4 days in the Fast Track Process

by Tina Dam on November 19, 2009

Just a brief message to keep you up to date.

As of 00:00 UTC today – 4 days after the launch of the Fast Track Process we have new requests coming in.

The total number is 10 requests. They spread over 5 different languages.

Details about the process is at: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/

Please keep asking questions. Is there is anything we can explain better? The FAQ will be updated shortly to include everything you ask here as well.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

John Yunker 11.20.09 at 7:48 am

Hi Tina,

Can you tell us what countries applied so far? If not, can you tell us what languages/scripts are represented?


Dave Wrixon 11.20.09 at 12:30 pm

More to the point, how long is it going to take you to work out what the Chinese Character equivalent of .CN should be? These guys have been using the extension within Chinese for years now. Just how difficult can it be to work out whether or not you need to start World War III?

Tina Dam 11.20.09 at 8:31 pm

@ John – I am afraid i cant. The languages and countries are in many cases interlinked, so by naming one it would be the same as naming the other.

@ Dave – we are following the process for evaluation. We all want to see these IDN ccTLDs in the root as soon as possible. But please bear in mind that this is the first IDN TLDs for production purposes going out, and we need to make sure that the process designed for this is followed as it is intended to be.

It is not an ICANN staff decision on what the .CN equivalent should be, this is instead a decision coming from China. What we do is evaluate every incoming request to make sure that the process have been followed, for example in terms of community support, government support, and also to ensure that no technical problems arise.


Ajoy Bhatia 11.20.09 at 9:31 pm

I understand that the IDN ccTLDs that have been applied for, are not published while the application is being processed. Where can I get a list of IDN ccTLDs that have been approved and granted? Or is there no such TLD as yet?

Preeti 11.20.09 at 10:10 pm

Hi Tina,

Could you please tell me if there is any provision of Sunrise period for Trademark Owners with respect to IDN ccTLD fast track process?

Tina Dam 11.20.09 at 10:29 pm

@ Ajoy – none of the 10 requests received have passed through the entire process yet. Once they are through the String Evalution part we will post them at: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/

This is the same time as the String Delegation Process can be started by the requester.

Tina Dam 11.20.09 at 10:30 pm

@Preeti – these kind of registration rules will be set locally, so you will need to contact the IDN ccTLD manager. Once they are succesfully through the Fast Track Process, they will be added tothe database of all other TLD managers – at: http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/


Dave Wrixon 11.21.09 at 2:14 am

Preeti, in most cases there are not actually going to be any new domains to register. All that will happen is that Aliases will be allocated to existing domain holders. This is certainly true of all Chinese ccTLDs and almost certainly true of Japanese. The only domain where it 100% certain that is the new domains will be available is the Russian ccTLD, but there it is most unlikely that speculators are going to be able profit. There is going to an extensive Sunrise process which has actually already starting, regardless of how long it takes ICANN to confirm what essentially they have been intimated they will have to have anyway because of ICANN’s concerns over phishing.

Dave Wrixon 11.21.09 at 2:21 am

@ Tina,

I would suggest that we have all known what the outcome of the process in the case of China, and probably other nations as well, for at least a couple of years. It really isn\’t a question of what or whether but a question of when, and that really is going to be determined to the extent ICANN decides to procrastinate. Frankly, if you got all the people together in a room a the same time many of these issue could be sorted out in under half an hour. It is very difficult for most people to see whose interests are being served by extending the process, except for those deriving income from the process.

Ray Marshal 11.21.09 at 8:47 am

Hi Dave,

Regarding your comment,

“All that will happen is that Aliases will be allocated to existing domain holders. This is certainly true of all Chinese ccTLDs and almost certainly true of Japanese.”

are you stating that the owner of “www.abc.cn” will get that domain in the Chinese IDN ccTLD equivalent? If yes, what about the owner of “www.abc.com.cn”? Can you provide links to news sources that provide additional information on these points?

Ray Marshall

Dave Wrixon 11.21.09 at 11:14 am

@ Ray Marshall,

No, I believe not although perhaps you should. IDN.cn registrant pay a lot more for their domains and get the IDN TLD equivalents of their names bundled and these will almost certainly resolve to the same place when ICANN get their act together. Is their merit in giving you ASCII.IDN to go with your ASCII.CN? I really couldn’t say, but if so expect to pay for the privilege.

SEO Manchester 11.22.09 at 6:20 pm

How’s the process of adding new gTLDs going to work?

http://www.botebearings.com/ 11.22.09 at 11:43 pm

“All that will happen is that Aliases will be allocated to existing domain holders. This is certainly true of all Chinese ccTLDs and almost certainly true of Japanese.”

paratorpes 11.23.09 at 9:18 am

One question for the people that we are news. What is the difference between the old IDN (year 2003) and the new IDN (october-2009)? Will change all de DNSs?

David Wrixon 11.23.09 at 9:45 am


Well, this is the $64 Million dollar question that hasn’t been answered yet. That is about the amount that has been spent on registration fees since the initial launches back in 2001.

In 2003, the test bed IDNs went live in the DNS after being migrated from RACE to the slicker faster punycode. At that stage you basically got IDN.com, IDN.net etc.. In other words IDN at the second level. Now we are seeing for the first time IDN.IDN. The top level or extension is now being represented in local characters.

What has been confusing people beyond belief and ICANN are still not giving us clarity on, is whether these are fundamentally the same, or fundamentally different. On the surface they are different, but because of Intellectual Property issues, and risks relating to confusion and stability, it is looking increasingly likely that in most instances they will be the same. The only exceptions that are obvious are Cyrillic ccTLDs which never in any case ever had a second level counterpart as being launched at separate registries due to phishing concerns, because of the often great similarities between Cyrillic and Latin characters. So yes there are going to be some opportunities out there, but from the registrants point of view there is often going to be not much of consequence that didn’t need to be registered in 2003 to be sure of getting what you wanted. If there are to be IDN equivalents of dot Com they will almost certainly be delegated to Verisign who will probably not only wish to but may even be obliged to bundle and alias them to the original IDN.com registrations made back in 2003. None of this has yet been set in stone through documentation of policy procedures, but if you have the vaguest understanding of IP Law then really there is no other plausible outcome. Remember from Verisign’s point of view it is not so much the number of extensions it can run as registries that matters but the total number of registrations that leads from that. As most keywords will only relate to an extension in the same script, there is no likelihood of them being able to sell most keywords over and over again. It just make more sense to sell them all under the dot Com extension and then automatically implement all the different language variants of dot Com under DNAMES. Everybody will be happy apart from the REAL IDN domaining fraternity, who will finally realize they missed the boat.

Tina Dam 11.30.09 at 4:42 pm

@David Wrixon, I’m sorry to read that you dont feel that ICANN has answered the question on grandfathering or pre-registration rights under the IDN TLDs.

It certainly is an important topic and one that has been discussed a lot. I wrote a blog post on this a long time ago: http://blog.icann.org/2008/06/main-idn-user-question-2/

And the answer has not changed. For the IDN ccTLDs in the Fast Track process this is a local decision to be made and because of that it means that the result will be different for different IDN ccTLDs. In some places it makes sense to keep them completely seperate and in other places it makes sense to make them aligned or aliased in some way with the existing ccTLD.

I know a lot of people are waiting eagerly and its hard to remain patient, but the fact is that the Fast Track Process is just launched and we are processing and evaluating the requests. Then there will be the String Delegation phase and then launch. So the various countries and territories really have time now during the String evaluation to get their policies set so that it works in the best interest of their users/community.

For the gTLD Process, please note that it is still under implementation and yet not launched.

Jessica 12.04.09 at 7:16 am

gm 12.07.09 at 9:31 am

is it me or is this unicode plane 0 range exluded from the fast track process?

U+2600 – U+26FF

Tina Dam 12.07.09 at 11:29 pm

@gm – the range you mention are symbols and not valid for use in domain names, no matter if in the Fast Track Process of anything else.

gm 12.08.09 at 10:12 am


who has determined the validity of excluding/including specific unicode ranges? is there an RFC for that somewhere?

idn 12.11.09 at 4:37 am

Hi, where I can look at countries who’s sent request for ссTLD Fast Track?

Tina Dam 12.12.09 at 6:56 pm

@gm, this is in the specifications for the IDNA protocol. The protocol is currently under revision and, like all other technical standards, is build in the IETF. http://www.ietf.org For IDNA you can see more at both: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/idna-protocol-en.htm and http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/rfcs.htm

Tina Dam 12.12.09 at 7:05 pm

@idn – you cannot view these yet as none of the received requests has been processed completely yet. However, as soon as some are completely and succesfully processed then we will post them at: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/

joe 01.12.10 at 4:02 pm

Hey, what about the tld – .xxx? is it going to launch?

Tina Dam 01.12.10 at 4:36 pm

@joe, that is not an IDN ccTLD and hence has nothing to do with the Fast Track Process.

Other than that I have no information about it.


Kazan tatar 01.15.10 at 5:35 am

Tina, may be you has information about .music?

Tina Dam 01.15.10 at 10:39 am

@kazan, .music would also fall in the “category” of generic top-level domains (gTLDs, such as .com, .org, .travel, etc). The process for introducing new gTLDs is currently under implementation and you can follow it here: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtld-program.htm

The Fast Track Process is solely for “.countryname” and “.territoryname” (can also be short versions of the name or acronyms that represent the country or territoryname in a meaningful way) represented in official languages of the corresponding country/territory and in non-latin scripts.
See all the details here: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/fast-track/


Tina Dam 04.07.10 at 4:35 pm

@parkeren schiphol, this is the new gTLD Program, which is not related to the fast Track Process or IDN ccTLDs. The new gTLD Program information is available at: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtld-program.htm

Casus Telefon 05.04.10 at 11:16 am


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