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Universal Acceptance (UA)

Universal Acceptance (UA) ensures that all domain names, including new top-level domains (TLDs), Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), and email addresses are treated equally and can be used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems. UA provides the gateway to the next billion Internet users.

Latest UA Announcements, Blogs, and Reports

UA Overview

The introduction of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) into the Internet ecosystem enabled the largest expansion of the Domain Name System (DNS) to date. There are now more than 1,200 active gTLDs representing many different scripts and character strings of varying length (e.g., .дети, .london, .engineering). There are also more than 60 IDN country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) representing global communities online in native scripts (e.g., .ไทย, 中国, السعودية).

The Internet is Evolving

UA is a fundamental requirement for a truly multilingual and digitally inclusive Internet. UA ensures that all valid domain names, including long new TLDs and email addresses, can be used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems regardless of script, language, or character length. UA also supports the ability for email mailbox names to use characters in local languages and scripts through Email Address Internationalization (EAI) standards. 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.

UA is a priority for ICANN org and is a strategic goal outlined in the ICANN Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025.

UA Benefits

Achieving UA ensures everyone has the ability to navigate and communicate on the Internet using the domain name and email address that best aligns with their interests, business, culture, language, and script. Being UA-ready will help bring the next billion people online, many of whom currently face linguistic barriers to the Internet.

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 and enable greater competition, innovation, and consumer choice.

Learn more on how UA could benefit you.

UA-Readiness Report

The annual UA-Readiness Report outlines the status of UA around the world.

Become UA-Ready

Achieving UA is only possible through the joint efforts and cooperation of various stakeholders, including, but not limited, to:

  • Technology enablers
  • Technology developers
  • Email software and service providers
  • Email and system administrators
  • Top-level domain registries and registrars
  • Academia
  • Government policymakers

Find out how to make your systems UA-ready.

UA Programs and Resources

Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG)

The UASG is a volunteer-led initiative focused on UA awareness and remediation. Volunteers are welcome to join in these efforts through the UASG's Working Groups and other initiatives.

UA Training

Learn more about the technical aspects of UA and EAI through our training programs and resources.

UA-Readiness Evaluations

Research the state of UA-readiness through numerous platform and framework evaluations.

For more information, please email UAProgram@icann.org.

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."