ALAC Statement to the ICANN Board on Prioritization of Internationalized Domain Names in the New Generic Top Level Domain Program
The At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) notes with concern that Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) Top Level Domains represent only 6% of the total application for ICANN’s new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD). We urge the ICANN Board to prioritize and expedite the evaluation and processing of IDNs in the new gTLD program based on the following rationale:
- Globalization is a key strategic priority for ICANN. IDN prioritization presents an opportunity for ICANN to enhance its engagement and outreach to Internet users and expand consumer choice, which serve the global public interest.
- IDN prioritization is crucial for enhancing diversity and multilingualism on the Internet. The implementation of IDNs in a world that is multilingual and multicultural makes the Internet more inclusive and representative of the world that we live in.
- The IDN Top Level Domain applications are distinct in that they are generally not driven by business opportunities and require supportive policy and encouragement. The market for IDNs needs to be nurtured carefully for future growth. The small number of applications should not be interpreted as a lack of user demand for IDNs. Rather, it makes evident that market forces at the registry level alone is insufficient, and that the advancement of IDN gTLDs requires supportive policy implementation at ICANN. The successful implementation of IDN TLDs will gradually create visibility for IDNs, which will eventually stimulate demand among communities who would otherwise be marginalized.
- Other points?
Internal Note [about this draft statement]:
- Inputs drawn from discussion at the At Large IDN Working Group Meeting in Prague.
- Does not address Applicant Support issue, which is addressed in another statement.
- Does not address the issue of variants (variants are complicated – this statement sends a message that we want IDNs prioritized as a matter of policy and leaves the “doability” of variants open for discussion at the implementation level)
- Does not use “small size of application makes it easy to process” as a rationale because we would push for prioritization regardless of number of application.