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ICANN Approves International Domains

Will bring more people online

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The first Internet addresses with non-Latin characters will soon be online after today’s approval of the new Internationalized Domain Name Fast Track Process by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

"The coming introduction of non-Latin characters represents the biggest technical change to the Internet since it was created four decades ago," said ICANN chairman Peter Dengate Thrush.

"Right now Internet address endings are limited to Latin characters – A to Z. But the Fast Track Process is the first step in bringing the 100,000 characters of the languages of the world online for domain names."

ICANN said starting November 16 nations and territories will be able to apply for internationalized domain names (IDNs) made up of characters from their national language.

"This is only the first step, but it is an incredibly big one and an historic move toward the internationalization of the Internet," said Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s President and CEO.

"The first countries that participate will not only be providing valuable information of the operation of IDNs in the domain name system, they are also going to help to bring the first of billions more people online – people who never use Roman characters in their daily lives."

IDNs have been an issue since before ICANN was created. ICANN said its taken years of technical testing, policy development, and global co-operation to prepare for the launch of the Fast Track process.

"Our work on IDNs has gone through numerous drafts, dozens of tests, and an incredible amount of development by volunteers since we started this project. Today is the first step in moving from planning and implementation to the real launch," said Tina Dam, ICANN’s Senior Director for IDNs.

"The launch of the Fast Track Process will be an amazing change to make the Internet an even more valuable tool, and for even more people around the globe."

 

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ICANN Approves International Domains
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  • http://www.dgswilson.com/ Doug Wilson

    Great and better for the global community. The real story about 2012 is a shift in consciousness. One which we truly need and one which this will help to employ. To the future…

  • http://www.altum.co.uk Altum

    This truly will be the globalisation of the world wide web, a good thing I’m sure most would agree but may give rise to closed groups.

  • http://blog.hichamaged.net/ Hicham Maged

    This is great in terms of allowing people to use their native languages although I wonder about this step from the SEO point of view. I mean how search-engines shall deal with this and how this will affect the ranking or SERP

  • http://www.chimehost.com Chime Host

    I am guessing people holding non-latin domains will have URLs fail validation on all the forms out there that haven