Evolving; Are Your Systems Keeping Pace?

The Internet is Evolving

The introduction of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) and Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) into the Internet ecosystem through the New gTLD Program, has enabled the largest expansion of the Domain Name System (DNS). In addition to fostering innovation, competition, and consumer choice in the domain name industry, this expansion has unlocked the potential to reach communities and users around the world that face linguistic barriers to the Internet.

By allowing users to access the Internet in their chosen online identities and local languages (non-ASCII characters and scripts), private sectors, governments, and civil societies have the ability to better serve their communities and take advantage of significant business opportunities. Analysys Mason estimates that there is a potential of USD 9.8 billion in revenue growth to come from both existing users of new gTLDs and new users accessing the Internet through IDNs (i.e. in their local language or script).

Universal Acceptance provides the gateway to the next billion Internet users.

What is Universal Acceptance?

Universal Acceptance (UA) is a fundamental requirement for a truly multilingual and digitally inclusive Internet. UA ensures that all domain names, including long new TLDs and IDNs, and email addresses are treated equally and can be used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems. Technically, they must accept, validate, store, process, and display all domain names equally, consistently, and correctly.

Until Universal Acceptance is achieved, it is not possible to provide a consistent and positive experience for all Internet users.

What it Addresses

Universal Acceptance addresses an issue that prevents some Internet users from successfully completing transactions online. The problem can arise when applications reject or don't treat all parts of the domain name correctly, which can occur if those domain names are longer than three characters (e.g., .photography) or in different languages and scripts (e.g., .рф for "Russia Federation" in the Cyrillic script).

Why it Matters

To excel in the long run, organizations and businesses need to ensure that their systems and services will work with the continuously expanding and evolving domain name space. When organizations and businesses are UA-ready, they set themselves up for future success and prospective business growth by supporting their customers' chosen identities.

UA-ready websites, applications, and services lead to better user experiences. When a company is UA-ready, email addresses in any script from any domain name can be used. When a site is UA-ready, it will allow customers with new TLDs and IDNs to successfully use the site and its forms.

Are You EAI-Ready?

Check to see if your mail server advertises support for receiving internationalized email addresses:

Get UA-Ready: Resources

General Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction to Universal Acceptance

UA Fact Sheet

Universal Acceptance Quick Guide

Developers and IT Leaders

UA Readiness Framework

ICANN UA Case Study

Blueprint for CIOs

EAI: A Technical Overview

EAI: Evaluation of Major Email Software and Services

Global Evaluation of Websites for Acceptance of Email Addresses in 2019

Quick Guide to EAI

ICANN Vendors

An Introduction to Universal Acceptance for ICANN Technology Partners

An inventory of all available material can be found, here.

UA Program Projects

Universal Acceptance - Logo

Universal Acceptance Steering Group

The UASG was founded in 2015 and is a community-led initiative tasked with undertaking activities that effectively promote Universal Acceptance (UA). For more information and to get involved, visit: Stay up to date on the latest UA news here, and follow @UASGTech on Twitter.

Regional Universal Acceptance Training Programs

UA Train-the-Trainer Program

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."