[AfrICANN-discuss] IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process Launch

Anne-Rachel Inné annerachel at gmail.com
Mon Nov 16 08:41:48 SAST 2009

IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process Launch

16 November 2009

ICANN is pleased to announce the launch of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process.

Non-English speakers across the globe will soon have access to the Internet
addresses completely in their own language. The Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization charged with overseeing
the Internet’s naming and numbering systems, is today launching a process
for delegating a number of internationalized top-level domains.

IDNs are domain names that include characters other than the currently
available set of the English alphabet (the 26 letters "a-z", numbers 0 to 9,
and hyphens). ICANN Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush noted, “The IDN program
will encompass close to one hundred thousand characters, opening up the
Internet to billions of potential users around the globe.”

ICANN President Rod Beckstrom described the importance of this change to the
global Internet community, “Over half the Internet users around the world
don’t use a Latin-based script as their native language. IDNs are about
making the Internet more global and accessible for everyone.”

Starting November 16, 2009 at 00:00UTC ICANN will accept requests from
representatives of countries and territories around the world for new
Internet extensions that represent their country name and are made up of
non-Roman characters.

Once the requests are evaluated and approved, Internet extensions are
expected to come online in many countries during 2010.

“This is the biggest technical change to the Internet’s addressing system –
the Domain Name System – in many years,” said Tina Dam, ICANN’s Senior
Director of Internationalized Domain Names. “Right now, it’s not possible to
get a domain name entirely in for example Chinese characters or Arabic
characters. This is about to change.”

It’s important to note that ICANN will not accept direct registration
applications for second-level domain names – the part before the Internet
extension or suffix – from individuals, companies, or organizations. The
ability for people to get a domain name in their language will come later –
through a process determined by the entity that successfully applies for an
IDN country-code top-level.

The IDN ccTLD Fast Track Process is available online now, including an
online request form, a manual describing how to apply, a list of Frequently
Asked Questions, ICANN’s final implementation plan, and brief history of the
Fast Track process.

All material and access to the system is available at:


*About ICANN:*
To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into
your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so
computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique
identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one
global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit
public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world
dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It
promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique
identifiers. ICANN doesn’t control content on the Internet. It cannot stop
spam and it doesn’t deal with access to the Internet. But through its
coordination role of the Internet’s naming system, it does have an important
impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. *For more information
please visit: www.icann.org*
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