[gnso-idn-wg] ICANN's Internationalised Domain Names Roadmap - Progress and Future
- To: <gnso-idn-wg@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: [gnso-idn-wg] ICANN's Internationalised Domain Names Roadmap - Progress and Future
- From: "Bruce Tonkin" <Bruce.Tonkin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2006 18:18:35 +1100
ICANN today announced a clear roadmap for the introduction of
Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) based on progress so far and
"ICANN has a clear process for the introduction of IDNs. There is much
intense work being done by ICANN committees and the Internet Engineering
Task Force (IETF). That includes IETF standards, testing and rules
discussions. A substantial amount of this work is now coming to
fruition" said Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN.
"ICANN expects that these final tests and discussions will reach a
resolution by the end of 2007" Dr Twomey said.
"Making changes to the root zone file is ICANN's responsibility. But
this is no simple task. If we get this wrong we could very easily and
permanently break the Internet" Dr Twomey said.
The first major step, has been achieved. ICANN's guidelines and the
work of the various registries on second level domains means that many
people are already expressing their on-line identification in their own
"Millions of people in Europe and Asia whose languages do not rely on
Roman characters are already reaping the benefits of this work" Dr
"We are now in the final stages of what is a very complex process, that
is, putting IDNs to the right of the dot" he said.
ICANN is currently conducting laboratory tests to determine the
readiness of the root zone file (the master file of all identifiers) and
its associated root servers and resolvers to house or work with IDNs.
This process, including the results will be made public on ICANN's
"Depending on the results of laboratory testing, ICANN will then perform
live root zone tests. At this time application providers such as
browser developers can also participate in the test" Dr Twomey said.
The design of the test is anticipated to be available for public
scrutiny in early November, and the live root zone tests will be
conducted and ready for analysis by December 2006. All information
related to the laboratory testing will be made publicly available at
"If these testing processes are successful, as we expect them to be, we
will have the technical solution. But there are also policy issues that
are simultaneously in discussion, concerning the creation of new top
level domains including IDNs. We need both the technical and the policy
issues to be resolved to complete this process" Dr Twomey said.
The policy issues are currently being discussed in a variety of areas
within ICANN's structure that includes end users, technicians,
registries and registrars, intellectual property experts, linguistics
experts and Governments.
One example is the GNSO (Generic Names Supporting Organization) which
through its constituencies is tasked with the development of policy
matters related to the generic top level domains (such as .org and
.info). Other constituencies with work underway in this field are:
* Very importantly, the GAC (Governmental Advisory Committee),
* The ccNSO (country code names supporting organization) and many more.
"ICANN believes that all this testing and discussions will reach a
resolution by the end of 2007" Dr Twomey said.
"We are committed to the introduction of IDN top level domains as soon
as all these necessary processes are complete" he said.
This will include IDN versions of country code names as well as generic
top level domains.
A description of some of ICANNs work on IDNs so far and a roadmap for
the way ahead is attached.
20 June 2003 ICANN supported by leading IDN Registries such as cn,
info, jp, org, tw, announced the commencement of global deployment of
Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) in the second level domain.
21 October 2003 Advisory Concerning Registry Requests for Authorization
to Offer IDN Registrations
18 February 2004 ICANN approves a temporary set of procedures to
improve the mechanisms for transferring IDNs between registrars.
3 June 2004 ICANN Announces IDN Workshop to be held 21 July 2004 in
18 November 2004 ICANN Announces IDN Workshop to be held in Cape Town,
23 February 2005 ICANN Statement Regarding IDN Homograph Concerns
14 September 2005 Formal Call for Papers Concerning Deployment of
Internationalized Top Level Domains
20 September 2005 Draft Revised IDN Guidelines: Public Comment Period
17 October 2005 Draft Revised IDN Guidelines
The French version of the draft revised Guidelines for the
Implementation of Internationalized Domain Names ("IDN Guidelines")
31 October 2005 IDN Guideline Revision Update
7 November 2005 Final Proposed Draft IDN Guidelines Posted
14 November 2005 IDN Guidelines Version 2.0 Finalized. The revision
focuses on eliminating spoofing between labels
17 November 2005 Implementation of Internationalized Top Level Domains.
As previously announced, IDN workshop will be held during the ICANN
27 February 2006 IDN Guidelines Posting of Version 2.1
28 May 2006 Policy Issues relating to IDN at the top-level -
Preliminary Issues Report. On request from the GNSO Council, ICANN staff
prepares a preliminary Issues Report setting out policy issues for
introduction of IDNs
23 June 2006 PIR Releases Principles for the Foundation of Top Level
5 October 2006 ICANN Establishes Internationalized Domain Names (IDN)
11 October 2006 Review and Recommendations for Internationalized Domain
19 October 2006 IDN Laboratory Testing: ICANN has engaged Autonomica AB
to develop, conduct and report the results of laboratory testing . The
laboratory technical tests of the viability of internationalized top
level levels and the effect they may have on the DNS are being done
before insertion of such labels in the root servers. The laboratory test
focuses solely on a replicate that is as close as possible to the server
software of the various root servers. As such it is not a test that
includes the end-user perspective, or a live root test
31 October 2006 IDNA Protocol Review and Proposals for Change
Where We Head Next
* ICANN laboratory testing of top level IDNs in the root
-- Crucial for DNS resolver reactions
-- Allows Testing of maximum and minimum length IDNs, other variations
* ICANN testing of IDNs in live Root Zone File
-- Crucial for Browser and other applications reactions
* Cooperative, multi-stakeholder IDN policy formation
-- Adoption of new gTLD (and IDN) rules
-- Identification of IDN ccTLDs
-- Specification of characters allowed in IDNs
-- Note potential disputes over who has rights to IDN TLDs
* Implementation and testing of infrastructure and application software
* Installation of IDN TLDs into root zone file by ICANN
ICANN is also in the process of developing and implementing an outreach
plan to insure better coordination among all bodies that are necessary
for the implementation of internationalized top level labels into the