About Universal Acceptance

Why It’s Important

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) explains–
Universal Acceptance (UA) is the concept of removing all technical barriers that might hinder a– user from accessing any name in any TLD from any web browser, email client, or other Internet application on any computer or electronic device.

DNA (Domain Name Association) explains–
The goal of Universal Acceptance is twofold: Every valid domain name should deliver the user to the intended location, and every valid email address should deliver mail to the intended recipient.

Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) explains–
Universal Acceptance is the concept that all domain names should be treated equally. Domain names and e-mail addresses should be Accepted, Stored, Processed and Displayed in a consistent and effective manner. Many systems still assume that domain names (and associated e-mail addresses) are only available in ASCII and that Top Level Domain names are restricted to a well-defined and constant two or three characters.   Since the introduction of IDN ccTLDs in 2010 and the most recent wave of new gTLDs in 2013, this is no longer the case.

4 Elements of Universal Acceptance

Domain names in a TLD must be useable in applications regardless of the written script, length or newness of the TLD, as illustrated by these 4 elements: 

  1. Longer TLD Names: TLDs with names longer than 3 characters, such as .network or .bible.
  2. Non-Latin based TLDs: TLDs with names written in scripts other than ASCII, such as Hindi, Japanese and Greek.
  3. Rapid addition of TLDs: The New gTLD Program spurring very rapid additions of new gTLDs delegated to the root zone.
  4. International Email: The introduction of non-ASCII names in email. While 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.

Best Resources for Universal Acceptance

Complete List of New gTLDs

Examples of New gTLDs in Use


For more information, here’s a slide from a 2015 presentation by the Universal Acceptance Steering Group.

UASG info