Egypt Applies For First International Domain Name

ICANN moves forward with IDN process

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Egypt said Monday it is applying to use Arabic characters for the first time in its entire Internet domain name.

The move by Egypt comes as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) formally opens the process allowing countries to apply for "internationalized" domain names or IDNs, where scripts such as Arabic or Chinese will be used in the last part of an address name.

Representatives of Saudi Arabia and Russia also announced at the Egypt Internet Governance Forum that they have also applied for IDNs under the "ccTLD Fast Track" process.

"The Internet now speaks Arabic," said Egypt’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology. During a news conference earlier today he announced his country’s IDN application, saying, "This proves that ICANN is interested in the multilingual development process of the Internet and we’re thankful to be one of the first to apply for an Arabic IDN."

Today’s launch of the IDN application process follows ICANNs announcement a few weeks ago, at its meeting in South Korea, that it has agreed to the gradual introduction of Internationalized Domain Names.

Initially, IDNs will only be allowed on a limited basis involving country codes, which are designators at the end of an address name. Those countries can now apply to use IDNs in their own language scripts for those "country code" top-level domains (ccTLDs). Eventually, the use of IDNs will be expanded to all types of Internet address names.
"The opening of the IDN application process today will go down in history as a major step in Internationalizing the Internet," said Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s President and CEO.

"More than half of the world’s Internet users do not use a Latin-based script for their native language, so this marks the beginning of a process that will make the Internet more accessible to millions of those online users today and potentially billions tomorrow

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Egypt Applies For First International Domain Name
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