ICANN and Universal Acceptance: reviewing UASG.

Are you tired of seeing error messages when trying to access a website in your preferred language or script? Frustrated with domain names that don’t support your native characters or symbols? If so, then you’ll be excited to learn about Universal Acceptance – an initiative led by the Unicode Consortium and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) that aims to make the internet more inclusive and accessible. In this blog post, we’ll review the progress made by the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), formed by ICANN in 2015, towards achieving their mission of ensuring all internet users can access online content seamlessly regardless of their location, language, or device. Let’s dive in!


The Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) is a multi-stakeholder group that promotes the full and consistent acceptance of all valid domain names and email addresses across the Internet. The UASG was formed in 2014 in response to concerns that some technologies were not accepting all valid domain names, which could fragment the Internet and limit consumer choice.

The UASG works to raise awareness of Universal Acceptance among technology providers, businesses, governments, and other Internet stakeholders; to identify gaps in UA implementation and develop solutions; and to promote the adoption of best practices. The group also serves as a forum for sharing information and experiences on UA issues.

The role of ICANN

Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG) is an initiative of ICANN, launched in 2015, with the goal of ensuring that all internet users can access all internet resources, regardless of the technology they use.

In order to achieve this goal, the UASG is working on various fronts:

  • educating people about Universal Acceptance;
  • working with software developers to ensure that their products are universally accepted;
  • encouraging registries and registrars to support universal acceptance;
  • conducting research on the current state of universal acceptance.

The UASG has made great progress in its short existence, but there is still more work to be done. In particular, more needs to be done to raise awareness of Universal Acceptance among internet users and businesses.

Penetrating Africa

Africa is one of the most populous continents in the world, with over 1.2 billion people. It is also home to a diverse range of cultures and languages. Despite this, Africa has been largely excluded from the global internet governance debate.

This is starting to change, however, as more and more African countries are beginning to participate in ICANN’s policy-making processes. The continent also has a strong and growing presence in the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG).

The UASG is an international group of experts working to promote universal acceptance of all valid Domain Names and Email Addresses. This includes ensuring that all new TLDs are supported by email and web applications, and that existing TLDs continue to work as new technologies are developed.

The UASG’s work is essential for ensuring that the internet remains accessible to everyone, regardless of where they live or what script their language uses. African input into the UASG’s work is therefore vital for ensuring that the needs of the continent’s users are taken into account.

At DNS Africa, we intend to play our role, if given the appropriate attention and opportunity.

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