“This decision means that, for the first time, we will see non-Latin characters, specifically Arabic and Cyrillic, in an entire Internet address name,” said Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN. “This will open the door to the Internet to Arabic and Russian speakers who may have never been online.”
The Board’s action is part of ICANN’s move to internationalize the Internet by facilitating the use of non-Latin characters in the top-level domain. Until recently, technical constraints meant that all domain names had to end in letters from the Latin alphabet (A through Z). After years of work by ICANN, a global system for the use of other scripts has been designed and tested. It was approved in October.
“Today is a milestone in the development of the Internet,” said Tina Dam, Senior Director of the IDN program. “The Board’s approval means these addresses should be available to users in the four countries very soon.”
The internationalized domain name program is being rolled out in stages. IDNs will initially be allowed on a limited basis for individual country domain names (known as country code top-level domains or ccTLDs). These four countries can now use non-Latin scripts for dot-eg (Egypt), dot-ru (Russia), dot-sa (Saudi Arabia) or dot-ae (U.A.E.). Eventually, IDNs will be allowed in the TLD portion of all Internet address names.
This is the first time any country has completed the entire application process under ICANN’s Fast Track IDN ccTLD program.
The Board also passed a measure that is expected to expedite the appearance of Chinese characters in top-level domains as part of the IDN ccTLD Fast Track. To read more about that, go here: http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/resolutions-22apr10-en.htm#synchronized.
To read today’s Board resolution on IDN top-level domains for Egypt, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, go here: http://www.icann.org/en/minutes/res....
To read more about the IDN ccTLD Fast Track, go here: http://www.icann.org/en/topics/idn/.... [April 28, 2010]
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