Universal Acceptance refers to the occurrence of users experiencing browser and email or (other applications or hardware) bugs when trying to use new gTLDs. Operators of new gTLDs and more visibly all IDN TLDs (gTLDs and ccTLDs) are seeing unnaturally limited demand for names in the zones and this has presented a challenge to the goals of the new gTLD program of user choice, user confidence and name space competition. Domain names in a TLD must be useable in applications regardless of the written script, length or newness of the TLD. The four main shifts spurring the need for Universal Acceptance:
- Longer TLD Names: TLDs with names longer than four characters, such as MUSEUM.
- Non-Latin based TLDs: Resulting from the addition of TLD names written in scripts other than ASCII, such as Cyrillic, Arabic and Chinese.
- Rapid addition of TLDs: The New gTLD Program is spurring very rapid additions of long ASCII names and IDN names – as of 15 August 2014, there were 1,326 applications currently proceeding through the New gTLD Program.
- International Email: The introduction of non-ASCII names in email. While International Domain Names (IDNs) solved part of the ability to have non-ASCII names for servers, it doesn't solve the ability to have non-ASCII names for mailboxes.
As the Internet evolved to be more personal, targeted and global, these assumptions are no longer valid. But limitations based on the old assumptions linger and now are preventing a larger and ever growing group of users from accessing the entire expanse of the Internet. In some instances, Internet users trying to use the newly delegated generic Top Level Domain (gTLDs), whose names may be many characters long and/or in non-Latin scripts, can experience "bugs" or the inability to access/register the sites.
This problem must be solved, and Universal Acceptance realized, in order to achieve a truly global, scalable Internet. It will be considered complete when any person can register and use a domain name in any top-level domain in widely distributed web browsers, email clients, in setting up accounts for Internet services and other services.
Universal Acceptance (UA) is the state where all valid domain names and email addresses are accepted, validated, stored, processed and displayed correctly and consistently by all Internet-enabled applications, devices and systems.
Universal Acceptance Steering Group is a community lead effort.
To submit questions or contribute additional material that may be helpful in overcoming these barriers, please send an email to GlobalSupport@icann.org with "Universal Acceptance" in the subject line.
Join the UASG Discussion List https://mm.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/ua-discuss