Archive for April, 2010

First IDN ccTLDs approved for delegation

Monday, April 26th, 2010

By Jon Lawrence

The ICANN Board has taken another step towards the realisation of their vision of ‘One World, one Internet, everyone connected’ with their approval of the delegation requests for the first IDN ccTLDs.

These first four non-Latin script ccTLDs are as follows:
امارات. (.emarat), Arabic script – United Arab Emirates
مصر. (.masr), Arabic script – Egypt
.рф (.rf), Cyrillic script – Russian Federation
السعودية . (.alsaudiah), Arabic script – Saudi Arabia

IANA will now commence the process of adding these IDN ccTLDs to the Root Zone, subject to sign-off by the US Department of Commerce.

There are nine other IDN ccTLD requests which have passed the string evaluation phase but are yet to have their delegations approved, with the latest being Jordan’s الاردن. (.al-ordon), which reached this stage of the process last week. ICANN staff are working on another six applications, bringing the total number of applications to 19, representing 11 languages.

AusRegistry International is providing assistance to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE in support of the launch of the امارات. (.emarat) Arabic script IDN ccTLD, and we are honoured to be involved in this important step in extending the reach of the internet to the billions of people around the world who use non-Latin scripts.

See our press release about this project.

ICANN to hold webinars on Synchronized IDN ccTLDs

Friday, April 9th, 2010

By Jon Lawrence

Next week, ICANN will be holding two webinars to discuss the Proposed Implementation Plan for Synchronized IDN ccTLDs.

Synchronized IDN ccTLDs are those where there are two variations of a particular script in common usage, and an expectation on the part of users that they will be able to use either variation to navigate to a particular website or other resource.

The most obvious example is Chinese, which has both Traditional and Simplified variations in common usage.  China and Taiwan have requested both variations of their IDN ccTLDs to be delegated.

The Implementation Plan for Synchronized IDN ccTLDs will determine the operational rules which will be the basis on which those delegations will be approved.  It is ICANN’s intention that Synchronized IDN ccTLDs will function as interchangeably as possible, though they will in a technical sense be separate delegations.

AusRegistry International is a leading provider of IDN-enabled Domain Name Registry Software and associated services and is actively assisting a number of ccTLD Managers around the world to implement their IDN ccTLDs.  For more information about our IDN-related services, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

ICANN has extended the Public Comment period for this Proposed Implementation Plan until 17th April.

The webinars will be conducted next Thursday, 15th April at 0100 UTC and 1400 UTC.

Webinar details
Proposed Implementation Plan for Synchronized IDN ccTLDs
Questions & Answers (Q&A)
Public Comment website

.yu domain consigned to history

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

By Jon Lawrence

At 12 noon Belgrade time on Tuesday (30th March), the .yu ccTLD domain space was due to be deactivated, finally laying to rest one of the last vestiges of the former state of Yugoslavia.

The .yu ccTLD was originally assigned to the University of Maribor and the Jozef Stefan Institute, both in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  When the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia broke apart in the early 1990s, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia* and finally Bosnia-Herzegovina seceded from the union, and were subsequently assigned their own ccTLDs – .si for Slovenia, .hr for Croatia (Hrvatska), .mk for Macedonia* in 1993, and .ba for Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1996.

Meanwhile, in 1994, the .yu ccTLD was transferred to the University of Belgrade, reflecting the reality of the new Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which now comprised only Serbia and Montenegro.  This state renamed itself Serbia and Montenegro in 2003 and a new ccTLD (.cs) was reserved, to replace .yu.  The .cs ccTLD was never delegated though and in 2006 Montenegro became independent, leading to the separate countries being assigned the .rs (Serbia) and .me (Montenegro) ccTLDs.

The .rs and .me ccTLDs both went live in late 2007.  At the same time, .yu was reassigned to the Serbian National Register of Internet Domain Names (RNIDS), the new ccTLD Manager for Serbia’s .rs ccTLD.

RNIDS has been working hard to migrate the remaining .yu domain name holders across to .rs (or to .me, as appropriate) to enable the deactivation of .yu.  This was originally scheduled for 30th September 2009, however RNIDS successfully appealed to ICANN for a six-month stay of execution as there were still a few thousand active .yu sites at that point.

Last month, the 55,555th .rs domain name was registered.  The launch of .me has been even more successful, as it has been marketed as a global personal domain space.  To date, over 250,000 .me domain names have been registered.

There may be one chapter remaining in the story of ccTLDs of the former Yugoslavia.  The Republic of Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008, though this is disputed by Serbia and it has yet to be recognised by a majority of United Nations member states.  Should Kosovo gain widespread acceptance as an independent state, then a new country-code will need to be assigned.  The obvious ones – .ks, .ko and .kv are all currently available.

RNIDS also recently announced that they will be applying for a Cyrillic script IDN ccTLD as part of ICANN’s IDN ccTLD Fast Track program.  It remains to be seen whether any of the other former Yugoslav republics in which Cyrillic is widely used will follow suit.

*Known officially as The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, to differentiate it from the adjoining Greek province also known as Macedonia.