[AfrICANN-discuss] From ccNSO - IDN ccTLDs

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Wed Oct 10 11:47:44 SAST 2007

Dear All,

This letter is from Chris Dispain, Chairman of the ccNSO at ICANN. Please
share with any ccTLD managers you know. Thanks.

Dear ccTLD Manager,
I am writing to you, in my capacity as Chairman of the Country Codeames
Organisation (ccNSO), about the introduction of ccTLD Internationalised
Domain Names (IDN
ccTLDs). The input I am requesting from you is very important and your
response will be
much appreciated.
At the end of this email is a Background and References section that
provides some
background information and links to various documents.
Based on work done by the ccNSO and discussions amongst ccTLD managers in
all regions
the ccNSO has taken the first step to launching a Policy Development Process
to set the
overall policy for IDN ccTLDs.
At this stage, the ccNSO is also discussing whether or not to recommend that
Board consider a fast track/interim approach under which some IDN ccTLDs
could be
delegated while the overall policy is being developed. To help with those
discussions we need
to find out the level of interest in your territory and that is why I am
writing to you.

While community feedback has encouraged the ccNSO to explore levels of
interest in a fasttrack/
interim approach to IDN ccTLDs, this is the first of many steps that would
have to be
carefully and successfully taken towards that end and it is generally
accepted that any
implementation would have to be in compliance with current policies and
procedures. Some
of these that may be relevant are set out in the Background and References
section below.

I would be grateful if you would answer the following questions:
1. Do you believe that the local community in your territory has a pressing
need for an
2. If so, is there yet agreement in your territory on the scripts and the
string within the
script(s) for which delegation of an IDN ccTLD would be sought, and could
indicate which strings and scripts are of interest?
3. Do you believe the delegation of an IDN ccTLD under a fast track/interim
would be of interest to your community?

The fast track/interim approach will be discussed by ccTLD managers at the
ICANN meeting
in Los Angeles. So, it would be most helpful if you could respond by 26
October 2007.

Background and References
In the Domain Name System, a ccTLD string (like .jp, .uk) has been defined
to represent the
name of a country, territory or area of geographical interest, and its
subdivisions as identified
in ISO 3166-1, and is represented by 2 US-ASCII characters
e_elements.htm). This method of identification was adopted for use in the
Internet through
RFC 920, dated October 1984, and reaffirmed through RFC 1591, dated March
1994. All
ccTLDs in use today are taken directly from the ISO 3166-1 list or from the
list of
exceptionally reserved code elements defined by the ISO 3166 Maintenance
The implementation of IDN ccTLDs introduces the (apparent) use of characters
outside the
US-ASCII character set (for example characters in Cyrillic, Chinese, Arabic,
and other scripts)
for domain name strings.

In initial discussions by the ccNSO members, other ccTLD managers and
Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) a number of policy questions were
identified and a
"Questions and Issues Paper" was submitted to the ICANN Board of Directors
It became
clear that the development of the required policy for IDN ccTLDs to resolve
the issues raised
was likely to take a minimum of 2 years. It also became clear that such a
time frame was a
major concern for a number of ccTLD managers who have expressed there is a
pressing need
for an IDN ccTLD in their territory. Because of this, the concept of a fast
approach began to be discussed. In those discussions it was thought that it
might be
possible to find a method to allow the introduction of a limited number of
IDN ccTLDs while
the overall policy was being developed.

Policies and procedures that may be relevant to the delegation of an IDN
ccTLD under a fast
track/interim approach include:
the IDNA protocol standards (http://icann.org/announcements/announcement-2-
RFC 3454 (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3454.txt);
RFC 3490 (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3490);
RFC 3491 (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3491.txt);
RFC 3492 (http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3492.txt);
RFC 1591 and associated procedures for delegation of a country code top
level domain
The GAC principles http://gac.icann.org/web/home/ccTLD_Principles.rtf.
Following consideration of the "Questions and Issues Paper", and statements
of the GAC and
ccTLD managers on a fast track/interim approach the ICANN Board has
requested the ccNSO
to explore both an interim and an overall approach to IDN ccTLDs associated
with the ISO
3166-1 two-letter codes and to recommend a course of action to the Board
taking the
technical limitations and requirements into consideration
At its meeting on 2 October 2007, the ccNSO Council launched a Policy
Development Process
(ccPDP) by requesting a PDP Issues Report and appointing an Issues Manager.
This ccPDP
has been launched to develop an overall approach, which includes finding
solutions for the
matters raised in the "Questions and Issues Paper".
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