The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) function of ICANN, as part of the administrative tasks associated with management of the Domain Name System root zone, is responsible for receiving requests for the delegation and redelegation of top-level domains, investigating and reporting on the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and, when appropriate, implementing the delegation changes.
In accordance with ICANN’s performance of these functions, IANA has received a number of requests for the following top-level domains:
|Domain||Domain (A-label)||IANA Code||Language/Script|
ICANN has been involved in the introduction of Internationalised Top-Level Domains (IDNs) since 2000. The ICANN Board issued its first resolution on IDNs in September 2000, recognising “the importance of the Internet to evolve to be more accessible to those who do not use the ASCII character set” but stressing that “the internationalisation of the Internet’s domain name system must be accomplished through standards that are open, non-proprietary, and fully compatible with the Internet’s existing end-to-end model and that preserve globally unique naming in the universally resolvable public name space.”
Since 2000, ICANN has held numerous workshops, tutorials, presentations and meetings on IDNs. A brief overview of related activities is provided in this report, however a more complete overview of the associated meetings and events are available online at ICANN’s website.
In October 2002, the Internet Engineering Steering Group approved the publication of a standardised way of integrating IDNs into the DNS. The technical standard was published in March 2003.
On 27 March 2003, the ICANN Board endorsed the IDN implementation approach set forth in the first version of the “Guidelines for the Introduction of Internationalised Domain Names”. Based upon these guidelines, on 20 June 2003, ICANN announced the commencement of the global deployment of IDNs, and the registries for .CN, .JP, .TW, .ORG and .INFO initially committed to supporting them.
Throughout 2005, ICANN and participating registries engaged in a major revision of the IDN Guidelines. Version 2.0 of the guidelines were approved by the ICANN Board and published in November 2005. These were subsequently amended in February 2006 and May 2007.
With the successful deployment of IDNs in the “second-level”, attention turned to ensuring the technique could be deployed in the DNS Root Zone.
The first phase of this evaluation was the engagement of Autonomica AB in October 2006 to develop, conduct and report the results of a technical laboratory test of placing IDNs in the DNS root zone. On a policy level, ICANN staff released an issues report related to introducing internationalised top-level domains.
The laboratory testing design plans were published on 5 December 2006, and the test was conducted during February 2007. The tests were successful, and the results were made public on 7 March 2007.
With the laboratory testing deemed successful, the next phase of testing is to evaluate internationalised domain names being placed in the production DNS root zone for any deleterious effects. In line with the risk that there could conceivably be such risks, it was considered that there needed to be a procedure to allow for the rapid revocation of IDNs should they prove to be causing a significant problem. As such, a set of IANA procedures for the test, including an new ‘emergency revocation’ procedure, were released for public consideration on 2 June 2007. The ICANN Board subsequently approved them at its June 2007 meeting.
On 19 June 2007, the draft IDN Evaluation Plan was released for public review. The plan calls for two separate evaluation facilities, both relating to the inclusion of eleven evaluative internationalised top-level domains in a mix of languages and scripts:
A “pre-deployment evaluation facility”, replicating the queries performed during the successful laboratory test against the evaluative domains in the production root zone.
An “application software evaluation facility”, providing for evaluation of systems connected to the various translations of “example.test”, to be coordinated by ICANN.
ICANN received significant input from a wide spectrum of the Internet community on the development of IDNs. Input has been received from ICANN President’s Advisory Committee on IDNs, the Generic Names Supporting Organisation Council’s IDN Working Group, the Joint ccNSO-GAC IDN Working Group, the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee, the ICANN Root Server System Advisory Committee, the GNSO Reserved Names Working Group, the GNSO Council, the GNSO Registries Constituency, the Country-Code Names Supporting Organisation, and many others.
The ICANN RSSAC reviewed the Evaluation Plan and specified that “[t]here is no issue with adding standard delegations (NS records) to the root zone to instantiate IDN at the root.” The ICANN SSAC also reviewed the Plan, and advised that it “favors the introduction of a set of IDN labels” as proposed by this delegation request.
Comments on the plan also resulted in a correction being made to a code-point used for the Persian “test” top-level domain, which has been reflected in this report.
This report is being provided under the contract for performance of the IANA function between the United States Government and ICANN. Under that contract, ICANN performs the IANA function, which includes receiving delegation and redelegation requests concerning top-level domains, investigating the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and reporting on the requests.
IANA has determined the request has followed the relevant ICANN procedures, and is being implemented in accordance with the ICANN Evaluation Plan for Internationalised Top-Level Domains. IANA will act as the trustee for the domains, consistent with its administration of other Internet resources that do not have a clear definition of stewardship (such as single letter generic top-level domains, RFC 1918 address space, and other reserved codes).
Of particular note, IANA has instituted new procedures that will allow it to revoke the delegation of these domains rapidly in the event that they cause any negative effects to the operation of the DNS root system. This revocation can be enacted either by ICANN Staff, or through consultation with any of the root server operators.
Based upon the foregoing evaluation, the proposed domain delegations will promote service to the Internet community by helping to assure the improved interoperability of the Internet through the global technical coordination within ICANN’s mandate.
IANA therefore concludes that the domains XN--KGBECHTV (representing the term “test” in Arabic), XN--HGBK6AJ7F53BBA (representing the term “test” in Persian), XN--0ZWM56D (representing the term “test” in Simplified Chinese), XN--G6W25LD (representing the term “test” in Traditional Chinese), XN--80AKHBYKNJ4F (representing the term “test” in Russian), XN--11B5BS3A9AJ6G (representing the term “test” in Hindi), XN--JXA1PD1P (representing the term “test” in Greek), XN--9T4B11YI5A (representing the term “test” in Korean), XN--DEBA0AD (representing the term “test” in Yiddish), XN--ZCKZAH (representing the term “test” in Japanese) and XN--HLCJ6AYA9ESC7A (representing the term “test” in Tamil) should be delegated to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority as evaluative domains in accordance with ICANN’s IDN Evaluation Plan.