The Elephant in the Room

Phil Lodico ⬥ 27 February

Since ICANN decided to proceed with the vast expansion of the domain name space, Internet users and those in the domain industry have been debating, speculating about policies and making predictions about what the Internet may look like in the years to come. Many of us are concerned about the new TLD launch, especially now that ICANN has released the second version of the Draft Applicant Guidebook which does not include concrete provisions to address trademark protection, security and stability of the space, and malicious conduct.

Despite all of the speculation about the changing face of the Internet, discussion about the “Fast Track” process for the release of IDN ccTLDs (internationalized country-code top level domain names), which are ccTLDs that are in characters other than those found in English script, is largely absent from the debate.  This new policy provides the opportunity for countries to request their country name in their local language as an IDN ccTLD.

IDN TLDs may do more to change the Internet than any other new TLD because they have a better chance of being adopted by Internet users. After all, English is not the primary language for most of the world and ads already use IDNs to advertise:

IDN.IDN names could look as follows:


The IDN.IDN samples were found on

As more information on the release is finalized, the brand community should begin considering what IDN TLD registrations might be valuable to own.  We expect many countries to apply for their relevant IDN ccTLD during the new TLD release. While it is certain that we don’t need to register in all of them, offering consumers a means to interact with the brands they love in the language they are most comfortable with will certainly pay dividends.  A targeted and strategic approach that pairs what is most important to the business with what is most intuitive to consumers is a good place to start.

ICANN has opened up the public comment period on the mechanism to introduce a limited number of IDN ccTLDs to the Internet; check out the papers and let ICANN know what you think. 

Tags: brand community, ccTLDs, domain name, Draft Applicant Guidebook, English Script, ICANN, IDN ccTLDs, IDN.IDN, IDNs, Internationalized country-code top level domain names, Internet, Internet users, TLDs

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