[IDN-WG] The Problem of IDNs

Don Hollander gm at aptld.org
Fri May 9 04:16:42 UTC 2014

Thank you for this Rinalia.

This report was produced to coincide with APTLD’s forthcoming meeting in Oman where Universal Access will take up 1/3 of the meeting and IDN ccTLDs another large chunk.

I am aware of ICANN’s constant battle to avoid scope creep and applaud them for the great constraint that this has shown.

There was a JIG report on the role that ICANN could play.  In the recommendations the most practical was for ICANN to show leadership, to make sure that it’s own systems were compliant, to make sure that the systems of its contracted parties were compliant, and to ask its leadership team to include this in discussions with heads of states, governments, software companies, etc.  (I’m paraphrasing the recommendations - details will be found somewhere on the new ICANN website.

Having said that, they have two staff assigned to the topic of Universal Acceptance.

There has been a call within the APTLD community for a “Global Alliance” to address the issue.

Depending on what we find out in Oman, this may move forward.  I think it would be useful for ICANN to participate in the Global Alliance.

APTLD & APRALO have a recently signed MoU and we have already put this into action, sharing with the APRALO the details of APTLD’s program for our meeting as well as reports from other fora.

This is a challenge that no one person or organisation will be able to solve.  It is a solution of many parties.  What we can do as a group to coordinate our activities.


On 9/05/2014, at 4:09 pm, Rinalia Abdul Rahim <rinalia.abdulrahim at gmail.com> wrote:

> Colleagues, 
> This is the link to a recent APTLD Report on a survey involving ccTLDs regarding use of IDNs -  http://aptld.org/system/files/survey_report_-_launch_and_use_of_idns_2014.pdf.  
> It has statistics from the Asia Pacific and European regions.   End user awareness is scored lowest and there is feedback on barriers that limit broad adoption by end users.  
> At the basic level, the problem is that IDNs are not available for use in email, browsers and other applications used by users.  Efforts to address the problem are distributed among many parties and they are un-coordinated.  There has been some discussions at ICANN on what needs to be done and the role of ICANN.  
> The challenge for ICANN is that it doesn't deal with application level problems.  Nevertheless, the successful adoption of IDN TLDs is arguably a success measure for ICANN's TLD programme, so ICANN has a stake in seeing IDNs succeed.
> Various suggestions have been made on ICANN's role including convene meetings on the topic, raise awareness about the problem through communications channels, gather and centralize information on efforts underway to inform the community, and coordinate the disparate efforts of un-connected parties, etc.
> If there are thoughts on what the role of ICANN should be vis-a-vis the role of the community to address the problem of IDN adoption (as part of solving the Universal Acceptance problem), please share.  
> APRALO and APTLD: Perhaps a collaboration on way forward to enhance end user awareness and encourage applications developers to meet the market demand? 
> Best regards,
> Rinalia      

Don Hollander
General Manager
gm at aptld.org

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