Celebrating Universal Acceptance Day – Ensuring Internet Accessibility for All

Universal Acceptance Day.

On March 28, 2023, the global Internet community came together to celebrate the first-ever Universal Acceptance Day. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) coordinated this event in collaboration with domain registries and other stakeholders to raise awareness about the importance of Universal Acceptance (UA) and promote its implementation.

What Is Universal Acceptance (UA)?

Universal Acceptance is a technical requirement that ensures all valid domain names and email addresses can be used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems, regardless of script, language, or character length. Despite recent changes to the Domain Name System (DNS), many software applications still use outdated checks that do not recognize or process new domain names, including new generic top-level domains, Internationalized Domain Names, and country code top-level domains (cc-TLD). UA is necessary for enabling a truly global, multilingual internet, and ensuring that domain names and email addresses, regardless of length or language, work in all internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems.

Domain registries play a vital role in ensuring Universal Acceptance. They can contribute to this effort by implementing UA in their systems and promoting its adoption among their customers. The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), for example, has taken steps to support UA by enabling Internationalized Domain Names and promoting their use in Nigeria. Additionally, NiRA has developed guidelines and best practices for its accredited registrars to ensure they support UA in their services.

Celebrating Universal Acceptance Day with NCC and ICANN

This year, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), together with ICANN and Green ICTI, hosted a virtual session on Universal Acceptance in Nigeria. The program aimed to promote Universal Acceptance and ensure that every stakeholder knows their role in supporting UA. The program addressed the roles that telecom companies can play by making sure their systems support UA and creating awareness. Additionally, UASG is investigating automated testing methods on URLs for Universal Acceptance and will share findings as they become available.

The event addressed the critical role every stakeholder could play; such as telecom companies in promoting UA by ensuring that their systems support it and create awareness among their customers. The UASG is currently investigating automated testing methods for URLs to ensure universal acceptance and plans to share its findings as they become available.

Universal Acceptance is crucial for creating a truly global, multilingual internet that works for everyone. By raising awareness about its importance and promoting its implementation, we can ensure that all users, regardless of language or script, can fully participate in the digital economy. Let us all support Universal Acceptance and work towards a more inclusive and accessible internet for all.

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