Internationalized Domain Names “IDN”: Implementations, Experiences and Challenges ictQATAR

28 September 2011 - A Workshop on Critical Internet Resources in Nairobi, Kenya

Also available in:
Full Session Transcript

September 28, 2011 - 14:30PM


The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Sixth Meeting of the IGF, in Nairobi, Kenya. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.


>> RAM MOHAN:  Good afternoon, and welcome.  This session is focused on IDN's, implementations, challenges and opportunities.  We're organizing this as a workshop.  A great deal of thanks goes to ictQatar who actually pulled the concept together and worked with the various speakers and got them all together, so thank you to ictQATAR for making this happen. 

Just a preamble.  My name is Ram Mohan.  I'll be the moderator of this session.  In a few minutes we'll go around the table and introduce the various speakers here.  Just to set the context, while the online content is changing, the estimate is that more than 60% of the Internet's contents are in languages other than English; however, English is still widely used by Internet users.

The fact is that as the Internet is evolving and the peoples of the world are starting to use the Internet, the internationalization of the Internet becomes a really important challenge and a really critical issue not only for access and diversity, but also for fundamental communication amongst people in their own languages.  The objectives of this workshop are threefold.

One is to present the status of IDN implementations.  The second is to have the various participants express a bit of the challenges that they face in their implementations as they went forward with implementing IDNs, and moving forward, what are the best practices, what are the lessons that we have learned that might be leveragable across multiple languages, multiple scripts around the world.

So with that as a preamble, let me just briefly introduce the various speakers here in today's workshop.  Let me start with Baher Esmat, who is the manager relations of Middle East, for Internet numbers.  Just before he starts speaking, I'll go through a little longer introduction. 

To my right is Jian Zhang, general manager for the Asia‑Pacific Top‑level Domains Association, and she has extensive experience in the domain names ICT and is one of the experts in the Asia‑Pacific region when it comes to IDN implementations. 

Irina Danella is also to my right.  She works with the policies and procedures development for the coordination center for the .RU TLD.  She's been in that role for more than a year now, and just coincided with the internationalization of the RU TLD and it's going live using this Real X script. 

To my left is Mohamed El Bashir, Manager for Internet Domains for ictQATAR, and he played a really key role in helping pull this entire workshop together.  So thank you for that.  Mohamed actually manages Qatar's numbering plan and the .QA as well as the Qatar IDN top‑level domain for Qatar. 

Over to my right is Solomon Bach, an telecommunication analyst for the United Arab Emirates, senior communication and technologies analyst. 

To my right is Xiaodong Lee from the China Internet Network Information Center, has been very active in IDNs for quite a long while and also in the area of Internet governance and he is here to share his experiencing to IDNs. 

Just a couple words about myself.  My name is Ram Mohan, I'm Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Afilias.  My company provides services for country code top‑level domains as well as for global top‑level domains.  I also serve the community as the liaison for the stability and advisory committee.  I've been involved in IDNs for ten, twelve years now and have had the honor and the pleasure of working with the various countries and the various participants here. 

So with that as a brief introduction, let me move the microphone over to Baher.  Baher Esmat manages relationships with stakeholders in the Middle East.  Baher joined in February of 2006 from the Egyptian Communications and Information Technology where he served since 2002, and when Baher was with the Egyptian Ministry his responsibilities included projects relating to telecommunication infrastructures and Internet services.  And Baher has actually participated in the growth of the Internet in Egypt not just from a telecommunications perspective but also from helping the country develop policies and most recently on the ICANN role helping Egypt get its country code live on the Internet, so without further ado, over to you, Baher.

>> BAHER ESMAT:  Thank you, Ram.  Good afternoon, everyone.  So I'm going to give a quick update on IDNs from ICANN's perspective, in particular, I'm going to touch upon three areas, one is the IDN Fast Track program, the other one is policies that are currently underway in relation to IDN and IDN development he at the top level, and the third area is a project that is currently underway by a number of community members on what we call IDN variance, and I'm going to speak about this weird term "variance" in a few minutes.

To start with the Fast Track, so this is the process that allowed countries and directories to get their country code top‑level domains in their native languages.  That process started as a policy process back in 2007 and it was approved and implemented in November 2009.  And today after more or less two years of the launching, we have 30 IDN TLDs or ccTLDs in the root, representing 20 different countries, and there are more in the pipelines as well.  So these are the list of countries that got their IDNs.  You can see there are a variety of languages and scripts.  Some countries got more than one TLD because they have more than one official language or script, and as said, there are some countries that got their IDN strings approved and they're yet waiting to complete what we call the IN delegation process.  So this is much of what happened in the past year or so.  Part of the Fast Track process is a review, a process to look into the program over a year's time, so this review process started in October last year and it lasted for three months.  It was a public process where people and organizations submitted their comments and views on the Fast Track process, what went well, what went wrong, what needs to be changed.

Basically the comments were revolving around a number of issues.  I'll go quickly through them.  Like community support.  Some noted that there was sort of confusion between the requirements in terms of community support in the Fast Track application process vis‑a‑vis the community support required for the IN delegation process, so that was one thing that some community members have noted.

Others said that the process of evaluating and assessing the string itself, the IDN string itself and whether it may have any confusing similarity issues with existing TLDs or with potential two‑letter code TLDs, some people thought that this process needs further discussion.  There were also different views on the transparency of the process, so while some thought that the process was transparent enough and was also preserving some level of confidentiality for the applicant, because the application is not made public before the string itself is being evaluated and approved, others thought that the whole application should be public from day 1 even before the evaluation process gets started.

One comment was about disputes and objections.  Currently the Fast Track process does not have any dispute mechanism, that was one comment.  Another comment was in relation to the IDN tables and the fact that there isn't a process in place by which IANA or ICANN can prove that those tables are valid or not.

Some also raised the issue of the IDN variant thing, and just to explain quickly what IDN variance, what variance means.  I must say in the beginning that there isn't a one universal definition of what in technical terms of what variance are.  Basically, when we say that two DNS labels are variants to each other, this could mean that they may look similar or identical to each other or they may look different but they mean the same thing.  In the end, the owner of this domain label, whether it's second level domain or top‑level domain, this owner wants to treat this domain the same way.  It's for the owner of the domain, it's one thing.  This is something that I'm going to address in a bit of detail in a few minutes.

So this is about the Fast Track.  On the policy side and maybe before getting to the policy side, I must say that when we talk about IDN's, we talk about getting gTLDs and ccTLDs, so the ccTLDs have been launched two years ago, as I said, the IDN gTLDs would be parts of the new program that will be launched on January 12, 2012.  So on the policy side of the thing, the country code name supporting organization of ICANN, ccNSO, have been working on two key policy working groups in relation to IDN ccTLDs, one is the one that looks into the longer term policy of IDN ccTLDs, they look at the Fast Track process and they discuss whether there are issues, whether there are policies that are part of the Fast Track and may require some he reconsideration or some change.  So they're looking into the issues in relation to languages, in relation to countries, the fact that a country can get one string per country per script or language, this is something that needs to be changed.

They're looking into that the string itself has to be meaningful, means that it has to indicate the name of the country, whether this needs to change or not, and so on and so forth.  So this is one policy activity that is currently taking place.  The other policy Working Group is look approximating into the modalities of the ccNSO and the mechanism by, so currently the ccNSO accepts membership from ccTLDs, from country code top‑level domains and before the IDNs came into existence, each country or directory got only one ccTLD, meaning one member at the ccNSO, so with the IDNs and the fact that some countries may have more than one ccTLD, this condition may not be valid anymore, so this is an example of the things that this Working Group is looking at.

And in addition to that, there is also a study group that was created recent only that is looking into the issue of country names as ccTLDs, and this is an issue that has been subject of discussion and debate within ICANN, particularly within ccNSO and the gap for the past couple years, and what this study group is intended to do is to look into the current policies for allocation of country names as TLDs and one of the things worth mentioning here is that the new gTLD program is going to ban the use of country names as gTLDs in its first round, in January of 2012, but going forward this may change.  The policy groups within ICANN needs to look into this and to discuss what's going to change in this perspective.

One of the things this study group is attempting to do is to try to come up with a typology of country names, try to come up with different categories of country and directory names, like official names, like short names, like maybe popular names that are used on the local level, like names in different languages, like the six UN formal languages or maybe more, like how to deal with, you know, so today Egypt got its IDN ccTLD in Arabic, who is going to be qualified to get the Chinese TLD for Egypt.  So these are the kind of things that this study group is going to discuss.

The third is last item on my presentation today is this project on the IDN variant issues.  So the board, the ICANN board had directed staff to look into this issue and try to identify what are the issues and what are the possible implication that may result from delegating or allocating variant TLDs, so ICANN had consulted with the community and establishes ‑‑ I mean as part of the project, established six case studies that will look into or actually that have been looking into the variant issues, so we have Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Devanagari, Greek and Latin, those have been working for four months, one is to identify what the issues are and the other thing is to come up with an agreed upon terminology or glossary of terms because one of the problems that some people are facing with the variant issues is that different people in different language communities or script communities, they use different terminology, so there's an attempt to try to come up with one glossary of terms in this regard.

So the outcome of this phase of the project is for each case study team to come up with an issues report in which they're going to identify the issues and to list the definitions, and then there will be a sort of one report for the whole project integrating the different outcomes of the different case studies.

Where we are with this project, we've already started the project and working sessions have been going on since June, and in a couple of days case study teams are supposed to come up with their issues report and then there will be a meeting at the ICANN, end of October, for the six case study teams to come together and discuss how they're going to work on the final report, which is due in mid December this year.  And with this, I'm done with my update, and I'll turn it over back to Ram.  Thank you.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Thank you, Baher, I really appreciate it.  It's pretty comprehensive overview of significant work that is moving forward on IDNs, and we'll come back to some of the themes and some of the topics when we get into a little bit of a panel discussion.  Jian, let me ask you to provide your points of view and the learning that you bring from the ApTLD region, let me quickly introduce her.  Jian Zhang is the general manager of the Asia‑Pacific Top Level Domain Association, the ApTLD, has extensive experience in the domain name and industry, she's currently the general manager of ApTLD, actively involved in the Asia‑Pacific Internet community and is currently a board member of the Asia and Pacific Internet Association, APIA.  Jian is also the first female executive councilmember of the Asia‑Pacific network information center, and the policy co‑chair and also the country names supporting organization, counselor, she was a director of international director business development of CNNIC, manages the top‑level domain, and was one of the key drivers on the ccTLD Fast Track experience and based on my personal experience, not only a delightful person, but brings a great deal of policy knowledge and experience when it comes to IDN development.

So with that, Jian, we're eager to hear what your perspective is.

>> JIAN ZHANG:  Thank you, Ram.  I wouldn't call myself an IDN expert, thanks, you know, so many people have been working on IDN for over a decade, but really, IDN is really a community joint effort.  So today I am going to talk about IDN from AP region's perspective.  First I'm going to explain a little bit why we need IDN, AP region, then I'm going to talk about IDN, as I said before, is really a community joint effort, and then what kind of role ‑‑ has played in IDN and also the current status of IDN in our region.  Of course, the most important thing is the challenge we're facing ahead.

So why IDN in our region, as many of you probably already know, Asia‑Pacific region is a region with the largest online population right now, and also probably our region is the most diversified region because we have, you know, so many language, religions, not to mention we have all the models of Governments regions, so we're really very diversified.

Also ‑‑ would you please come back?  I didn't finish quite yet.

Also, a large number of the population in Asia‑Pacific are not native English speakers, so as Ram mentioned before, you can see that's why, you know, English‑only Internet is not viable anymore.

Here shows the maps.  Next page, please.

Of the Asia‑Pacific region according to ICANN standard.  So actually our region not only included Asia and the Pacific, also the Middle East by definition, by ICANN definition s included in our region, now you have better understanding why I said we're probably the most diversified region in the world.

Then why IDN brings value, the first, you know, as I said, language barrier is one of the bottlenecks for a non‑English speaker to fully access the Internet.  IDN makes this possible for non‑English speakers to use their native language to connect to Internet so that definitely will help Internet penetration especially in the developing countries.  And also IDN has the commercial value because the local enterprise and also the foreign enterprise wants to be local localize their brands, make their website more efficient if they use their IDN names.  Next page, please.

And also in our region, there are a lot of countries that actually have very rich histories, like India, like China, like many countries in the Middle East, have a long history they're really proud of their culture, their history, definitely their language, so IDN definitely could be used to promote their native culture and the language.  And also IDN has value, because IDN doesn't have letters and numbers confusion, so it will reduce the fake domain names and prevent phishing sites.

So IDN is really a community joint effort from, you know, the very beginning, Asia‑Pacific is a region of IDN.  Back to 1998, the Chinese community already started RND IDN and also Arabic community started IDN around the same time in 2000, and then Chinese domain name consortium was formed in May 2000 and also there is an Arabic domain name consortium that was founded in 2005, and then several registries in the region start to do the test bed IDN and also a couple of RC standard was published, IDN that was published in ITF.

And then by 2008 community advocated Fast Track process for IDN ccTLD and APTRD is a major advocate.  Then ICANN started a policy development for Fast Track process for IDN ccTLD in late 2007 and final approved implementation plan in 2009 and open ccTLD application by the end of 2009.

And the most recent update is IDN ‑‑ ICANN is proved application book for new ccTLD, so the new IDN will be open early next year.

So what kind of role played.

Asia‑Pacific top‑level domain organization, we're one of the four regional organizations for ccTLD managers.  Basically we provide a forum to discuss policy matters affecting Internet domain name related entities so our role has been in IDN, since our region is most affected region in IDN, so where is the major advocate on IDN, and also apTLD has participate in the IDN policy development process, also we're doing close follow‑up ongoing development, IDN policy development as a dimension, there are two IDN CCPD Working Group, I think both were leading by the apTLD members, also there's joint CCSO IDN Working Group and also the variance Working Group going on, so it's close follow‑up, and definitely we're constantly getting together to discuss IDN issues and our members share their IDN experience together because IDN is always a hot issue in our region.  The current IDN status in AP region, because went through this topic already, currently there are 30 ccTLDs in the root, I think probably 90% actually are from AP region.

Also there are a bunch of ccTLDs strings still in the process, most of some also in our region, so that's why, you know, our members also, you know, get together constantly to share their experience.  At the very beginning even the Fast Track before even the Fast Track application starts, we shared our experience on application, on our IDN ccTLD application and then later on once the ccTLD, IDN ccTLD launched, we shared, you know, the challenge, the successful experience together, even actually Russia joined us I guess because of IDN.

So the last topic I'm going to touch is of course the most important one, the challenge we're facing ahead.  For the IDN ccTLDs I think the most important issue right now is how to promote the IDN ccTLDs, how to get more recognition of their IDN strings.  And also another issue is the competition from the IDN gTLD because it will be launched the next year so ccTLD managers start to have the discussion how to face the IDN gTLD introduction, and also the IDN ccTLD membership, ICANN has issued ‑‑ actually, our region organization also has this issue, ccTLD ‑‑ treats ccTLD the same as ‑‑ conclude it would, if that's going to be the same, how many roles they should have, for example, India has six IDNs, should they have six votes or, you know, it's going to be one votes together, or even, you know, just one country, one vote, because with old IDN introduction, everything is going to be changed.

Even actually, even the difference between the ccTLDs and gTLDs is going to be blurred because currently by approximate definition two‑character ASCII two character code is reserved for ccTLDs, all the gTLDs have to be two‑character or more, but with the IDN introduction, even in IDN ccTLDs, they could have, you know, more than two characters, for example, like Singapore, in Chinese, IDN ccTLD would be three characters, so that's the issue we're facing, and also because IDN introduction database, to adopt IDN.

From the policy perspective there's some comment issue for both ccTLDs and the gTLDs, one is, you know, important issue, IDN TLDs strings, currently two character code is reserved for country code and gTLD has to be two character or more.  Should we open the application for IDN TLD for a single character or two character gTLD?  That is one of the issues, because in many languages, actually single character word and two character word has perfect meaning.

And also the variance issue, Baher mentioned that before, you know, that's also included in the GLD application, also the registration policy, you know, what kinds of registration policy you should have to handle the variance, and also the management in the root zone.  And the third big issue is universal acceptance for IDN because, you know, not all the application right now could accept IDN.  It's many layers actually, from the application layer, from networking infrastructure, also involved ISPs, browsers, DS lookup tools, even from the registries, registrar level, so we actually were having a big discussion of this issue how to make IDN more ‑‑ more accepted by all the levels.

So here is a current Working Group led by apTLD members.  Of course, there's more in ICANN, as Baher mentioned.

So actually, that's pretty much it for me for today.  Thank you, Ram.

>> RAM MOHAN:  That you, Jian, again, we'll come back to you and we'll have some questions and perhaps we can get some questions from the audience as well when we get to that part.  Let's move on to Irina Danella, who is with the coordination center for the .RU TLD, she's with the policies and procedures development.  She joined the coordination center in February of 2010 and her current responsibilities include policy and procedures development as well as everyday operations.  Irina also took an active part in launching the dot ‑‑ I guess ROFE but it's really RU, has 12 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and her accomplishments include establishing an increasing nationwide sales and distribution of mass market Internet products, managing complex business development and marketing projects.

So we're here to hear from you about .RU in IDNs.

>> IRINA DANELLA:  Thank you very much, Ram.  I'll just follow the topics which have been defined for our presentations, so dot RF is almost one year old today, the idea of a IDN conclude it would in Russian language appeared long before, like many, many, four or five years ago, discussing should we have second level IDN domain names under .RU, ccTLD, at that moment we decided that okay, now, we better apply for and get and push for the top level ‑‑ because it really matters for Russian people.  There are a lot of people in the world who speak Russian.  It's like 300 million people, and 160 million people consider Russian as their native tongue.  From the other side, not that many Russian people know English.  Well, sure, many of us have learned it, that's true, but it doesn't mean that he we really speak it and we feel comfortable with it.

Also, I remember when I just started to use Internet, most of the content was in English.  Now all the Internet, well, a lot of Internet content is in Russian, and Russian people mostly surf this Russian content and when they want to address these web sources or create their own, trying to create their own work from their native language, hedgehog, nice, in Russian it sounds ‑‑ at least six or seven ways how you could write it, write the language, using letters, so it's just inconvenient.

So there was the real desire and the real wish and there was luckily a very good governmental support for this idea, so ‑‑ please, could we move to the next slide?  So we were one of the first four countries who got the string approved and inserted in the spring of 2010 and we started the priority registration of the domain name even before that because, well, we were sure we would get our dot RF IDN, so he we started together ‑‑ so we started together a request for the standardize the registration even early and we launch understand the open registration on November 11 of 2010.  So it was ten months ago and we were impressed with the figures, it's really boomed, we've got more than 200,000 registrations in the very first day.  And we are very close top 900,000 today, as you can see on the graphs, and we have good rates, definitely, definitely these are the domains which we are registered during sunrise, during priority registrations.  97% are in use currently.  Next slide.

We have ability to compare the IDN domain figures and statistics with them, with the ESCWA domain, individuals and organizations, mostly individuals registered domains in Russia or at least the domain holder are recognized as individuals according to registered database.

What he we also would like to see that people not only registered the name in the RF but they do really use them, the delegated domains are constantly growing and we see a lot of examples of the real usage of these domains in advertising, for example, the Cyrillic domains are rarely used and look at the billboard, for example, real estate promoting the houses and that their website of this company will be ‑‑ will use the Cyrillic domain name.  Next slide.

We did some interesting linguistic analysis comparing length of the domain, how many figures they are and we see that on average ASCII and Cyrillic have the same eight, in Russian the names are a little bit longer he, also most of the domain names consist of two words together, hyphen in the middle, some are longer, consist of three or four or more words and here are a couple of fun examples how what you can see as the domain name registered in Russia, translation for you.  Next slide, please.

We've also got recently a very interesting statistical tool that gave us ability to do more complicated analysis and we got for the first time data of how the domain names are really used and we can see that of the delegated domain names, in dot RF, half of them lead to websites, or to immediately or through redirects, like half of our Cyrillic delegated domain names are websites.  Next slide, please.

So the challenges.  Definitely the main challenge was that despite we have been running .RU TLD for 15 years, still IDN and launching new IDN TLD ‑‑ for us, nobody in the world had that experience by that moment, so we tried to foresee what could be the Poe he terrible risks ‑‑ what could be the potential risks.  You cannot foresee everything.  We haven't had much problems regarding technical side of implementation, while that worked pretty well and we haven't had any really troubles, but we had a lot of trouble with terms and conditions and rules and procedures, with all this misdemeanor ministers of taper work.

Like sunrise period we decided that not only trademarks should get the priority, but also we decided to give the ability to register domain name for mass media and for company name holders and immediately we saw that some clever people are registering electronic media, for example, just with the reason to get a good domain name or are registering a company with a very strange long name, but the abbreviation, as you can see here, also gives you every good common word which definitely many people would like to have this domain name, for example.

Also, we had very long discussion about the open registration model.  Our original idea was to run it is Dutch type of auction ‑‑ run the Dutch type of auction, and we did a lot of work around that and developed the full set of documents to describe the process, but lately this idea was declined and we went to open model with just flat low price and however we considered potential risks and made attempts to manage these risks and some of these attempts were successful, some not, because after that we got a very big scandal around one of our registrar mail, and this brought us back to reconsidering terms and procedures and we are working on the next updated version of registration rules and terms and procedures for those RF and it's like six months' work already and we're close to the end, so it's constant work, and when you see what you missed and you find it and you try to improve it and then in the next months or week you see that okay, it needs more improvements and more efforts and more steps.  I think it's normal, it's usual process, it can never be perfect, the idea.

Another challenge I think is now in the area of the end user experience because, okay, great, people can register domain names in their native languages.  The browsers work with these domains more or less good, it's like most of the browser behavior issues are solved but there still are e‑mail issues, which everyone knows, and still are the Cyrillic domain names are not recognized like URL, a lot of applications including Facebook, work as well.  Next slide.

We believe these challenges will be solved and the audience will definitely have a great future.  And in our case, talking about the factors of success, first of all, it's that Cyrillic really matters for Russian people and ability to have domains in national language is a matter of national self‑identification.  We just have a big market, so we have a lot of Internet users, we have a lot of broadband connections and this is definitely a driver for ‑‑ can you turn back, please ‑‑ for the domain market.  Then the select string itself, the dot RF, it's not an official abbreviation for Russian Federation, but it's common, it's like so obvious that it's really good and easy to remember and easy to understand.  Also what was really important and what I think can be called one of our best practices is that that we did this project not as a alone as a registry, but we did it as a team and got real support from the Government, from the businesses, from internet community and we had a big awareness campaign not only direct advertising, but we had a very good direct advertising campaign, but also I had a support and wide discussion which helped us to create awareness and which really pushes the domain issue forward.  It will be one year old soon.  We'll see.  Thank you very much.  That's all.

>> RAM MOHAN:  That you, Irina.  And that's actually pretty amazing success in less than a year's time, almost a million domain names in RF.  That's a clear indication of the demand in your marketplace that your solution is actually directly addressing, and I think that has very good lessons for other cultures, other languages in the rest of the world.

Let's move to Solomon Bach, senior ICT analyst with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in the United Arab Emirates, supervisor of projects in policy development, comparative analysis, and benchmarking.  Solomon is also actively involved in all various Internet technologies, telecommunications, market advancements, security and Internet governance and has been representing the UAE in various International Telecommunication Union meetings and conferences such as the IPV6 Working Group and WSIS annual conferences.  So without further ado, Solomon.

>> Thank you very much, I appreciate it, and I do thank ictQATAR for holding this session, and thank you for this remarkable launching and approving of IDNs.

I have a presentation here, before I start, the registry for dot ccTLD for Emirates is administration, part of the authority.

I'll be talking on behalf of them and try to convey the message through the presentation.  Of course I've seen already a presentation from Russia's very successful case study to be honest.  We'll go through the presentation.  We do have some challenges here that I would like to highlight somewhere at the end of the presentation.  The presentation starts with some kind of a background, I guess, I believe that most of the people are already aware of the world population and the language distribution is like a quarter of the whole world population speaks somehow English Latin scripts and these are none Latin scripts, you do see a need for including these people to use Internet to access such content, and from there, if you could move on.

Seventh most common Internet on the Internet, 16 million users online, the population of UA, around 8 million, also a demand for the language.  We do use Arabic and English in our communications, whether it's business, Government and the rest.  The Google search for the Arabic, this is a little bit old, which was somehow in May or June, 330 million results, and for the word Emirates, around 12,000,600 words.  These are high level facts.

Of course, this is already known, the first website domain name has been launched in Arabic ‑‑ it was somewhere in May 2010 successfully, so there was no more guessing with IDNs now, there's no Khalifah in Arabic, and with the variance project and we were able actually to uniquely identify a site or domain name and Khalifah was evident to that.  Carry on.  Of course, the IDN breaks the language barrier that has been seen by many.  I mean, how many Arabic users know the word cabinet means ‑‑ again, the cabinet.  I mean, if you check the educated, the most educated population in the UA, you would access and use the keyword in English, but now we have the facility or you have the ability to use the Arabic characters to search, for example, for UA cabinet.

We can skip that one.  Okay.

As you already know, the UA dot Emarat was the first that was approved and actually has seen the light of the day, and it's already been there and it's already launched, you will see the phases of the launch on the next kind of slides.  So from benefits points of view, of course, as already has been mentioned, national identity, it is national interest to have an IDN.  Besides that we do see that it will enhance businesses branding kind of thing, it does complement with the current ccTLD which we have dot AE, not really competing with the current ccTLD currently having it, access to more Arabic speakers, it will be an enabling environment for people to publish Arabic content since they can be searched for and reached by the Arabic population, Arabic‑speaking people.  It will strength globe Al of your brand, Arabic script.

This slide, the variance.  I don't want to go through that.  It's already been stated, most of the people already know about that.

These are a couple examples of the domain names have been adjusted, which is ‑‑ sorry, this is an example of how the variance works, it's like if you're a domain, this can be reserved, so you can have your domain name uniquely identified, which this one is actually tourism authority in Arabic.  The variance, as we already mentioned.  We are using the registry which is kind of excellent model, just domain names, the name of the registry, we have registrars which are interfacing with the clients, and this is just more of like a high‑level diagram of the model.  Looking back to the history of getting the IDN approved, of course, it went through the process that's already known, string preparations, string evaluations, string delegation, and the preparation took around a year for the IDN and it saw the light of the day in May 2010.  The current status for IDN is basically we are in the land rush for bringing names.  We were over with the sunrise trademarks.  I would say we have more expectations on ‑‑ on the domain names, let's call it in the sunrise phase basically.  If you noted, the first phase from the Government, all Government, it was bidirectional communication, we had to outreach them and we had requests from the Government also.  The sunrise trademarks we had to work with some kind of ‑‑ we had to work closely, to be honest, and somehow outreach also, but to be honest, maybe it's not up to that expectation and we'll come to the reasons now.

And since we are on the land rush phase, if you go back, the land rush phase will be over by 3rd of October and the real challenge will actually be after the 3rd of October when we have the open registration for the first come, first served.  Since the way to measure IDN, is it successful or not, is the number of registration and the usage, as already has been identified by our previous panelists here and the great analysis has been done on the usage part.  So the challenge will be obvious after the 3rd of October, after we open registration to everybody.

This is more of just like a snapshot on what domains have been registered.  Some of the challenges, just summary of the challenges, it could be system how a summarized version of what already has been discussed here, part of it goes on the awareness side, that as AEDA, we have already been involved with awareness, billboards, newsletters, whatever, had that been enough to get enough momentum for registration, it wasn't up to the level, up to the expectations for IDN registration.  We have already mentioned that we will require application that will support the IDNs and one of them was for the e‑mails, and actually co‑incidentally two days, three days ago, I was checking the same kind of an issue and found out that there are some who have already developed a solution for the e‑mails, can I state that, it's actually from approximate affiliates, they have the e‑mail product that supports IDN and I would lead this for Ram to elaborate on that, it would be good information to be shared with the rest of the audience, basically.  The other challenge, the Arabic content on the Internet, how much of the Arabic content on the UAE, how much outside of UAE, searching for Arabic content, would the English be such we have noted that, of course, you need to develop more of a content, still the way to do that is not clear, although you have already established an enabling environment, which is register the Arabic domain names but I think we need to go back and push in another direction too to have another emphasis on the Arabic content, now to complement domain names in Arabic also.

We have also observed something intellectual behavior, keyword search, keyword, I don't have analysis here, to be honest, like a report or something, but the keyword search mainly uses English, this is where we need to know that, yes, you can use Arabic words now in the domain search engines to search for your site, for your content on the Internet.  And the last one which I've stated here is IDN launch phases and land rush go live, what I mean here is actually the planning.  When you have your IDN approved, you have to have some kind of really proper planning, and there will be no issue if you want to extend, let's say, your sunrise period, because you really need to capture the trademarks, you need to capture, you need to communicate somehow, copyright agencies in that if it's even required.

You need to have a plan, going along parallel with the marketing to get these companies to understand, there is a business branding also when you have an Arabic domain name.  Of course, we don't forget that the registrars have also a key role in actually taking that message of value, you have a value in your Arabic domain name and you have to register an Arabic domain name.  These have that kind of facility because we are interfacing with the customers that eventually also use it and maintain it.

I mean, now if you look at how IDN could be successful, you have the technical part, which we didn't really have an issue, and that's because we are already as a registry maintaining it is dot AE, operations side there were no kind of issues, we had unified policies for dot AE and dot MR, although there are some variations, like dispute policies for dot AE and dot MR, so it made things easier when you have unified framework or policies.  The marketing thing, yes, we have invested in that part, maybe we need to do more, we need to do extra collaboration, extra registration with registrars, key entities.

I am just trying to state some challenges and I think within the discussion deliberations we could come up with even best practices that we could all learn from.  Thank you very much.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Solomon, thank you.  For those of you who don't know, the UAE has been involved in the Arabic‑speaking region for quite a while and has actually hosted several meetings in the past on actually growing the awareness and the knowledge of the use of the Arabic script inside of the region.  So thank you to the UAE for that work and for the TRA for that work in the past.

Next on we have Xiaodong Lee from the China Internet network Information Community.  Xiaodong has been active in the area of the Internet governance, in 2008 and 2010, heavily involved in the IDN policy development process in ICANN on behalf of CNNIC and the Chinese community.  Xiaodong has participated also in the application and delegation process of the Chinese IDN ccTLD dot China and also serves on the board of the top level Pacific domain situation.  Over to you.

>> XIAODONG LEE:  Thank you.  Thank you, Ram.  Actually,    the previous speaker gave us very much knowledge about the importance of IDNs, so I'll just go straight to our point and give you an update of dot China.  First of all, let's go over a look of Internet users in China, actually right now it stands at around 485 million, and this is only one‑third of our total population in China, so that means we still have a big potential to go and at the same time there are still issues, there are the rest of the potential Internet users will have much more difficulties than current users to have access to the Internet if the content or the domain names are registered in just English characters.

Let's move onto the next slide.  Okay.  Just the recent update of dot China registration number right now is around 330,000, and I would like to make a remark here because variant issue is a very serious issue for Chinese characters, for Chinese language.  Among the IDN names, we calculated there are only 22% of them have no variant issues.  In other words, there are almost 70% of them have variant issues.  What is variance?  Actually, this term is coined by the Chinese Internet communities.  The variance for Chinese language, that's two characters with the same meaning but just with a slight difference on the writing, on the form of the characters and due to the evolution and the history of the Chinese character, we currently commonly use two set of writings, writing sets, one simplifies Chinese, another set is traditional Chinese, both of them have the same meaning but with one with more strokes in the characters, the other with less stroke in the characters so that's a big issue for Chinese language characters.  Okay.  Let's move onto the next slide.  We provide with who is serviced ‑‑ okay, I think this is too technical.  Let's move onto the next slide.  (laughing).

I would like to show you right here, if you register at IDN dot China, we give you a show of all the variance domain names.  If you carry a domain name ‑‑ this is the name of a person, we'll give you all the list of the variant forms of this same domain names, you probably could tell, or I'm not very sure, the difference between thesis two, the different forms of the domain names.

So currently we provide with all the forms shown.

Next slide.  According to our statistics, you know, this big hike on whose query on dot China, in fact, one of our registrars are trying to do some things, they ask them at the launch of dot China they currently use to check which one is available for registration, and it looks like we notify this registrar to stop such activities, so it looked whose query just a slow time to normal levels after that.

This is our resolution platform.  We have got about six notes domestically ‑‑ six nodes domestically and three nodes internationally.  We are hoping to expand our nodes to around 15 next year and in the next three years we're hoping to expand our nodes to 25.  Next slide.

This is an interesting slide, because this is the real use of Chinese domain names, also the variant forms of them.

Okay.  The current total resolution for  dot China, you can take a notice that the red line is traditional Chinese, traditional  dot China, which is a little bit lower than simplified Chinese, but it's still in use, and on the next slide I'll give you more detail.

On this slide you can see the left column shows that this is a simplified Chinese, of course, most of the query comes from a man in China, but on the left column, the traditional, the variant  dot China query, you can take notice, almost 26% of the current comes from the United States, and according to our statistics more overseas users use traditional Chinese  dot China and domestically we prefer to use simplified Chinese, so this is very interesting because ‑‑ okay, this is a long history, because many in China use simplified Chinese but other parts of the world use Chinese, let's choose a difference here.

Next slide.

Okay.  This is a chart to show our top ten resolved domain names.  The left column, the simplified Chinese, the right column is traditional Chinese.  Actually, this is quite interesting differentiation between these two things.  For simplified Chinese, we got this resolved names, mostly have a direct or indirect link with business or some website portals, but on the right side of the traditional Chinese website, most queries occur for the Government organizations or some public institutions.  It looks like there's nothing to do with the economic things.  This is quite interesting.

Let's move onto the next slide.  Currently we have got all the mainstream support from the Internet browsers, but there's a small problem for them.  Let's move on.  Okay.  This comes from Firefox.  When I query, when I input ‑‑ this is the most famous news portals in China, input this word in Firefox, it gets a correct show on the address bar, but   when we use the same query in Chrome, it shows with this dash dash thing, it looks like it comes with a strict technical answer but there's no human answer to the   queries.  This is a problem for the show on the address bar.

With regard to the challenges for IDNs, I mean, the most severe challenge for us is technical challenge.  Like I said, the variance and also the showing of the other applications.  Actually, we have been work with ICANN and with Ram on the Chinese variant issues, because without these issues to be properly addressed, there might be a serious phishing attacks, because we regard this simplified and the traditional in the same meaning, same word, but technically, technically on the Internet, this has two different labels, so if this is going to be used without any mechanism for the variance, there should be some serious phishing attacks.

Another challenge is the challenge of adoption.  Actually, this question has been raised in the past few years not only from the users but also from our technical communities, is there real interest or real use from end users because when we come to  dot China adoption, the registration number of  dot China is only one‑tenth of.CN, so the question is that is the people interested in this and I've got a very interesting remark, meeting from Kim Hyungjin from Korea, Internet pioneer, about the adoption and real use of IDNs, since his argument is that since we have got a search engine like Google, like DPing, what do really we need to use the IDNs, this is hard to improve, very limited application and very limited technical support and my personal think on this, this might not be of interest for our technical savvy or English savvy, Internet users because we have quite familiar with the English typing, but it may make sense for non‑English users.  That's the figure.  At the beginning of  .CN using in 1997, almost 89% of Internet users have education of ‑‑ tertiary education or above, but nowadays in 2010 among all the Internet users, only 23% of Internet users with high‑level education.  This means not to mention there is still a huge chunk of population without access to the Internet.  This may be a very big stepping stone for the potential Internet users.  I think if this could serve a purpose to facilitate access to the Internet, it should show true value of IDNs.  I think I'm not finished yet.


Okay.  So bearing these challenges in mind, we'll further our technical work in these three aspects, one is APP extension, trying to create the command to fit in the use of IDNs, also we're going to try to address variant issues because this is a cultural and linguistical thing and to have to face it, and the third thing is the who is extension, because currently the who is is only ASCII based, we're trying to figure out how to print the internationalized who is data warehouse and currently we're working with ICANN to get community consensus on this who is query issue thing.  Okay.  Thank you.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Thank you very much.  Just to keep an eye on time, we have about ten minutes or so scheduled for the session and we haven't gone through all of our speakers, so I'll ask Mohamed to keep that in mind when he speaks.  I hope to spend a few minutes getting questions and having a little participation from you, so I'm hoping we have a few minutes that we can go beyond the 4:00 stop time.  Mohamed El Bashir is the Manager of Numbering Internet domains for ictQATAR and he joined ictQATAR in 2008 and before joining ictQATAR Mohamed was actively involved with ICANN and all the way from 2001 and has been working in the IDN area from the get‑go, he was founder and president of the Sudan Internet Society from 2001 until 2008 as a member of the ICANN IDN guidelines revision Working Group, that's actually where Mohamed and I met each other, was a member of the IDN ICANNs, also elected vice president of the African Top Level Domains Organization, he served as a councilmember in the CCN so ICANN representing Africa and was a member of ICANN board at large advisory committee, the LAC.  So with that, over to you, Mohamed.

>> MOHAMED EL BASHIR:  Thank you very much, Ram.  I think my presentation will be maybe a minute or two, all my colleagues have explained the value proposition of IDN and is why we need IDNs, so I will try to be as quick as possible so we have time for a group discussion.  So basically, Qatar has requested the string which is the country name, Qatar, in Arabic.  The ‑‑ Qatar in Arabic.  The sponsoring organization requesting the string on behalf of the country was ictQATAR, that was done early, end of 2009.  The string has passed the ICANN evaluation process in March 2010.  The string actually has been delegated in July 2010 ‑‑ sorry, January 2011, actually the string has been delegated on the Internet root.  In July 2010 we started IANA delegation process   for the new IDN.  So basically registry is branding interface for ictQATAR to manage the domain name registry.  This entity that's possible for developing and implementing domain name policies, operational of the registry itself and being the regulator of the domain name, ictQATAR.  I think I'll skip this slide.  We all know why we need IDNs, IDNs are very important to bridge the gap and remove barriers for encouraging contents, and in our case that's Arabic language.  We're using registrar model to provide choice and competition to the market so we are creating local international registrars as well.  Currently we have about ten registrars in total, eight international working on domain names, and branding and protection, and we have local registrars as well.  From a user perspective, this is very important.

At the registry we have to ensure that we understand what our users are facing in terms of using IDNs.  This is very important.  And we have to understand their issues.  We did a quick research among Internet users, Arabic Internet users in Qatar.  We have a couple of questions.  For example, one of the main questions was, do they know that the Internet is already changing?  Do they know that IDN is already implemented?  And luckily I think we got a very good response.  73% know that the Internet has changed, they know that new domain names already exist, so that was a good indicator.

Then we went further and we did ask them to test accessing websites in Arabic and Qatar and the response from that segment was almost 50/50.  So 50% have their browsers were supporting and displaying Arabic domain names correctly, and 50% they had issues with their browsers, they did not display Arabic names correctly.  We went to more details in that research in terms of identifying which browsers that have issues.  With Arabic language, I can say complex and also I can say not abbreviation friendly.  So for example, in Arabic, we don't have the culture of having abbreviations actually.  I mean, used widely.  So we did ask them about what their preference is in terms of registering domain names.  Do they prefer the long full name in the domain name of the entity or they prefer the shorter name?  And I think it's already clear, almost 86% preferred the shorter name instead of the long full name of the entity, and I think that's the pattern was registration that we'll see.  We also asked as well what are the main challenges from their side, and we did try to identify a couple of challenges.  I can say that the majority ‑‑ say the majority that they're familiar in terms of their adoption and use of IDN, they're already familiar with using English domain names.  They have been in education system that they know English, they can't access the content, Arabic content using English domain name, so that was one of the challenges that will face Arabic domain names.  Web browser support was one of the issues identified.  Using search engines, this is a very good point   Xiaodong already mentioned, I think the majority of them have clear identified and said that search engines, search engines might not make IDNs popular, Arabic content that was one of the issues that they identified as immediate constraint but also the good thing of the majority agreed that those issues could be resolved.  We had asked them also what motivates them to use Arabic domain names, and when we did this research, we are currently on the sunrise period so we have a couple of already active domain names registered, so we showcase that to them.

The main reason was that they want to preserve the Arabic language online, their identity online, that was one of the main issues and drivers for them for using Arabic domain names, I want to emphasize also the importance of awareness and marketing.  This is very important.  We are talking about domain names change happening for the first time on the Internet where they're able to access content on the Internet using their own language and their expectation is hikers the expectation that they're able ‑‑ is high, the expectation that they're able to use domain name, use e‑mail, so we need to be very clear about expectations.  We need to have also a plan, some sort of a marketing strategy or plan.  In our case, our marketing plan drive was being unique and associating that with the country, so is the identity itself.

So those are some of the messages that was on our marketing.  As I said, currently we are in a sunrise period, shorter sunrise period of three months, we are learning from other registries from our friends in UAE, so we tried to shorten that sunrise period and tried to reach out to Government and trademark holders as well.  We will go to public availability on the 18th of October.  On this period we're already showcasing some of the registration.  This is a website of Qatar University, a website using domain names.  This is the Government portal, one of the early registered Arabic domain websites.  This is ICT website.  Our website also.  And we had also the registrar website in Arabic and ASCII.  The variant   issue is the challenge, the same issue here, we have a group of Arabic characters to confirm variance, our approach was clear from the beginning we're going to bundle those, because really we have the customer they don't understand the impact of the variance issue, so currently we are bundling variance    to ensure that domain names are unique and registered safely and to avoid confusion and issues like phishing, so that's in terms of variance.  And the registrants could activate any of the variants as well.

The challenges, I think we all ‑‑ challenges, browser issues, this is the same university website using Internet Explorer and it's clear that the domain name is not displayed well in Arabic.

Search engine applications, that's an important part really.  We need to ‑‑ I'm not sure the word, incentivize or encourage those firms and companies to work actively in ensuring their applications are IDN friendly.  This is a clear example.  When we got delegated, the Arabic domain name was not even on the search result in Google, and this is a recent snapshot, now Google is displacing domain, Arabic domain names, that's Arabic content.  So there's progress going on now and I'm sure there will be also in the future.

Social media is an area that still some of the main tools are lacking, Arabic domain name support like Twitter doesn't provide hyperlinks in Arabic, mobile, that's an important element as well.  So basic application side, that's very important.

I think that's our experience in a nutshell, and we share the same challenges and we share the same hopes that we can make a difference.  Thank you.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Thank you very much for a really good expression of what's going on in Qatar and trying bring that across as a global experience.  Before we go to questions from the audience, I just wanted to, for the different members here, the speakers, I had just one question for each of you.  So I'm just going to go through the question, give you a little bit of time to think about, you know, what your answer might be, and then go over to the audience.

So let me start with Baher.  Baher, what are ICANN's plans to increase the acceptance of IDNs as top‑level domains and applications, we saw what Irina mentioned, Facebook, Twitter, we saw Google, social media, et cetera.  So what are ICANN's, what does ICANN see its role and how does it think it can help on the increased acceptance of IDNs?  That's your question.  Jian, your question, you're looking at the Asia‑Pacific region.  Are you seeing commonality in policies when there are disputes about IDN registration ownership?  You know, if you look at ASCII English registrations, UDRP, for example, is used.  Are you seeing something similar uniform way to dispute ownership of domain names?  Is there any change or do you think that the existing UDRP type of dispute resolution is sufficient?  So what are your experiences from the region?

Irina, I had several questions, but one of them, you had mentioned the measures of protection of final users' interests, you had said that in the original launch you had found that it was not sufficient, some of the measures of protection, but in November you were going to roll out some new measures.  I think it would be useful what the rest of the world can learn from the RF experience there.

Solomon, you had spoken about the value of the registrar and registry model.  What work was necessary to have your registrars actually support Arabic?  Because they were supporting English before or ASCII before.  What kind of work did you have to do to help them support Arabic?  That's what I have for you.

Xiaodong, the one question I thought would be useful, you have in China a unique implementation of simplified and traditional Chinese names, registration goes to the same user, is there any learning from that that can be provided to the rest of the world, how they're doing it, and is there value, because you're solving a variant type of issue in an interesting and unique way, that's a question for you.

  And Mohamed for you, what was the most effective outreach measure when you rolled out IDNs in Qatar, among the various marketing and other outreach measures, what was the most effective outreach measure?  So that's a question each.  Let's go to the audience for any questions.  I see a hand there.  I see Quoway, I see Chuck.  Let me start with you, sir, could you please identify yourself and question.

>> I'm from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign affairs.  My name is Mohamed.  I have two questions.  If I understand correctly, IDNs would be allowed for individuals how can you prevent cyber squatting where a person can register his name and for example presidential candidate with this same domain name, would want this domain.  Second question, I can't imagine that this could pass without political implications and sensitivities.  For example, there are some countries that refuse to even recognize the name of another country, like, for example, you have Greece and Macedonia, you have Yugoslavia and Kosovo, so how does ICANN deal with this sensitivity and who decides?

>> RAM MOHAN:  Great.  The second question I'm hoping, ball her, you can answer.  For the first one, prevention of cyber squatting, I'm wondering if some of the CC members that have rolled it out, if you could speak to that.  I know Irina, you had some experience with that.

>> IRINA DANELLA:  Actually I had at least the name of governmental organizations which were reserved in advance and this includes, for example, Government, et cetera.  This list did not include any names, surnames, but just without any special procedure around it, we just registered the name of their president and Vice President, just put it in the reserves, and that's all.


>> Back to the reserve list, before you launch it to the public, do you have to maintain such a list and it has to be some kind of extensive list, and not to forget your role of monitoring, what's happening, and you also have to try to check it with any kind of like physical incidents happening around, like any things, new things happening up, usually you see a trend of domain names, that's the nature to be honest.  But yes, is there a reserved list, ongoing monitoring for such domain names and these cases are kind of ‑‑ I mean, there are these cases, the cases are available, to be honest, need to be reviewed, need to be checked if they are really fullfilling the requirements and if they're not really trying to clone other kind of names for businesses, stuff like that.  So it's monitoring.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Thank you.  Baher?  

>> BAHER ESMAT:  Back to the country names.  There's a famous list  that has all the two letter country codes which ICANN use or has been using for ccTLDs, so whenever a country gets its country code into the ISO3166 list as per ISO's process, then they are eligible to apply to get their ccTLD delegated through the ICANN process.  On the IDN front, it's the same base, ISO is one of the references that the IDN Fast Track process has used and implemented and then when it comes to the names in specific languages, et cetera, first of all, governments, through the Government advisory committee of ICANN were involved in the policy pertaining to selection of country names.  Second, they're one of the references that ICANN had used in the Fast Track process was also UN document or manual that has country names in different UN languages so ICANN has never and probably will never select or decide on any country names but we reference to references and standards on this.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Thank you.  There in the back?

>> Actually, I would like to mention to you about why the Fast Track is go to the ccTLD first, the reason is first about the variance are very difficult to resolve, actually, just mentioned about the variant, his definition is called a traditional Chinese and simplified Chinese but actually it's not complete, because in the unit code ‑‑ more than two character, you can find it in UNICO, so this is a reason to go to the ccTLD so it can minimize the difficulty and at least so you can launch what the community needed, so I think we should launch IDN first.

In that case you can find eventually when the new new IDN gTLD will start to apply, we need to have some policy to work on the variance stuff.  The reason is you can see in the previous, those of the ccTLD at the end implementation, they give the whole block of the variance to the single person, but are you sure the future, the commercial guy comes in, they are willing to give the whole block to a single person, and how to do this, this is a policy issue, and this is, as ICANN, I think we welcome everybody to continue to discuss in the ICANN space.

The second question I would like to answer, some people are asking like around why you want to use the IDN or ASCII, I think for me it's not really a reasonable asking, you know, the most shock to typing or IDN is that basically you see when the people using IDN basically are for local communities because if I don't understand this language, how I can use in this IDN domain name.  This is basically local.  Local doesn't mean it's not important, first of all, and I think eventually you see that every institution will have a two name, IDN and ASCII, the reason is if you want to communicate with global, not only the local, you definitely knifed the ASCII or the viewer cannot type their local language, but it's valuable because somehow it's still important for the local community to using their own language to view it.  So I think to be fair, I think the IDN and ASCII is equally important, but the key point is eventually the variant we need to have a much better policy to resolve it and I think in a ccTLD it's much easier because you have experience to run a certain limitation, like Chinese or Arabic approximate, you keep the whole block to the same person and then to developing t because when thinking about if you have three character and the first character you're a three combination, the two character you have a four combination, the third character you have two combination, multiply, 24 combination, you're going to reserve, 24 combination to a single person, and it's a lot of work.  And I think more than policy, we also need a technical resolution to solve it.  Thank you.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Thank you.  I saw a hand raised from this side.  Yes, please, identify yourself.

>> My name is Elizabeth Ramabo (phonetic) from the University of Nairobi.  My question goes to the panelist from China.  I was wondering, why would you want to use the traditional Chinese method and yet you're teaching simple Chinese method and on the other hand also, statistics proves that your young people don't want to learn their traditional Chinese method, they want to continue with the simple one, and I think it will be so frustrating when we come across what you can't understand and yet you've spent some years learning the language doing it.  That's the question.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Xiaodong, that's for you.

>> XIAODONG LEE:  I think there are political reasons as well as cultural reasons with regard to the use of both simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese   but the thing that in China, they're trying to ‑‑ you know, when the PRC was established in 1949, the members of the central Government is trying to get people literacy as soon as possible so that's why they coined this simplified Chinese and over time it's proved it's feasible to eliminate the illiteracy among previously illiterate persons.  But with the use of 40 years, there's still considerations or, let's say, considerations over the use of simplified Chinese, because this is a very big concern on the Chinese culture.  It poses as sort of a conflict or split of Chinese culture in terms of the users in simplified Chinese, because for the person that uses simplified Chinese, there's a problem for us to appreciate the traditional culture or traditional heritage which is written in traditional Chinese.

In the meantime, apart from the use of simplified Chinese, there's still a large portion of Chinese community are using traditional Chinese, like in Taiwan, in Hong Kong, and other parts of Chinese communities around the world, so that's why we are going to use both traditional Chinese and the simplified Chinese at the same time, to serve all the Chinese communities.  This is our main purpose.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Thank you for that.  Question from here?

>> Thanks, Ram.  It's Andrew Mack, from Washington.  Simple question, small international firm does consulting work, interested in multiple markets and thus in multiple scripts, right?  Are we going in the direction, can we go in the direction where a company would be able to buy, wants to work in Asia, can buy a slew of these as a package or in one place even because from a practical perspective for me to go to 16 different jurisdictions is going to be really difficult, but I may really want to work with people in their own language, you've got to be really excited about the possibility.  What could we do?

>> RAM MOHAN:  Two answers come to mind.  For the ccTLDs, every one of them who has presented here has presented that the registrar registry model is working really well, and in many cases the registrars who are working for that language have the economic and market incentive to offer in other languages if there are folks like you who want to buy bundles so I expect that's probably the direction it will go.

>> Thanks, Ram.  The board recently, the ICANN board approximate recently made a decision delaying single‑character IDN TLDs in the case of gTLDs until the second round which all of us think will be four years out or more.  I'm curious for the difference panelists representing difference language communities, I would think that in your communities there may be organizations that would like to bid on IDN gTLDs in your respective scripts, how important is the use of single characters in that, in your opinion?

>> Jian I'm wondering if you could provide one set of answers and Mohamed if you could provide another answer.

>> JIAN ZHANG:  That's a simple one but it's also a difficult one.  Actually, for Chinese community, actually there's a big interest to open the single‑character IDN TLD in Chinese because many single character word in Chinese actually have meaning, have independent meaning, and also for the two characters, you know, I'm not sure, are they going to open the two‑character code, okay, yeah, so for the Chinese community, actually there is a big interest on opening for single character.

>> MOHAMED EL BASHIR:  On opposite side to the Chinese language community, it's very hard in Arabic to have a meaningful representation in one character, and I don't think that they will ‑‑ I don't think there will be a business interest ‑‑ sorry if my voice was not clear ‑‑ I was saying that it's very difficult to have a meaningful representation in Arabic using one character.  I don't think that also there will be a business interest to have a new gTLD in Arabic in one character, because it's not meaningful.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Thank you.  Any other questions?  I saw your hand raised.

>> Can I comment?  I think basically a single character, of course they have some advantage for certain language, for certain language, because a single character that means less stroke, less typing.  We are in an industry, you know that less typing means a lot.  But from ICANN policy point of view, we can't just focus on the single language because that would be unfair.  We need to look, you know, among the global language in a sense.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Thank you.  I would like to give each of the panelists just about a minute or so.  You've had ten minutes or so to think about the question that I had posed to each one of you, so if we could start with you, Mohamed, and we'll just go through and then I'll provide a few closing comments and we'll wrap the session up.

>> MOHAMED EL BASHIR:  I think from our experience, we actually did a marketing plan, we are now starting implementing it, their communication to the entities, especially Government entities, the responses, a challenge, trying to use social media as well, awareness, tried to reach to other stakeholders who could facilitate things, for example, universities to target students or Government ICT programs to encourage Governments so floss one effective way so we have to think about the hybrid model of doing that.

>> RAM MOHAN:  So no silver bullet on promotions.  Baher. 

>> BAHER ESMAT:  The question was about ICANN's plan and working with application providers, et cetera, to further advance the implementation and use of IDNs, so the simple answer is from my side I would have to defer to the IDN and user TLDs team because I'm aware of some, you know, discussions that have been taking place with many like browser providers, et cetera, but I'm not aware of any plan to say, so I would have to try to get to more solid answer later.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Thank you.  Perhaps that answer could be included as part of the report that comes out at the end of this workshop.  Jian?

>> JIAN ZHANG:  For me, my question for me is commonality for the build system, as far as I know, most registry are actually using the same build system as ASCII.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Thank you.  Irina?

>> IRINA DANELLA:  The question was about protecting a customer's interests.  In our next version of registrations, terms and conditions, first, we include the clear demand to the registrar to inform customers about all the details of the service, registrar's content information, et cetera, et cetera.  Actually, demands are in the federal law which protects consumers' rights, but we decided that this is important and we better repeat these demand in our registration terms and conditions.  So registrar has clearly informed in advance about all the details of the service.

Second, one of the biggest abusers in dot RF was about auctioning domains, which was not officially allowed, however, having a few requests for a good domain name like ALTA, for example, the registrar registered this domain name for itself, and then resales, auction, we put a ban, if there is at least one request from the end user, registrar is not allowed to register domain for itself, it has to follow the request of the end user customer.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Thank you.  Solomon?

>> Yes, Ram.  The question here was the value that would be perceived also   in order for them to market for it.  In the case of ADA, we already had registrars available in order because of dot AE so it was he's why are for them to take the dot MR and market it.  In terms of packaging or how they would value it, we haven't really intervened in their offers or packaging kind of thing, although this is a key element to solve a couple of the issues of awareness we have talked about and we already had some kind of a point regarding why not one portal that can give you registration for many many other IDNs that could be looked at.  But at the moment, there was not real clear involvement from the registry on the registrar's offerings kind of thing.  They do perceive the value, but the proceedings on how to market up to this moment.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Thank you.

>> My question is about the variant delegation of IDN for  dot China, and regarding the experience of this unique situation, I think figured out at least two which can be used for other registries.  First one is policy for bundle registration, we just put the variant domain names on the one registrant, this is our first step.  And our second experience, that's education for registrant and the users.  We are trying to foster a culture or knowledge about variance and the use, proper use of the variant domain names, and I think we could go one more step further in the future like we could set up some sort of without proper technical setting up of the variant domain names, we could like set up some resolution sets in policies I think which could effectively help with the recognition and use of variant domain names, I think without any standards coming out, this could be feasible way to do it, I think.

>> RAM MOHAN:  Thank you very much.  Thank you to all the panelists and certainly to the audience for your comments.  It's been a real pleasure to moderate this session.  I'm sorry we took a little bit longer than expected.  What is clear to me at the end of all of this is that the technical challenges are more or less in most areas, the technical challenges are the era of technical challenges for IDNs is over.  We are now in the era of user acceptance, of actual usability and of applications starting to deploy IDNs in a good way, and this is in many ways kind of IDN 2.0, if you will, how do you actually get users to understand the value and how do you get the application vendors to deploy IDNs in a way that is usable and that is accessible to the local populations.  So we're moving into a different area, we're moving from technology type of issues to access and the ability to provide better access to the local communities and this is squarely in the area that the IGF focuses on that ICANN and other organizations focus on.  Again.  IctQATAR and Mohamed, thank you for pulling us together and shining a good spotlight on emerging area and developing deployment of IDNs.  Thanks.

  (End of session)