The ASCII-Compatible Encoding (ACE) form of an IDNA-valid string.

A network addressing and routing scheme whereby data is routed to the “nearest” or “best” destination as viewed by the routing topology. Often used to describe DNS resolution systems which use anycast technology.

An entity that has applied to ICANN for a new gTLD by submitting its application form through the online application system.

An application for a new gTLD lodged in response to this RFP. An application includes the completed Application Form, any supporting documents, and any other information that may be submitted by the applicant at ICANN’s request.

Application Guidebook
ICANN’s guide to applying for a new top-level domain name. It runs over 100 pages and has numerous accompanying explanatory memoranda. See the ICANN Resources Page for the latest version.

Application Interface
The web-based interface operated by ICANN, available at [URL to be inserted in final version of the Application Guidebook]

Application Round
The complete succession of stages for processing the applications received during one application submission period for gTLDs. This RFP is for one application round. Any subsequent application rounds will be the subject of subsequent RFPs.

Application Submission Period
The period during which applicants may submit applications through the application interface.

ASCII – American Standard Code for Information Interchange
A character encoding based on the English alphabet. ASCII codes represent text in computers, communications equipment, and other devices that work with text. Most modern character encodings— which support many more characters than did the original—have a historical basis in ASCII.

Auth Code
Authorization code, or a “key” associated with a domain name that is used to confirm rights to edit or transfer the domain. Contact records may have keys also.

Asynchronous full transfer, a DNS protocol mechanism through which a DNS zone can be replicated to a remote DNS server.

Country Code Top Level Domain Name – Example: .uk, .jp and other two-letter extensions.

Collision Auction
During a Sunrise or Landrush phase of a TLD launch, where domains are requested but not assigned, there may be competing applications for the same string. In the event that auction is used as the manner to resolve such circumstances, these are referred to as collision auctions.

Communications Period
A communication period in relation to ICANN tends to be reference to a period of time to allow for appropriate communication of change or introduction so that the marketplace and general public can be messaged. In the case of the introductions of new TLDs, this period is four months.

Community TLD
A TLD that represents a defined community. Applicants for a new TLD must specify whether they are applying for a “community” or “open” TLD.

Community Objection
An objection based on the grounds that there is substantial opposition to a gTLD application from a significant portion of the community to which the TLD string is targeted.

Comparative Evaluation
A qualitative process to resolve string contention, which may be elected by a community-based applicant. Non-community TLD contentions will go to auction if the parties cannot work out a solution between them.

Consensus Policy
A policy created through the GNSO policy development process listed in Annex A of the ICANN Bylaws.

Contention Sets
A group of applications containing identical or similar applied-for gTLD strings.

Contention String
Where two or more strings being applied for are similar or an applicant string is similar to an existing TLD, there is said to be contention.

CRAI Report
The CRAI Report is a third-party review of ICANN’s registry-registrar separation requirement, with recommendations on whether to relax the rule. Although initially ICANN was created to separate the registry from the registrar and distribute existing TLDs away from the incumbent registry operator in 1998 (Network Solutions), thereby creating a separation of registry and a global base of registrars, the CRAI Report examines new business models, including communities who might better serve their customers with a more direct relationship.

The process through which the root zone is edited to include a new TLD, and the management of domain name registrations under such TLD is turned over to the registry operator.
A domain or record is deleted when it is removed from the zone files and the record is no longer active in the registry.

Domain Name System with Security Extensions. DNSSEC provides origin authentication and integrity checks of DNS data. It is dependent on all parties participating. A Registry tool may be DNSSEC capable, but if the Registrar does not comply, the security feature is not in place.

Denial of Service. A Denial of Service attack is an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its intended users.
DNS Domain Name System
The system by which domain names are assigned to IP addresses in order to make navigation on the Internet easier for humans.
DRP – Dispute Resolution Provider
a mediator who provides assistance in resolving conflict. A gTLD application can be objected to on any of four criteria: String Confusion, Existing Legal Rights, Morality and Public Order, and Community Objection. Also called DRSP, or Dispute Resolution Service Provider.
EPP – Extensible Provisioning Protocol
the industry standard for how registrars communicate with registries.
Extended Evaluation
The second stage of evaluation applicable for applications who do not pass the Initial Evaluation, but are eligible for further review.
The individuals or organization(s) appointed by ICANN to perform reviews during the the Initial Evaluation and Extended Evaluations of a new TLD application.
Evaluation Fee
The fee due from each applicant for a new TLD.
The state of a domain name that has reached the end date of its registration term.
GAC – Governmental Advisory Committee
A standing ICANN Committee composed of representatives from the world’s governments; they advise ICANN on concerns of governments.
GTLD – Generic Top Level Domains
TLDs are distinguished from ccTLDs. Examples of gTLDs include .com, .edu, and .gov. With the gTLD world there are further subdivisions, such as sTLDs (sponsored TLDs) and open TLDs (those with no restrictions on who can register). After the current round of new TLD applications, there will be additional gTLD categories, including community TLDs, corporate TLDs, and probably more.
GNSO – Generic Names Supporting Organization
The constituencies that make up ICANN are the Commercial and Business constituency, the gTLD Registry constituency, the ISP constituency, the Non-Commercial constituency, the Registrar’s constituency, and the IP constituency.
GNP – Geographic Names Panel
A panel of experts charged by ICANN with reviewing applied-for TLD strings that relate to geographical names.
Grace Period
The time period that a domain remains active after expiration. This time period is determined by the TLD operator and defined in the registration policies.
A computer that stores and serves the files.
The process of keeping files available to Internet users, and allowing access to those files when requested by users or other servers.
IANA – Internet Assigned Numbers Authority
Originally responsible for IP address allocation. Still a part of ICANN, The IANA now assigns protocol parameters and oversees the operation of the DNS.
ICANN – Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers
The organization that creates the rules and ensures the technical stability of the Internet.
ICANN-Accredited Registrar
A company that registers domain names for Internet users. There are at present more than 900 ICANN-accredited registrars.
IETF – The Internet Engineering Task Force
A large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet.
IDNs – Internationalized Domain Names
Domain names not written in roman script. IDNs may be in any alphabet or script that is described by the Unicode standard.
IDNA – Internationalizing Domain Names in Applications
The technical protocol used for processing domain names containing non-ASCII characters in the DNS.
IDN ccTLD Fast Track
The process for introducing a limited number of IDN ccTLDs associated with the ISO-3166 two-letter codes in an expedited manner.
IDN Table
A table listing all those characters that a particular TLD registry supports. The IDN tables usually hold characters representing a specific language, or they can be characters from a specific script. Therefore the IDN table is sometimes referred to as “language variant table”, “language table”, “script table” or something similar.
Inter-governmental organization.
Initial Evaluation Period
The period during which ICANN will review an applied-for gTLD string, an applicant’s technical and financial capabilities, and an applicant’s proposed registry services.
International Phonetic Alphabet
A notational standard for phonetic representation in multiple languages.
IP – Internet Protocol
A technical protocol that allows computers to find each other on the Internet.
IP Address
A numerical address for a computer connected to the Internet. They come in two current flavors: IPv4 and IPv6.
A series of numbers with dots between them that identify computers on the Internet. IPv4 is the the first version of the Internet protocol to be widely used by the public. An impending shortage of IPv4 addresses has led to calls for the adoption of IPv6.
The successor to IPv4. The addresses are similar to IPv4, but are longer and therefore not subject to scarcity.
ISP – Internet Service Provider
A company that provides Internet connectivity and service to the public.
IXFR – Incremental Zone Transfer
A DNS protocol mechanism through which a partial copy of a DNS zone can be replicated to a remote DNS server.
The opening to the general public of a new TLD for registration.
An objection on the grounds that the applied-for gTLD string infringes existing legal rights of the objector.
Morality and Public Order Objection
An objection made on the grounds that the applied-for gTLD string is contrary to generally accepted legal norms of morality and public order that are recognized under international principles of law.
Nexus Requirement
Nexus refers to the quality of a connection between two things. Some top-level domains have a nexus requirement, for instance .US, where registrations are allowed only if the registrant has a connection to the United States.
NOC – Network Operations Center
The building where the servers with the registry data are held.
A formal objection filed with a Dispute Resolution Service Provider in accordance with that provider’s procedures.
Objection Filing Period
The period during which formal objections may be filed concerning a gTLD application submitted to ICANN.
Objection Period
The period of time within the application process for any party to object to a given string.
One or more persons or entities who have filed a formal objection against a new gTLD application with the appropriate DRSP.
Open TLD
Any non-community TLD. An open TLD can be used for any purpose consistent with the requirements of the application and evaluation criteria, and with the registry agreement. An open TLD may or may not have a formal relationship with an exclusive registrant or user population. It may or may not have eligibility requirements or restrictions.
OT&E – Operational and Testing Environment
A registry server that mimics the live registry for testing purposes.
Hijacking the personal information of an individual for nefarious purposes; a form of identity theft.
Pre-Delegation Test
A technical test and other steps required of applicants before delegation of the applied-for gTLD string into the root zone.
Premium Auction
If a domain is identified as being of greater attraction and value in some manner, or there is overwhelming interest in it, a registry may identify and pre-allocate (or set aside) such names and a premium name auction could be held to distribute the domain names into the marketplace.
Primary Contact
The person named by the applicant as the main contact for the application, and having authority to execute decisions concerning the application.
The person in whose name the domain is registered (customer).
The company through which a member of the public register can a domain name.
The process of adding, modifying, and deleting domain records.
A master database of all domains registered within each TLD. In gTLDs, the end user has no contact with the registry, but works with a registrar instead.
Registry Service Provider
A company that runs the operations of a TLD on behalf of the TLD owner or licensee. The registry service provider keeps the master database and generates zone files to allow computers to route Internet traffic using the DNS. Also known as a Registry Operator or a Registry Provider.
Registry Tool
Database software that stores the domain records, transaction records and contact records.
A reseller is a company interposed between a registrar and a registrant for customers who do not use a registrar directly. Web hosting companies, for example, are commonly resellers for registrars.
Reserved Name
A string included on the Top-Level Reserved Names List.
The process by which the DNS translates domain names into IP addresses so that computers can connect to one another.
Rights Holder
The person or entity who holds rights to a certain piece of property. In the domain name context, that property is often a trademark.
RPM – Rights Protection Mechanism
Strategy developed to protect the legal rights of intellectual property holders.

The top of the DNS hierarchy.

Root Server
A DNS server with a copy of all the zones in the root. There are 13 Root servers in the world.

RRP – Registry Registrar Protocol
A communications protocol formerly used between registry and registrars.

RSTEP – Registry Services Technical Evaluation Process
All new registry services, including those being put forth by new applicants, are subject to review by a group of people who are chosen to make evaluations of technical merits of security, architecture, impact, and other criteria. The name refers to the process and to the team that is called upon to perform these reviews.

A collection of symbols used for writing a language. There are three basic kinds of script. One is the alphabetic (e.g. Arabic, Cyrillic, Latin), with individual elements termed “letters”. A second is ideographic (e.g. Chinese), the elements of which are “ideographs”. The third is termed a syllabary (e.g. Hangul), with its individual elements representing syllables. The writing systems of most languages use only one script, with some exceptions. It is important to note that scripts which do not appear in the Unicode Code Chart are completely unavailable for inclusion in IDNs.

A computer connected to the Internet that contains information accessible to Internet users or other servers.

A Supporting Organization within ICANN. Examples include the CCNSO (Country-code Supporting Organization) and the ASO (Addressing Supporting Organization).

Shared registry system.

Security and Stability Advisory Committee within ICANN.

The set of characters comprising an applied-for gTLD.

String confusion objection
An objection filed on the grounds that the applied-for gTLD string is confusingly similar to an existing TLD or to another applied-for gTLD.

String Similarity Algorithm
An algorithmic tool used to identify applied-for gTLD strings that may result in string confusion.

String Similarity Examiners
A panel charged with identifying applied-for gTLD strings that may result in string confusion.

String contention
The scenario in which there is more than one qualified applicant for the same gTLD string, or for gTLD strings that are so similar that detrimental user confusion would be the probable result if more than one were to be delegated to the root zone.

STLDS Sponsored Top level domains
TLDs initiated by a sponsor. Examples include .COOP and .MUSEUM.

Period during a landrush when trademark holders can register domain names before registration is opened to the public.

When a TLD is being “phased out”, the time period covering the last allowed registration or renewal until the final expiration of the last domain in the TLD.

Sword Algorithm
SWORD Algorithm in its publicly available form was designed to compute a percentage of likelihood of similarity to existing TLDs or reserved words to see how unique the string is with a machine test. Also called the String Similarity Algorithm.

Top-Level Domain..TLDs are the names at the top of the DNS naming hierarchy. They appear in domain names as the string of letters following the last (rightmost) ".", such as "net" in "". The administrator for a TLD controls what second-level names are recognized in that TLD. The administrators of the "root domain" or "root zone" control what TLDs are recognized by the DNS. Commonly used TLDs include .com, .net, .edu, .jp, .de, .org, .lu, .eu, .tel, etc.

TAS – TLD Application System
The online interface for submission of applications to ICANN.

Thick Registry
A registry configured such that all information about an application, including WhoIs information, is stored at the central registry database.

Thin Registry
A registry configured such that the central registry contains information necessary for resolution of the domain name, while the associated registrars maintain WhoIs information.

UDRP – Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy
The policy that governs domain name disputes.

A “U-label” is an IDNA-valid string of Unicode characters, including at least one non-ASCII character, expressed in a standard Unicode Encoding Form, normally UTF-8 in an Internet transmission context.

User Registration Fee
The fee paid by prospective applicants for new TLDs to obtain access to the TLD Application System (TAS).

WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization
An organization that charges itself with protecting intellectual property rights. One of the groups that provides panelists for ICANN’s UDRP.

Tool that displays the registrant, name servers, expiration date and contact records.

The set of all names identified by the highest ranking applicable domain name. For instance, all domain names ending with .com are said to be in the .com zone. Similarly, all names ending are said to be within the zone.

Zone File
A DNS server configuration file which lists the domain names within a zone, along with their records or referral name servers.